Inside

Govind Balakrishnan

MA work

Curio

In a  choice-rich media world, what is today’s equivalent of traditional TV, radio and newspaper interfaces – ones that by seamlessly bringing together choice and convenience via log cognitive-load interfaces, revolutionised media in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? 

Curio is the first step on a journey to answering this.

'We become what we behold. We shape our tools and then our tools shape us', Marshall McLuhan is alleged to have said. In the Information Age, there is no tool shaping us more than media. However as media choice has grown exponentially, have the interfaces we employ to choose and consume, also become proportionally more bewildering?

Departing from conventional wisdom where algorithms claim to know us better than we know ourselves, when it comes to media Curio believes in human agency. We all have the capacity as human beings to make choices if presented with finite sensible alternatives through interfaces that place low cognitive burden on us.

To arrive at these, Curio brings together media and the fast developing work in sentiment analysis – the use of natural language processing, text analysis and computational linguistics to identify and extract subjective information, such as the attitude of a speaker or a writer with respect to some topic or the overall contextual polarity of a document.

Curio – Human agency in the media age 

Info

  • Govind Balakrishnan
  • MA Degree

    School

    School of Design

    Programme

    MA Innovation Design Engineering, 2014

  • Before coming to the RCA, I worked as a Strategist for the BBC. In part both my deep interest in the ability of media to shape our lives as society, and the BBC’s purpose as a public service broadcaster drew me to this role. 

    While I continue to be passionate about media and its ability for large-scale impact, I also believe that with advances in design and technology, there is an opportunity for a fundamental rethink. Particularly as the purchasing power of consumers in the developing world grows, the need has never been greater for a rebalancing away from tangible goods, to products and services focused on intangible value. Media is an ideal vehicle through which to achieve this.

    I believe that design or technology without enterprise and on-the-ground impact is akin to a tree falling in the forest - if no one was around to hear it, did it make a sound? Therefore I would like to start-up a company that focuses on creating intangible value through beautiful design.

  • Degrees

  • MSc, Management (spec Economics), London School of Economics, 2004; MSc Physics (spec Theoetical Physics), Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, 2001
  • Experience

  • Senior Strategy Manager, BBC
  • Exhibitions

  • HARDER THAN YOU THINK, Rio Tinto Sports Innovation Challenge, Object Gallery, Sydney, 2013