Design Fiction/Design Science/Speculative Futures Process Movies

I have uploaded a series of expository videos demonstrating five different approaches to conceptualizing, designing and mediating possible futures. These summary presentations detail findings and results from a variety of 36 hour workshops held as part of the Emerge 2012 symposium at ASU. The videos range from 10 – 17 minutes and I have briefly summarized each below. I hope you find them helpful as you work on crafting your own mediated future-focused vignettes.

Daniel Erasmus + Dave Conz: Crafting Archeology from the Future Workshop Presentation
This workshop tackled the notion of objects as part of ‘a’ or ‘some’ future. The objects in question were clay objects that were created by the participants, many of whom had not worked with clay for a long time. The workshop leads presented quotes from the participants gathered during the clay making activity. The process of moving from clay to digital models to printed artifact is described, together with a short video depicting how the objects were created and reactions to them.

David McConville and Gretchen Gano: Starting with the Universe Workshop Presentation
David McConville from the Buckminster Fuller Institute introduced some assumptions about thinking about the future. His approach is to REALLY step back and look at the earth from afar – from outside the galaxy and beyond, in an attempt to model the universe. He detailed a historical perspective on mapping the universe and the emergence of the modern scientific paradigm. He describes how the idea of design fiction is nothing new (e.g. Disney and Von Braun) and even how the imagery of mars can be ‘found’ in Virginia. He offered a wry commentary on ‘gamification’ before handing over to a workshop participant who described the design process of ‘zooming out’ as a beginning motif for exploration. McConville elaborated on Buckminster Fuller’s ideas about gamification and his 50 year legacy of creating prototypes of the future, before describing the Design Science planning process used in the workshop.

Julian Bleecker + Nick Foster: Literally Creating the Future Workshop Presentation
Julian Bleecker described the impetus of their workshop as based on a newspaper he and colleagues developed exploring innovations present in local convenience stores. They wanted to make the ordinary and mundane ‘fantastic’ and pay homage to the objects – lighters, advil, condoms, disposable cameras – by considering them in a future framework. Nick Foster described the ‘super gonzo’ process of rapidly conceptualizing, designing, making and filming these objects in 36 hours before playing the finished final design fiction movie.

Julie Anand + Edgar Cardenas: Seeing Beyond Ourselves Workshop Presentation
Julie Anand described the series of exercises undertaken by workshop participants in relation to ‘time’. These were synthesized over a 24 hour period into a digital book that included a ‘speculative culture’ exercise generating a series of provocative statements and offered as a ‘social mirror’; a writing exercise including the crafting of letters to people 100 years in the future; and a photo exercise capturing objects in the home and incorporating their stories. Anand then presented the material encountered in the final book before Edgar Cardenas introduced a short documentary shot on the streets of Tempe asking people about life in 2112.

Stuart Candy and Jake Dunagan: The People Who Vanished Workshop Presentation
Stuart Candy described the group creative process of discovery guiding their workshop and the shared methodological quest between the two workshop leads as ‘being to dream as intensively as they possibly can’. Candy then went on to present materials defining the workshop locus (Phoenix) before introducing workshop participants who continued to extrapolate on findings and discoveries about the area, including the appearance and re-appearance of a mysterious culturally significant symbol.


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