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YOUR BIWEEKLY DOSE OF EVERYTHING SPECULATIVE

DESIGN // FICTION // TECHNOLOGY // ART

 
   
 
 
 

SciFly // 148 // Remote Speculations Week 43/44 - Annual R3s0lut10ns Issue

Speculative Events, News & Resources | Sent 1/11


Hey SciFly Readers!

As promised last week, it's time for my annual R3s0lut10ns post!!!

Every year, around this time, I share my New Year's resolutions specifically related to speculative design, fiction, art, and emerging technology... aka my r3s0lut10ns.😄

But first, I want to give a shout-out to a really awesome event that is on my radar for the end of this month, shared by Jason Tester of IFTF. It looks super cool and I hope you can join me in attending!!!




Queering the Future: How LGBTQ Foresight Can Benefit All


with Jason Tester
Tuesday, January 26, 8:00 pm EST via livestream.

Jason Tester asks us to see the powerful potential of "queering the future" - how looking at the future through a lens of difference and openness can reveal unexpected solutions to wicked problems, and new angles on innovation. Might a queer perspective hold some of the keys to our seemingly intractable issues? Tester brings his research in strategic foresight, speculative design work, and understanding of the activism and resiliency of LGBTQ communities together as he looks toward the future. Can we learn new ways of thinking, and thriving, from the creative approaches and adaptive strategies that have emerged from these historically marginalized groups?

Jason Tester is a Research Affiliate at Institute for the Future (IFTF) working as a strategic foresight researcher, facilitator, and speculative designer. Tester holds a Human-Computer Interaction B.S. from Stanford University, and an M.A. from the Interaction Design Institute in Ivrea, Italy. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the National LGBTQ Task Force.

Learn More & RSVP

Livestream Links:


Time for my R3s0lut10ns! 


I can't believe a whole year has passed since I last did this, and WHAT A YEAR! 

Anyway, sit back and enjoy as I again reflect on what I said I'd do last year, what other random speculative things I ended up doing, and my new goals for 2021. 

I want to preface this with an honest human statement. I have had a crazy hard last couple of weeks, and am not at my best right now.

As I mentioned in my last newsletter, I had a housing scare where I thought for a moment I might have to move within 2 weeks. We had the holidays, which were fun, but overshadowed by anxieties around health and family.

And finally, and most sadly, I had to say goodbye to my beloved companion for the last 19 1/2 years, Neko-chan last week, after he fell ill and we had to put him to sleep. He has been my best friend since my first year of high school, and I am devastated to not have him in my life anymore, even though I'm so happy that he had a long wonderful life for a cat, and that we got to watch him on and off at our apartment, most recently for the last 4 months. We had a great holiday together! Here he is on Christmas Eve enjoying ribbon. RIP my little sassy-paw, loud-mouthed Siamese love. See you on the other side.

I miss you so much! 💔



So it is with a heavy heart that I try to make it through my R3s0lut10ns this year.

Honestly, I've been hiding from everyone and everything the last week trying to feel okay again. Here is to looking for hope and inspiration as I put together what I want to do this year. That being said, I'm going to extend myself a little grace and perhaps not get as quite into this post as I usually do.
 


Part 1 | How I did on my 2020 R3s0lut10ns 

 

Here is my 2020 R3s0lut10ns post, if you want to grab any of the info or links I mention below.

 

R3s0lut10n 1 // Deepen my knowledge of 'formal futures & strategic foresight practices


What I Said:
Last year I stated that I felt I had speculative futures imposter syndrome rooted in a perceived 'informality' in my futures training. I vowed to learn more tools, methods, and frameworks that resonate with a professional audience and signed up for some future classes.

How I Did:  (A+) 
I actually think I knocked this one out of the park. :D


Sadly I was unable to take The Future School's 3-Day Applied Foresight Accelerator in April in NYC, as planned, but I caught up with them later in the Summer to participate virtually. What a transformational class! It really helped me put a method to the madness, zooming out to understand how one might apply different types of speculative thinking (convergent, divergent, extrapolative, relational, time-bound, etc) into exercises and tools that would resonate with people in more traditional work settings. I had so much fun hanging out with Frank and Yvette for 3 days, even if it was from 7:30 pm - 4:30 am in NYC, since I was joining the Asia Pacific cohort given time constraints.

More importantly, I feel a lot better about my 'speculative imposter syndrome' this year. After working with Jack Wilkinson on the Futures x Design course for the last year, and actually teaching the Beta in November, I feel way more comfortable talking about speculative practice, and more secure in my own 'expertise' and creativity when it comes to leveraging speculation in different ways. It has been such an honor to brainstorm, debate, create, tear apart, and reconstruct the course, and the feedback we got from the first session was super positive, with many attendees saying this really made things clear for them. I finally feel like my UX life and Speculative life are merging more comfortably into an "Insert X Thinking as Needed" type of style, where I feel comfortable incorporating creative, playful, and whimsical practices into 'work settings' with 'professional people'. :P



R3s0lut10n 2 // Leverage a futures mindset to help with our 10-year strategy at TFA


What I Said:
Last year I talked about how I had joined a staff working group to help senior leadership set strategy and vision for our next 10 years at Teach For America. I hoped to find new opportunities to bring in futures-thinking and speculative design practices and prompts into my daily work.

