A Brief History of CSf

The roots of the Creative Science Foundation (CSf) can be traced to a conversation late on the 24th September 2007 over a few glasses of weißbier (white beer) in the beautiful old German town of Ulm between Brian David Johnson (then of Intel), Michael Gardner (then of BT) and Victor Callaghan (Essex University). The three had been attending the ‘Intelligent Environments 2007‘ conference where Brian was an invited speaker, giving a presentation called “Do Digital Homes Dream of Electric Families?” – Architecting Consumer Experience”. After his talk they struck up a conversation that settled on a discussion about their shared belief that science fiction had the power to engage people in conversation about their preferred future and drive innovation effort towards making that future (futurecasting). After this the three exchanged documents which included  a set of vignettes that the Essex team had used to communicate science ideas to UN attendees (Some Socio-Technical Aspects Of Intelligent Buildings and Pervasive Computing Research) and a scenario driven product innovation framework that Intel were using (Expanded Consumer Experience Architecture Framework) which, driven by Johnson’s passion for Science-Fiction morphed into Science-Fiction Prototyping. Later they were joined by Simon Egerton who’s influential paper “Using Multiple Personas in Service Robots to Improve Exploration Strategies When Mapping New Environments” (written with psychoanalyst, Graham Clark) became the inspiration for Johnson’s first Science Fiction Prototype, “Nebulous Mechanisms” (taken from a phrase in that paper).  Together they organised a series of public workshops the success of which, together with seed-funding from Intel, lead to the formation of the Creative Science Foundation on the 4th November 2011 (registered in London, but operating internationally). A more detailed and personal perspective from one of the founders can be found at this link (including key milestones). Of course, however it started, the Creative Science Foundation would be nothing without its members who have made it what it is today, so the real story belongs to all of you, especially those who have attended our events, written SFP’s and help run the organisation. This is your foundation, so please make your voice heard so we can build something special together.