Nick Foster & Julian Bleecker

Nick Foster, Head of Design at Google X. Partner at the Near Future Laboratory


As Nick puts it he is “…getting too old for this shit. His brain is full of half-ideas and dreams, which leak out in poorly formed belches of work. He has somehow held together a ramshackle career over the last twenty years, which began by drawing bits of vacuum cleaners for James Dyson. He worked on sex toys and car keys for design agencies in the UK, made countless Japanese cultural gaffes whilst at Sony, worked on future stuff for Nokia and is now at Google (shhh). He is a partner at the Near Future Laboratory, where he messes around in the field of Design Fiction with three friends who all have PhD’s. He is a pragmatist about the future, and errs on the side of messy and confusing, he’ll probably talk a bit about that. As he writes this, he hasn’t quite worked out what he will talk about exactly, but it’ll no doubt involve more half-thoughts and ideas about the future, bits of work, stuff about mundane futures and the power of humor. The future will be a little bit broken, and it’s probably important to approach speculative futures with a keen eye for these moments of breakage. It’s interesting and different if nothing else. The picture he chose is of him on a plane, he thinks it makes him look cool. He also wrote all of this in the third person.”


Julian Bleecker, Co-Founder and CTO of Omata. Co-Founder of the Near Future Laboratory

Julian Bleecker (PhD) is a researcher, product designer-engineer. He founded the Near Future Laboratory as a way to explore imminent futures in an experimental and playful way outside of the confines of more traditional research and development practices. He has been a professor at the University of Southern California, and a designer-engineer at Nokia’s Advanced Design Studio. He is presently founder and CTO at Omata, Inc., a product design company that has developed a modern analog-mechanical computer.