How I Did: D
This really didn't happen at all with the pandemic.


As you can imagine, COVID-19 really threw a wrench into every aspect of work at TFA last year, from moving everything virtually, to creating new products to support everyone. On top of that, it was a transformative year for raising awareness around a variety of social injustices, forcing many organizations to re-examine their strategies in light of racial equity and justice. To that end, I really didn't have many opportunities to participate in the strategy group, and I was super preoccupied with both keeping my job amid large layoffs, as well as a much bigger workload since pretty much everything got shifted online. 

So no harm no foul here. COVID-19 wrecked many plans. I'll have to try again next year. :D
 


R3s0lut10n 3 // Step up the Design Futures Initiative communications game


What I Said:
Last year I vowed to lean into my role as the communications director at DFI in order to streamline existing digital properties, and leverage new free/cheap tools and platforms for our community.

How I Did: A
I feel really good about this one, and all the progress we have made!


This year was a big one for DFI communications! Not only was I able to help us with several marketing campaigns throughout the year - getting much better at Instagram Stories in the process! - but we also have started lasso in all our many digital properties and start to organize them into a useful ecosystem for our board members, volunteers, and members. I was able to work with our Treasurer/Finance Guru Sarah Hendrix to get us a GSuite Nonprofit account, worked with Raquel Kalil to redo the website and execute Andrês Valencia's brand vision for Futures x Design into (I think) pretty solid Slide Decks and Mural activities for our Beta. Most recently, I was able to get us both a free MURAL account, and a free Notion account, and will be working with Adam Zeiner to start crafting the framework for a collaborative Specuatlive Futures wiki! (stay tuned!) Finally, I got to learn lots of new tools working with Luisa Ji to create integrations and automation through Airtable and Zapier so we can have cool things like a shared community calendar. 

So all the beginnings are there, we are really starting to get things organized, and I can't wait to hopefully bring on some volunteers next year to keep pushing!!!
 


R3s0lut10n 4 // Learn about the future by better understanding of how we got to today


What I Said: In 2019,  I made two massive lists of all the Fiction and Nonfiction books I want to read which somehow topped out at over 500 things I had collected in random bookstore wanders, article saves, and recommendations from friends. In 2020, I undertook a quest to go through a more focused list in my R3s0lut10n post, covering the history, philosophy, and other roots of futurism, design-thinking, systems-thinking, and other related fields.

How I Did: C
Didn't finish even a slice of these books, but read some other good ones all the same!


Yeah, I really didn't manage to make a dent in this list (what was I thinking?!?!)  In fact, I only actually made it most of the way through one book I listed, Discursive Design: Critical, Speculative, and Alternative Things by Bruce M Tharp & Stephanie Tharp, since it was a huge source of inspiration as we designed the Futures x Design course.

Again though, I'm okay with this outcome given the last year. Once the pandemic started, I really thought that I would use the time to read all the books I wanted (even the dense philosophical ones) and learn all the things. However, it was really hard! I was just super stressed, and find myself reaching for familiar and comfortable easy books and video games to help me process all the other crazy shit that was going on. I did make it through some awesome science fiction this year and have already spent about 50 hours playing Cyberpunk2077 in the last month, so going to extend myself a little grace and be happy with where I made it.

At some other point during the pandemic, I found this crazy Critical Theory reading list on Reddit that I also started and failed to complete one book on (why did I start with Kant?!?!). Funny story, I kept thinking "I wish I had a better list than this to go through" - completely forgetting that I had written this one down in my resolutions! So, new sub-resolution, I'm going to try to make it through at least 1 book from each of the categories I listed last year. There are some on there I've been meaning to check out, and now I'm re-inspired!!!
 

 

R3s0lut10n 5 // Find a better balance between work / passion projects / life


What I Said:
Last year I reflected on how I didn't find enough time to really relax, versus consume knowledge when not working (as a form of relaxation). The classic 5-9 job. :D I vowed to try really really hard to think about all of the things on my plate: my job, DFI, the Internet of Production, Speculative Futures NYC, SciFly, writing opportunities, teaching opportunities, extra-curricular work things, and better prioritize and balance my commitments.

How I Did: B
Getting there, but I still need to work at this!


I definitely made some great improvements in this area last year. I cut SciFly down to biweekly, took Saturday as a "no I can't do any work on that day except for events planned way in advance" and was much better at turning down opportunities when they started piling up, even if they were really cool!!!

However, I really did let myself get a little off balance with the Futures x Design work. Admittedly, it was a huge passion project and I don't regret it at all, especially since I have grown so much by helping Jack to design the course, and by co-facilitating the Beta. Now that the big part of the work is done, I am excited to relax a little more this year and teach a couple of sessions, iterating and polishing as we go.
 


