Matteo is an Italian multidisciplinary designer based in London. He graduated with a Bachelor of Art in Industrial Design at Politecnico of Milan and worked as a freelance designer for Hugo & Boo, an architectural firm, before joining the dual MA/MSc Innovation Design Engineering, at Royal College of Art and Imperial College, London. He has collaborated with several companies, including Ebbsfleet Development Corporation and Arrital, with recent work exhibited at Milan Design Week and Milan Furniture Fair. He also contributed to the development of a racing car for the European competition Formula SAE1.
Naiad emerges from an exploration of the future of aquatic living collections. The research underlines how most people believe that fish, unlike mammals, do not seem to have emotional perceptions, lacking interactivity and affections. And, this is finally connected to a lower empathy towards these creatures, which bring invisible consequences leading to an objectification attitude. Simultaneously, fish are also very difficult to decipher, as if forced to suffer in silence. And this translates into a dramatic premature mortality rate in the domestic environment.
But then, the revelation. You can only imagine my astonishment when I started connecting all the dots and realized that the whole time I was snorkelling underwater, the fish were actually communicating. And to do that they use movements, behaviours, rituals, colours and textures. I hadn't figured it out yet but, fish are a bit like designers.
This is why we need a tool that helps to bridge this species gap, which allows us to expand our senses and our perceptual abilities, creating the opportunity to establish communication and begin to understand them. And technology helps us in this process.
Hence, welcome Naiad, the first AI communication tool that deciphers fish behaviours, enabling safer interactions and improving mutual well-being. A sort of fish decoder we can say.
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Here you can see the first working prototype of Naiad's hardware (above) and part of the experimentation and development process (below).
Now that we have a tool that allows us to communicate even with fish, are we really ready to hear what they have to say?
Our biggest communication problem is that we don't listen to understand. We listen to answer.