Parsons / The New School

BFA Communication Design

Thesis 2016–17

John Hammond
Schwermer & Schwermer

Artificial intelligence is now entering the consumer marketplace. Driverless vehicles are one of the first products to incorporate this raw and powerful technology. With driverless vehicles come incredible advancements in transportation. But with these advancements come difficult moral and legal issues that don’t have a clear solution in sight. Pros and cons that were once only weighed in science fiction will soon be a reality—for all of us.

“Schwermer and Schwermer,” a duo of fictional attorneys from 20 years in the future, are a fun and satirical approach to speculating our future and tackling these issues. Looking at the future through the lense of satire makes this conversation accessible to a wider audience. By bringing the speculative into the present (using business cards, subway advertisements, a commercial, a website and a phone number with an answering machine) it encourages the conversation surrounding the speculative future to take place outside of small art and technology communities. It forces a conversation in the general public, in the lives of those people who will be affected most by these changes. Schwermer and Schwermer brings this conversation, whether positive or negative, to the forefront of our everyday lives.

The central outcome of this project lies in its reaction from the public and the conversation it has generated. Actual phone messages that were left for “Schwermer and Schwermer” can be found transcribed on their website below their commercial. “Schwermer and Schwermer” also made an appearance on local radio, in an effort to spread the conversation of the speculative future when it concerns driverless vehicles.

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Parsons / The New School

BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2016–17