Prototyping futures to clarify the present
I am an ambidextrous thinker/doer who bounces back and forth from foresight to engineering, data science and design. With experiences in academia and the industry, I bring a humanistic approach with vision, creativity, and structure to domains that data and digital technologies are transforming.
Currently, I am
- Advising start-ups on the innovative applications of data science and design in their early stage projets.
- Writing The Manual of Design Fiction with my partners at the Near Future Laboratory.
- Leading a creative team that explores the futures of space culture for the Museum of the Future.
- Prototyping Rumbo, a miniservice that transforms GPS trails into 3D videos; and maintaining its sister project Próximo, an online text editor that puts stories on maps.
- Offering office hour sessions to students and young professionals seeking advice on challenges they are facing.
Fabien Girardin (PhD) is an engineer, researcher, data scientist and founding partner of the Near Future Laboratory, a distributed network of accomplished practitioners best known as pioneers of Design Fiction. The clients are people in global multinationals, governments and small enterprises eager to challenge the status quo and concerned about the unknown white spaces just beyond the core of their activities.
Throughout his career, Fabien has led and collaborated in dream teams that bring data science and design to the avant-garde of their domains. Most notably, he was co-CEO at BBVA Data & Analytics, a center of excellence in advanced analytics that derived knowledge from financial data. At Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he pioneered techniques that analyze digital traces of human activity for urban innovation and applied them in the industry for Le Louvre, the Boeing Company, Navteq, City of Geneva, among other clients. Subsequently, he co-created with the data visualization studio Bestiario, a visual programming environment that democratizes data manipulation and visualization as part of a practice he coined as Sketching with Data.
Fabien holds a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science and Digital Communications from Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) in Barcelona, Spain. Along his academic journey, he was also affiliated with the Senseable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His research has been cited in more than 1800 academic publications.
Prior to his graduate studies, he joined the Swiss Federal Institute of Technologies in Lausanne (EPFL) to manage and investigate the use of technologies for collaborative learning. Earlier in 1997, he developed a web directory popular in Switzerland that he later sold to a local Internet Service Provider to finance his studies in Computer Science at the Biel School of Engineering and expand his horizons working as a Software Engineer in Silicon Valley.
Besides occasional lectures in universities, design schools and business schools, Fabien speaks in international conferences such as O'Reilly Strata, TEDx, Sonar+D, Primer, Picnic, Lift, Barcelona Design Week, and Smart City World Congress. His work has been exhibited at the Design Museum in Barcelona, the National Football Museum in Manchester, the CCCB in Barcelona, the Fundacion Telefonica in Madrid, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Lima and the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in Prague.
Selected media coverage