Part 2 | 2021 R3s0lut10ns 

Okay, so here we go. Going to try to get some of these out although I'm still a bit depressed with everything going on.



R3s0lut10n 1 // Join The Conversation, Don't Just Curate It


This year I realized that I am at my finest when I am talking, facilitating, participating on a panel, critiquing, anything where I am part of a conversation about speculative practice. This year, I want to find more opportunities to get out there as a person and as a professional, whether that be through teaching, participating in panels, facilitating workshops, etc. 

I also have a couple of speculative presentations/talks I've done in the past that I'd like to dust-off and do for wider audiences: Queer Futures & Science Fiction, Post-Gender Futures, Prototyping for Social Impact.

I was super proud to learn how to use MURAL like a pro this year, and have created some really cool learning canvasses and activities, so I'd like to keep pushing here as well and share with other people to learn and help them learn. Part of this will definitely be facilitating the Futures x Design course with Jack over several sessions, and hopefully, I will also have a chance to further entwine this with my on-and-off-again teaching at Parsons. 

Not sure how else I will execute on this yet, but I'll take some time to think about it more soon.

 

R3s0lut10n 2 // Learn Tools For Designing Worlds so I Can Help Architect the Metaverse


I have been fascinated all year by a variety of tools and platforms that are merging 3D Design, architecture, game design, and more into immersive world-building platforms.

I got a taste of this last year using the building editor tool in Decentraland and had so much fun creating my own 3D Speculative Design museum using the provided assets.

This year, I really want to learn new tools to do this with. In the past, I've mentioned things like Blender, or Maya, or Unity, but right now I'm more eying things that are less codey and more creative. I think I want to purchase and check-out Playstation Dreams, as well as get more into TinkerCad, and maybe some other 3D graphics software. Also, if I can afford it, would love to get a VR rig of some sort...

If anyone has suggestions, I am game!
 


R3s0lut10n 3 // Practice Creative Mindfulness & Things That Make Me Feel Healthy, Body, Mind, and Spirit

This is probably the vaguest one, and most all-encompassing. As I stated last year, I need to learn to relax. While I've gotten better at balancing things in my life, and saying no, I really have not gotten down to really trying to learn to be more mindful and relax. It's like I have two modes, working like crazy, or 'jacked-in' (to an all-encompassing book, video game, or sometimes just napping).

This year I want to really really try to learn and practice more strategies for being mindful and aware of my present environment, the good and the bad.

I also feel like I have devolved into some unhealthy practices over the last few months, even though I had a strong start at the beginning of the pandemic (walking every day, cooking great stuff, learning lots of new things). As much as I love exploring the fantasy world of science fiction books, video games, movies, shows, and podcasts, for me it can quickly become an obsessive form of escapism that makes me feel worse in the long run - for example, me watching the sun go up and down today while playing Cyberpunk2077 for 12 hours straight because I just didn't want to deal with anything or anyone else after the last week.  And when I sit and play video games all day, I eat crap, smoke too many cigarettes, and don't move. I need a change, especially after I worked so hard the last few years to get healthy, lose weight, and be more active.

Next year, and I know it's still a pandemic so I'll be realistic, I really want to undo some of the more egregious of these mutually-reinforcing behaviors, get outside more, take better care of my body, and most importantly, get out of this crazy pseudo-nocturnal lifestyle my partner and I have adopted because of being stuck in the house all the time.

 


R3s0lut10n 4 // Keep Learning

It doesn't matter what, just set goals and complete them. I still want to take more speculative courses, learn new ideas, collaborate with new people, etc., but I'm not going to force myself into a list of books, topics, or ways I have to do it this year. I want to learn more about world-building, I want to keep learning Japanese (which I was very proud to start and get through a good deal of during the pandemic, but have trailed off hard), I want to learn how to cook delicious things with my new (forthcoming) KitchenAid Stand Mixer (thanks Mom) and Donabe (thanks Caro!).

Learning is like breathing for me, if I don't keep doing it, I suffocate. But I've gotten to know myself well enough over the years to know that I like to skip between topics, drawing insights from how they unexpectedly overlap, or lessons I can learn from one thing and apply to another.

So this year, I just want to keep learning and be able to tell you at least 3 cool new things I learned this year, 'speculative' or no.


 

R3s0lut10n 5 // Start to Develop My 'SciFly' Idea

After both taking and teaching some incredible futures classes this year, I want to really focus on finally getting my loose idea of researching and building a course around leveraging science fiction (games, books, etc.) as a starting point for examining potential futures. I have often said I like to 'consume SciFi like a futurist" taking notes, going down related research rabbit holes, and imagining my own stories and plots within the created world. 

I tried to start this idea with a book club, which never worked out, and I've been thinking of it more and more as I play Cyberpunk2077 and increasingly want 'bring back some of the artifacts' from the future in the game for a more rigorous futures discussion.

