Design Fictions :: Imagined Futures



Sunday, September 20, 2015
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Ray Stark Family Theatre, School of Cinematic Arts 108
University Park Campus

Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP beginning Thursday, August 27, at 9 a.m.



Schedule of Events:
11 a.m.:
Design Fiction Media Presentation and Panel
The Ray Stark Family Theatre, School of Cinematic Arts 108

12 p.m.:
Sound Stage 3

1 p.m.:
Workshop with Panelists
Sound Stage 3

4:30 p.m.: Workshop Presentations and Closing Discussion
The Ray Stark Family Theatre, School of Cinematic Arts 108

6 p.m.:
Closing Reception

Imagine all possible futures, all over this world and perhaps beyond. To truly imagine even one of them, you need to visualize how things will look, guess at the elements the world will be made of, and brainstorm about how things might work. This is the fascinating realm of “design fiction”—the conceptualization, design, and fabrication of media artifacts, objects, spaces, and processes from speculative futures. But it’s not just idle imagining. Like science fiction, design fiction can bring us into closer contact with the tenor of our own times, exposing the aspirations and fears of today while illustrating the utopias and dystopias of imagined tomorrows.

What does product design and advertising look like in a future where everything has collapsed? What do those things look like in a future where things have gotten radically better? A day-long event will bring together a distinguished group of futurists, designers, and thought leaders for media screenings, discussions, and a hands-on creative workshop led by the Extrapolation Factory and the Situation Lab. Participants will have a chance to conceptualize and make their own artifacts from imagined futures.

Design fiction is thought experiments made manifest. By lending concrete reality to what often remains abstract, design fiction allows us to confront the complex social, political, economic, and environmental challenges of our near, medium, and even long-term futures.

About the Participants:

The Extrapolation Factory is an imagination-based assembly line for developing snapshots of future scenarios. Co-founder Elliott P. Montgomery studied design interactions at the Royal College of Art in London and industrial design at Carnegie Mellon University. He has worked with start-ups, nonprofits, design consultancies, and government agencies. Co-founder Chris Woebken is a German-born artist who holds an MA in design interactions from the Royal College of Art in London and has been a visiting scholar at NYU’s Environmental Health Clinic.

The Situation Lab designs immersive and generative situations to explore where narrative, space, and play come together to shape the real world. It was founded in 2013 by producer, strategist, and educator Stuart Candy and USC School of Cinematic Arts professor Jeff Watson.

Organized by Jen Stein (Media Arts and Practice) and Jeff Watson (Interactive Media and Games).