»Countdown to the Future« was a follow-up project of »The Future of Labor« from summer term 2016 at KISD. In the project TÜV Rheinland asked the KISD students to present ideas and concepts for a stand at ›Night of Technology‹ in 2017, a trade fair, where different companies around Cologne provide the citizens with an insight into new technologies. The projects were guided by Prof. Iris Utikal.

One of the groups constructed an interactive video installation under the theme Industry 4.0 and was chosen by TÜV Rheinland to be developed further. They supported the student team along the development and presentation of a complete installation at the fair in June 2017. The theme was narrowed down to ›digital transformation‹ for a better focus. This new project was named »Countdown to the Future« to emphasize the urgent need for attention, since the transformation is an already happening phenomenon.

»Countdown to the Future« included multiple design processes. Starting from concept development and research, it was the students’ job to conduct interviews, create the story and script, visual identity, video production, and the final exhibition stands at the trade fair. The students experimented with numerous narratives, visuals, installation mock-ups throughout 10 months. Last but not least, worked on the communication among the KISD team, TÜV Rheinland, and interview partners.

As an outcome, the KISD team, consisting of Kaon Kim, Ashley Morgan, Angelica Padilla and Johanna Rohrer, created a composite video installation with a short informative film, where 14 experts and scientists explain how this new transformation will change the jobs, communication, and the lifestyle in the future. Following interview partners from different expertise enriched the narrative.

Prof. Dr. Michael Erlhoff Design theorist and cultural scientist
Peter Kloeppel Chief Moderator and Editor RTL
Prof. Dr. Martin Korte Learning expert and brain researcher, TU Braunschweig
Frank Schätzing Best-selling Author
Markus Dohm Executive Vice President Academy & Life Care, TÜV Rheinland
Stephan Grünewald Psychologist and managing director, Rheingold Institute
Christoph Hieber Conductor Digital Leraning TÜV Rheinland
Prof. Dr. Eleonore Soei-Winkels Professor of Economic Psychology, FOM and IT strategy Consultant, Accenture
Tobias Kaufmann Conductor Media & Communication, 1.FC Köln
Monika Lepel Interior designer and owner of Lepel&Lepel
Anne Messer Technical consultant, Trendmicro GmbH
Mohammed Moniri Resarcher and project manager of DFKI
Diana Rudolph Project Leader Digital Learning, Lanxess
Martin Willing Artist and Sculptor

The 14 minute long main film was produced to fit on 3 screens that were horizontally bound together in 35 degrees angle. This created an immersive effect for the audience and also some space for footage and infographic animations that helped non-experts better understand the complex contents. Apart from the main film, there were 3 exhibition stands equipped with tablets and headphones, where the visitors could watch individual interviews from the experts. They were also invited to express their own reflection with markers and a writable surface on each stand.

»Countdown to the Future« exhibition was open to public on the 23rd of June, 2017, in the main hall of TÜV Rheinland, Cologne. Then again at the KISD Parcours in following July as an BA intermediate project from Angelica Padilla and Kaon Kim.