So this year, I would like to try something done in this regard. Whether an outline, a blog post, a collaboration, a fully realized class, a talk, whatever. I know there is something here, and I need to find the time to sit, think it through, and get it out of my head.

 

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed another year of my R3s0lut10ns post, and sorry if my heart wasn't quite as in it as normal this time around.

It is always a pleasure to share my journey with you, and I am so grateful for all of the wonderful feedback, perspectives, and connections I have made over the last 3 years since I first started publishing SciFly.

Hope this provided some inspiration and I'm happy to share resources that helped me in 2020 or receive any resources you think would help me in my endeavors!!!
 
As always, I hope you are all doing well, wherever you are!

Don't forget you can find me on the Speculative Futures Slack (which I pseudo-moderate) if you want to chat! @DocMartens

Stay safe in your speculations, and catch you next week!

❤️Doc

"The future is here, now let's distribute it." 
 

Doc Martens


SciFly is a design studio dedicated to leveraging speculative design and science fiction to imagine and prototype alternative futures enabled by today's emerging technology.
 
 
   
 
 
 

Online Events 🗓

Running list of online events that I will update biweekly. Events are organized chronologically by week, with ongoing events and Speculative Futures events listed separately at the end.

WEEK 1 - Tuesday, January 12th - Monday, January 18th

Tuesday, January 12


New_ Public Festival // 1/12, 11am - 1/14, 4pm EST // Free
New_ Public aims to inspire and connect designers and technologists to build more flourishing, public-friendly digital spaces. Participate in an emergent conversation over 3 days in our online park with an extraordinary group of designers, urbanists, technologists, builders, artists, and civic futurists. 
Learn More

The Future of Health & Moonshot Thinking w/ Vinod Khosla // 3pm - 4pm EST // Free
The global pandemic ushered in a new era of health innovation. Join StartUp Health co-founders Steven Krein and Unity Stoakes for a virtual, interactive Fireside Chat with Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, to discuss the future of health in a post-pandemic world, why moonshot thinking is more important than ever, and to dig deep into topics like the power of mindset and collaboration.
Learn More

AI Futures Symposium // 1/12, 11am - 1/13, 8pm EST // Free
Interacting with AI systems is now commonplace, whether conversing about a dinner reservation, directing them to drive a car, or requesting music. But it is very apparent that they do not communicate as we do. They know very little about the world, are ignorant of social conventions, cannot learn our quirks from numerous conversations, and seem clearly confounded when something unexpected happens.
Learn More

Liberating Structures Speculations // 12pm - 2pm EST // Free
To inject some more fantastical and imaginative experiences into our portfolio, we have this series, called Liberating Structures SpecuLations. These events are meant to fulfill our own selfish need to dip into the absurd, ridiculous ideas and opportunities that infinite virtual space and finite physical space makes available to us. (Don’t count on anything specific getting generated out of these. We just have the desire to get some intellectual & creative wiggles out.)
Learn More

Sheryl Bishop & Sandra Häuplik-Meusburger| Space Psychology & Habitat Design // 10am - 12pm EST // Free
Sandra and Sheryl give insights into the combined fields of space architecture and space psychology addressing the gap between existing habitat design and needs posed by living and working in ICE environments, especially long-duration habitation in space. Human factors and habitability are important topics for working and living spaces. For space exploration, they are vital for mission success. ‘Habitability’ and human factors will become even more important determinants for the design of future long-term and commercial spacecraft as larger and more diverse groups occupy off-earth habitats.
Learn More

A human-centered adventure. Italian technology from Leonardo to Olivetti // 4pm - 5:30pm EST // Free
The lecture explores Italy's humanistic idea of technique as art, in construction, engineering, and manufacture from the Renaissance to now. On the Italian humanistic approach to technology, in construction, engineering, and manufacture. In this presentation, Luca Cottini will explore the Italian idea of technique as both a collective ‘art’ of doing and a synthesis of a cultural mindset, from Brunelleschi to Cimolai, from Leonardo to D’Ascanio, from the early modern fabbriche to Olivetti.
Learn More

You Built Your World—Now What? with Bogi Takács // 7pm - 8:30pm EST // $55
There are many resources about how to begin worldbuilding—but how and when do we end? When is worldbuilding finished, and does it need to be complete? How can we improve on a set we already created? We will take a look at some common difficulties and examine how our undeclared assumptions affect the settings we construct. If we are aware of what our speculative worldbuilding says about us as writers and people, and about our own social context, then we can adjust the settings we create to match our narrative goals better. This process can also help us locate gaps that might leave readers with lingering questions, details that might cause trouble in a sequel, and places where we can add more vivid detail.
Learn More
 

Wednesday, January 13

Disruptive Technologists: Tech Disrupts Democracy! // 6pm - 7pm EST // Free
In this discussion, six experts will talk about Democracy and Technology, how data and technology can help improve democracy. They will cover questions such as What technology innovations can improve the way we engage in our democracy: Voting machines and Online voting and apps? How do we ensure the integrity of online voting? Does innovation make voting more or less inclusive? How are politicians using tech to influence us? etc.
Learn More
 


