Engaged Futures

2020

Statement

This series of Something or Other examines the notion of design for structural change in society, how practitioners across a range of subject areas are using their skills and knowledge to push for more ambitious and sustained effects through their action, in the way they work, the way they organise or they topics they research.

Micro/Macro

2019

Statement

The economies and ecologies of scale that we find ourselves in have significant implications for the ways in which we practice. We’ve come to learn that our interventions, however large or small, can and will have effects on the social realities we inhabit and shape (through design). Through all this we find interlocking systems of scale, from large globe-straddling networks to vibrant hermit economies seeking resilience for an uncertain future.

This series of Something or Other examines notions of the micro and the macro through an interdisciplinary, process and method-driven lens. The speakers will broadly address how their practices, methods and research encounter and work (or don’t work) across these scales. This theme follows on from our previous series ‘Practicing Platforms’ – exploring how platformed networks and economies are changing and changed by creative practice and the 15/16 theme of ‘Uncertainty.’

Previous Speakers

Reema Patel

14-01-2019
14-01

Lauren Klein

21-01-2019
21-01

Practicing Platforms

2018

Statement

What does it mean to design into existing or for emerging platforms?

The practices of design have been understood to shift inline with or in response to social conditions, technological advances and economic developments. In light of considerable and continuing change, we are now at a point where the definition, design and positioning of practices are becoming pieces of design in and of themselves – calling for new terms (definitions of practice), procedures (models of working/being) and platforms (sites of action). This current moment presents exciting, though challenging, concerns for the next generation of designers.

How can we design practices that are democratic, representative and progressive unbound by bias, discrimination or assumption? What are the procedures in practice that demonstrate a sensitivity to the social and political implications of design? How do we learn new techniques to discern, authenticate or imagine alternatives to hegemonic platforms?

We invite this year’s guests to bring forward propositions that form a dialogue between past concerns and those yet to be encountered.

Previous Speakers

Jay Owens

09-05-2018
09-05

Oliver Smith

16-05-2018
16-05

Nina Power

23-05-2018
23-05

Franc Camps-Febrer / Forensic Architecture

06-06-2018
06-06

Charlotte Webb

13-06-2018
13-06

Uncertainty

2017

Statement

Uncertainty and precariousness are characteristics of our (post-digital) times. The dominant political ideology of neoliberalism has intrinsically linked individualism and personal productivity to economic survival, made possible through complex, ubiquitous and pervasive computational networks and systems.

Technologies demand constant connectivity and perpetual consumption and contribute, according to Mark Fisher, to the current attack on the subject, come consumers of services (educational, political, economical etc).

The next generation of designers will enter this uncertainty and it is not a comfortable place to be: it raises existential questions about living in this complex and fragmented world, as well as requiring designers to consider their responsibilities in designing (for/through/with) uncertainties: political, economic, educational, environmental.

Previous Speakers

Ruben Pater

19-04-2017
19-04

Sinead Evans

26-04-2017
26-04

Kenneth Goldsmith

10-05-2017
10-05

Nina Paim

17-05-2017
17-05

David Rudnick

24-05-2017
24-05

Tobias Revell

31-05-2017
31-05

Femke Herregraven

14-06-2017
14-06

Alex Wilkie

21-06-2017
21-06

Open

2016

Statement

What is a discipline that remains housed in an enclosure?

The pioneers of our time are not taking the world at face value, as a given from the outside; rather, they see the world as something you can pry open, something you can tinker with.

Marleen Stikker

We invite a focused composition of contributors from divergent domains of practice – those who question the provenance of knowledge as well as it’s production, dissemination and digestion – add to this ingestion as we move forwards. These may be practitioners, thinkers, tinkerers, hackers (et al) who traverse disciplinary boundaries and open their practice to other fields.

We are interested in exploring a sharing and collaborative economy as a direct challenge to the capitalist imagination.

We are curious about participatory practices that break down the boundaries between specialists and amateurs.

We seek to discuss the things we don’t yet understand (and perhaps never will).

Previous Speakers

Bruno Ceschel

17-02-2016
17-02

Paul Elliman

24-02-2016
24-02

Neil Cummings

09-03-2016
09-03

Assemble

20-04-2016
20-04

Scott King

27-04-2016
27-04

Alice Twemlow

11-05-2016
11-05