Summit: ldn22

Length: 19:12

Archaeologically found artefacts have taught us everything we know about past civilisations. They revealed how their societies lived, worked, played, cooked and expressed themselves. Future Archaeology challenges us to imagine what future generations will discover about our habits, needs and desires when they study and decode our essential everyday objects.

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This talk is presented by

Paula Zuccotti - Industrial designer, ethnographer, trends forecaster, creative strategist & visual artist

Paula Zuccotti is a London-based Argentine industrial designer, ethnographer, trends forecaster, creative strategist and visual artist.

She is a leading expert in global consumption and a respected authority in consumer behaviour and product interaction – past, present and future.

Paula travels the world running strategic lead creative projects researching people’s everyday lives, society, markets and culture uncovering insights and trends to envision user-centric products, brands, comms and services. Since 2012 she runs her own practice in London taking on large scale projects for the likes of Google, Nike, IKEA, LVMH, Starbucks, Hyundai, McKinsey, R/GA and LG. She specialises in working across industries primarily in: technology, home living, media consumption, entertainment, mobility, fashion, retail, luxury, food and drinks, personal care, sports, banking, fintechs. (She is currently working across five continents on a study about financial inclusion and empowerment).

Beforehand, she worked at design and innovation company Seymourpowell for 12 years as Head of Research and Director of Futures, she created and developed the company’s renowned ethnographic research offer.

As photographer and film maker, Paula has also pioneered the “real people, real stories” approach to content. Camera in hand, she evolved her ethnographic-documentary work into commercial campaigns such as the Nokia Connecting Series, directing the SKODA Octavia ‘Loved, not owned’ digital and print campaign, as well as "My Favourite Things" for Lloyds Insurance.

Outside of her client work Paula likes to ask herself the questions that nobody else does, those questions whose answers one cannot find on the internet (until she creates them). She likes to look at the world with her own filters: unbranded, unsegmented and beyond borders. As such she tasks her self with complex briefs that turn into solo projects that straddle art, design, research and anthropology: Every Thing We Touch (book), Future Archaeology (film), Lockdown essentials (website archive).

She is the author of "Every Thing We Touch: A 24-Hour Inventory of Our Lives”, the book that introduced us to storytelling with objects, as she portrayed the lives of people around the world presented by a single photograph of every object they touched in a day.

Following this work, her first documentary “Future Archeology” creates a time capsule of lives, challenging us to imagine what future generations will learn about our habits, needs and desires when they study and decode our everyday interactions.

In 2020, she launched "Lockdown Essentials" to capture our changing behaviours as the world was entering lockdown. Working within the confines of quarantine and using the power of social media, she enticed the world to join in and to reflect upon their state of being, needs, hopes, fears and desires by photographing 15 objects that became essential to their lives during lockdown. A year later, she has created an published comprehensive archive featuring over 1,000 images from 50 countries called "Future Archeology of a Global Lockdown".

She is also currently a Professor of Cultural Trends and Traditions at Austral University of Argentina and has developed educational programmes for the V&A Museum in London.