Thursday, January 14


Protocol Roundup: CES 2021 // 1pm EST // Free
 Protocol’s Editor at Large and resident consumer-products expert David Pierce will lead a panel of reporters from Protocol and other news organizations – plus an industry figure or two – as they dissect and debate the biggest news, developments and trends from CES.
Learn More

The Future of American Innovation & the Role of the University // 11am - 12pm EST // Free

Speaking to the Duke, UNC, and Triangle community, Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property & Director of United States Patent and Trademark Office will discuss the new National Council for Expanding American Innovation (NCEAI) initiative launched in September 2020. The goal of this initiative is to build a more supportive and inclusive innovation ecosystem, highlighting the need for additional support for URM & women entrepreneurs.
Learn More

Space Café - "Black Ops by Ralph Thiele" #2 // 10am - 11:15am EST // Free
The emerging quantum technology leap is expected to have far-reaching effects on military forces, intelligence services, and law-enforcement agencies. Clearly, quantum also has a future in space. Over the next two decades, upcoming quantum technologies promise significantly improved sensor capabilities through a new class of space-based sensors, as well as secure communication and data processing based on the quantum key distribution (QKD). Join us in our discussion on the future of Quantum in Space with two exceptional experts.
Learn More

Tainted Knowledge: Reconciling the Scientific Field's Problematic Past // 7pm EST // Free
Many of the people who have made fundamental advances in the sciences have problematic histories that can include racism, sexism, and other colonialist attitudes. How does one reconcile the significant advances made by these individuals with the problematic attitudes that they held or hold? Join us for this important conversation between scientists as we mark the Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum's 164th birthday during our annual Founders Week celebration.
Learn More
 


Friday, January 15


🔥NIGHT SCHOOL with Kameelah Janan Rasheed // 6pm - 7:30pm EST // Free
NIGHT SCHOOL invites the public for three evenings of learning with Kameelah Janan Rasheed. Inspired by Octavia Butler’s notion of “primitive hypertext,” or nurturing intimacy between seemingly disparate ideas, each evening begins with a short lecture interspersed with brief activities. After the lecture, learners engage in a series of gestures to create a collaborative object. “Students” who attend two of the three sessions will receive a limited edition publication printed by Rasheed after the series is over. The classes are loosely organized around information culture and what Erik Davis in TechGnosis: myth, magic, and mysticism in the age of information (1998/2004) call the “technologies of perception and communication.”
Learn More

NYC Media Lab Celebrates Wikipedia’s 20th Birthday // 1pm - 1:30pm EST // Free
January 15, 2021 marks Wikipedia’s 20th birthday, and NYC Media Lab is celebrating with some of the brightest minds in media. Join us on January 15th at 1pm ET for a virtual chat with Wikimedia Foundation CEO Katherine Maher and host of NPR’s TED Radio Hour, Manoush Zomorodi.  Manoush and Katherine will talk about Wikipedia’s role in the ongoing fight against mis and disinformation, address some of the biggest misconceptions you hear about Wikipedia, and discuss how research and knowledge sharing may change over the next 20 years.
Learn More

Walking Festival of Sound: Artist Talks / Ximena Alarcón // 12pm - 2pm EST // Free
In this talk, Ximena Alarcón will share her experience of working with INTIMAL: an interactive embodied physical-virtual system for Relational Listening developed for telematic sonic performance. In INTIMAL, she proposes the movements of walking as in the search for place (sense of place) and breathing to feel presence (and telepresence), in contexts of migration and geographical dislocation. 
Learn More

Masterclass | Patterns of Technological Transformation // 1pm - 3pm EST // Free
Technology often seems unpredictable - and while that might be so - there are several predictable aspects of how technology evolves over time. For example, most are familiar with exponentials and Moore's Law, which has become a certainty in recent decades. However, with the advent of accelerating change, we should also be certain that there will be unintended consequences. This session will explore several patterns (or certainties) of technological transformation, including combinatorial evolution, solutionism, and future shock. Expect a highly interactive session, and please bring some of your own observations and theories to the conversation.
Learn More
 

 

Saturday, January 16


CES 2021 - Future of eCommerce - Virtual Places & Events // 10pm - 1am EST // Free
Replace Retail with a Social Immersive Web Showroom. The Internet brought our devices together. The Web brought our voices together. The Overlay brings us together. Especially when we can't be. In The Overlay, you can run a business, present a keynote, show a performance, hold a conference or throw an event, right from your website. 
Learn More

LSFF 2021: Keiken in conversation // 1pm EST // Free
Cross-dimensional digital arts collective Keiken (Augmented Empathy) will be in an open conversation on their collaborative creative process, their co-working set-up, and the realities of how they overlap. They will discuss how labor and budget are distributed, emotional energies and creative direction maintained, and the practicalities of applying for funding and negotiating institutions as a unit. Keiken are a collaborative practice, co-founded by artists Tanya Cruz, Hana Omori and Isabel Ramos in 2015, who frequently work with multiple collaborators.
Learn More

Chitra Ganesh in conversation with Dr. Natasha Bissonauth // 3pm - 4:30pm EST // Free
For the past 20 years, Chitra Ganesh's drawing based practice has shed light on narrative representations of femininity, sexuality, and power typically absent from canons of literature and art. Ganesh’s installations, comics, animation, sculpture, and mixed media works on paper often take historical and mythic texts as inspiration and points of departure to complicate received ideas of iconic female forms. Her studies in literature, semiotics, and social theory have been critical to a steady engagement with narrative and deconstruction that animates her practice.
Learn More
 

Sunday, January 17

Creativity Unbound: Combining Art, Artivism and Technology // 4pm EST // Free
Join us as we discuss the expansion of creative options brought by introducing technologies like 3D Printing to the creative process. The conversation will focus on the recreation of a chattel slavery era torture device that Moddler produced for an installation work in progress by Tracy.
Learn More
 
 

Monday, January 18


Nothing to Report 👾

WEEK 2 - Tuesday, January 19 - Monday, January 25

Tuesday, January 19


Visual Futures of the Media 2021 // 6am - 9:30am EST // Free
Experience the risks and opportunities of emerging visual technologies in the news media. The conference will provide future scenarios on satellites and climate surveillance from above, and on virtual reality and experimental student learning. New ways for expert toolmakers to mitigate deepfakes and related challenges will be envisioned as well. The scenarios are based on comprehensive new research and will be framed by visual student experiments. Each session is followed by a short interactive panel discussion with leading researchers and media professionals.
Learn More

Society, Robots and Us: Inclusive Intelligence // 9:00pm EST // Free
Following our "COVID-19, Robots and Us" series, we're continuing the conversation about important robotics topics and socio-technical issues. We'll be inviting domain experts and interesting thinkers to discuss topics relating to robotics innovation, commercialization and inclusivity.
Learn More

2021 Technology Trends and Predictions // 9pm - 10:30pm EST // Free
In this webinar talk, Dr. William Kao will report on what the tech industry is predicting for 2021. The webinar will cover what major institutions such as Gartner, Forbes, Forrester Research, are saying about 2021 trends and some predictions for the year. Some of the topics to be discussed will include AI and Machine Learning, 5G, IoT, AR/VR, Augmented Data Analytics, Quantum Computing, Robotics, Blockchain, Self Driving Vehicles, and Cyber Security, etc.
Learn More

Spring 2021 Audain Visual Artist in Residence: Heba Y. Amin // 12:30pm EST // Free
Heba Y. Amin’s practice is based on extensive artistic research that integrates film, photography, archival history, and digital technology as well as performance and spatial installations. Challenging colonial narratives of conquest and control, she looks for tactics of subversion and other techniques to undermine consolidated systems and flip dominant historical narratives through critical spatial practice. Her investigations address the convergence of politics, technology, and architecture, and take unexpected, often speculative, and sometimes satirical, approaches to these ideas.
Learn More

A Journey through Interactive Arts & Technology Practice // 12pm - 1pm EST // Free
Professor Baker will present a seminar on her art, curatorial and research practice that she has been involved in or led over the last 20 years. It includes her current projects, explore her theoretical focus on the intersection of Art & Technology and collaboration, making e-textiles and wearable work in performance, interactive art, and more recently creating immersive experiences and performance with Haptic / touch interaction.
Learn More
 


Wednesday, January 20


Digital #SpeakerSeries Exponential Technology, Exponential Humanity // 10am - 11am EST // Free
This #SpeakerSeries touches on the dangers of Tech as we discuss the ultimate battle between Exponential Technology vs. Exponential Humanity. Join us as we dive into a discussion with our panelists on how Technology is benefitting us, endangering us, and reprogramming the future as we know it.
Learn More

Hitachi Social Innovation Forum 2021 Southeast Asia // 1/20, 9:30pm - 1/21, 4:30am EST // Free
The Hitachi Social Innovation Forum (HSIF) is Hitachi’s global flagship event and platform for businesses across sectors to seek opportunities for collaborative creation and work towards realizing a sustainable society. Themed ‘Digital Transformation in the New Normal’, this year’s forum will bring together business leaders and subject matter experts to discuss digital solutions and services that can pave the way towards a sustainable future. With a combination of 15 seminars and 30 virtual exhibitions, the forum will showcase how digitalisation strategies can be pursued under the main pillars of Smart Cities, Smart Manufacturing, and Smart Public Services.
Learn More
 


Thursday, January 21


"The Dark Database"– Dennis Delgado with CalvinJohn Smiley // 6:15 - 7:30pm EST // Free
Join artist, Dennis Delgado, and scholar, CalvinJohn Smiley for a discussion about Blackness, surveillance and Delgado's series "The Dark Database." The artists featured in The Black Index—Dennis Delgado, Alicia Henry, Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle, Titus Kaphar, Whitfield Lovell, and Lava Thomas—build upon the tradition of Black self-representation as an antidote to colonialist images. Using drawing, performance, printmaking, sculpture, and digital technology to transform the recorded image, these artists question our reliance on photography as a privileged source for documentary objectivity and understanding. Their works offer an alternative practice—a Black index—that still serves as a finding aid for information about Black subjects, but also challenges viewers’ desire for classification.
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Show and Tell : Designing and Prototyping AR (Augmented Reality) // 7pm - 8:30pm EST // Free
Alexis Gomez, a UX designer who has been building AR experiences as an artist will share his experience prototyping for AR and talk about his process. Alexis Gomez is a designer and multi-disciplinary artist based out of Washington DC. Alexis has developed AR/VR activations for a number of institutions including ARTECHOUSE , The Smithsonian, The American Geosciences Institute, and an array of galleries across the DMV.
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Fluid Movements: Interpreting the Past, Present, and Future of Water // 1pm - 2pm EST // Free
Museums and galleries are increasingly concerned with the historical and contemporary challenges of providing access to clean water. A growing number of historical institutions, science centers, and interdisciplinary spaces are exploring the scientific, political, economic, and environmental dimensions of water and—perhaps most critical—long-standing inequitable access to clean water around the world. In this talk, two museum and gallery curators will share their experiences interpreting water for public audiences.
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Creating 3D worlds: sound design, storytelling and new audio technology // 1pm - 2pm EST // Free
At a time where we’re re-imagining the relationship between audience and art, we ask five leading sound designers, working across theatre and audio, what they are thinking and dreaming we might be able to achieve with sound in the next five years. We will discuss cutting-edge technologies and how they intersect with narrative, from binaural theatre shows, to immersive audio dramas, to location-specific sound art. The intimacy of sound as a medium and the diverse ways it can help us forge connections with audiences will be at the heart of this conversation.
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Friday, January 22

Cyborg Reading Group // 7pm - 8:30pm EST // Donation
Join our Cyborg Reading Group to discuss the ethical and social implications of emerging technologies and their intersections with life sciences, with artists Kathryn Hamilton, Liz McClellan, Megan Hines, and other Genspace community members. Exploring topics from feminist critiques of biotech; to leftist biology and niche construction; to interspecies collaboration, we’ll meet once every two months to discuss a topic through the lens of a science paper, a work of science fiction, and a piece of bio-art.
Learn More
 

Saturday, January 23

Parallel Narratives | Tales of Imagined Futures // 10:00am - 5:00pm EST // $75
In this day-long, intensive workshop, we will use magic and metaphor to transform our life stories. Parallel Narratives combine fortune-telling, folklore, symbolism, dream analysis, and other interpretive tools to guide participants on a perspective-bending experience. Through exploratory exercises and mindful facilitation, Trish Denton will introduce the group to the tradition of oral storytelling. This is not a writing workshop. This is not The Moth. It is a conversational, creative approach to story ideation.
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Sunday, January 24

Nothing to Report 👾
 

Monday, January 25

🔥William Gibson + Cory Doctorow: Agency Book Talk // 7pm - 8pm EST // Free
William Gibson has trained his eye on the future for decades, ever since coining the term “cyberspace” and then popularizing it in his classic speculative novel Neuromancer in the early 1980s. Cory Doctorow raved that The Peripheral is “spectacular, a piece of trenchant, far-future speculation that features all the eyeball kicks of Neuromancer.” Now Gibson is back with Agency—a science fiction thriller heavily influenced by our most current events.
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Upcoming Speculative Futures Meetups 


Postcards from the Future // SF Rotterdam // Thursday, 1/14, 12:30pm - 2pm EST // Free
Speculative Design and Fiction often show us what our world could have been if things had gone slightly differently. These alternative, sprawling worlds with curious rules, baffling technologies, and strange social norms allow us to reconsider our own world and our relationship with it; and decide on actions to head towards a preferable future. In this session, Designer and Technologist Viraj Joshi will speak through his fictional films and not-so-fictional design work, and his year-long project “Postcards from the Future”, where he worked with 21 historians, futurists, writers, curators, and other creatives to produce 30 alternative visions for our future. Later, Viraj will introduce techniques and frameworks he has come up with to produce a new vision for a speculative world live in the session along with the participants – constructed entirely live!
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Envisioning new normals // SF Zurich // Monday, 1/18, 12:30pm - 2pm EST // Free
What will it be like to live in Switzerland in 10, 20 or 50 years? Speculative Design helps us to envision plausible futures to explore what we have to do today to make our preferred future more likely. In an interactive online workshop, we will discuss several aspects of possible futures after the pandemic. As our departure point, we explore the scenarios developed at the Institute for the Future: (Video, PDF). If you want to take part in shaping the future, this event is for you, no matter if you have never heard of Speculative Design before or if you are an expert already. Our partners for this event are Zeix AG and Impact Hub Zurich.
Learn More

Exploring the potential of controversies for creativity // Tuesday, 1/19, 1pm - 2:45pm EST // Free
We will start the night with a brief introductory talk, as a warm-up for the topic. The rest of the night will consist of an interactive workshop, in which we invite you to dissect all layers, elements, and relations of a controversy. We invite you to reflect on how embracing controversies can help us to think critically and creatively about the future ahead of us. In this session, we will focus on smart city controversies. The impact of technology on our lives and society makes them an interesting breeding ground for debate and reflection. We have prepared a role-playing exercise, that takes place in the newly announced smart city ‘NeverTire’. For the smooth progress of the event, we will divide stakeholder roles beforehand. We kindly invite you to spare 10 minutes before the event, to read through the pre-read materials we have prepared for you. To receive these materials, register via the link below. We organized this workshop during the summer at the Design Research Society 2020 conference, if you would like to read about our reflections there, have a look at this.
Learn More

Launch of Speculative Futures Louisville! // Wednesday, 1/20, 5:30pm - 7pm EST // Free
Welcome to the Future! We are very excited to invite you to the first Meetup of Speculative Futures Louisville! This brand new community is open and inviting to anyone who interested in discovering new tools to navigate the uncertainties of today and envision better possible tomorrows. During this first event, we’ll introduce speculative design methods and tools you can use to develop your future-mindedness. Then, we’ll get hands-on putting a few of these methods to work and you'll leave with a design futures starter kit. Join us for the beginning of this exciting journey of exploration, critical conversations, and inspiring ideas about the future!
Learn More

Speculative News & Resources 📰

News, resources, and musings about emerging technology, speculative practice, and futures design and related topics.


How the chaos of 2020 will shape the next decade, according to 8 design experts // FastCompany 
2019 marked the end of a decade. And with it came all sorts of predictions for what 2030 would look like. The future seemed so clear. But then 2020 happened, and you know how the story goes. COVID-19 struck. And the world fast-forwarded five years in five months. Suddenly, children went to school through Chromebooks, people ditched dining rooms for drive-throughs, workers flocked to Zoom in lieu of offices, and delivery became the status quo on just about everything. Burgeoning trends became commonplace overnight. And at the very same time, protests for Black lives took to the streets worldwide. So it’s time to regroup. We connected with experts across industries, from retail to education to social media, to ask the question again. 
Read More

These Futuristic Flying Ambulances May Soon Be Zooming Around New York // SingularityHub
Ambulance use surged in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, even as emergency medical service providers struggled due to the revenue hit they took from delayed and canceled elective procedures. While we’re fervently hoping that far fewer people will need ambulances this year, there may soon be a whole new means of emergency transportation, at least in New York: flying ambulances...
Learn More

2020 to 2021: From turbulence to transformation? // ForumForTheFuture

2020 was anticipated as the dawn of a ‘decade of delivery’ in which the much-hyped ambition of the sustainability sector would translate into meaningful action at scale and pace. There’s a stark and daunting contrast in what we had hoped for this year and how things actually turned out. As the curtain falls on one of the most turbulent years of our lives, Forum’s Chief Executive, Dr Sally Uren, reflects on three key lessons learned and what will be required from each of us next year to help create a just and regenerative future...
Read More

Debora Spar on Work, Mate, Marry, Love: How Machines Shape Our Human Destiny // Singularity.FM (Video)
During this 90 min interview with Debora Spar, we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: whether we can predict the future by looking at the past; the interplay between technology, social structures, and gender; prioritizing questions such as why and so what before how; the cyber-punk dream of the internet and why self-regulation doesn’t work; whether technology changes the world; why Work Mate Marry Love has a Marxist lens of analysis; John Maynard Keynes’ The Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren; male/female identity and professional vocation; technological unemployment and story-telling; Prof. Benanav’s argument about the causes of unemployment; sex and relationships in the age of Tinder; how the plow and the pill shifted power between men and women...
Watch Now

This avocado armchair could be the future of AI // MIT Tech Review
With GPT-3, OpenAI showed that a single deep-learning model could be trained to use language in a variety of ways simply by throwing it vast amounts of text. It then showed that by swapping text for pixels, the same approach could be used to train an AI to complete half-finished images. GPT-3 mimics how humans use words; Image GPT-3 predicts what we see. Now OpenAI has put these ideas together and built two new models, called DALL·E and CLIP, that combine language and images in a way that will make AIs better at understanding both words and what they refer to...
Read More  

Scientists Propose Permanent Human Habitat Built Orbiting Ceres // Futurism
A group of Finnish researchers are proposing a permanent human habitat in the orbit of Ceres, a massive asteroid and dwarf planet in the asteroid belt, between Mars and Jupiter. According to the team, this “mega satellite settlement” could be built by collecting materials from Ceres itself. If that sounds familiar to fans of the popular sci-fi book and TV series “The Expanse,” that’s because in that fictional universe, Ceres Station plays a pivotal role as one of humanity’s first human off-world colonies. In the series, however, the space rock itself was spun up to create a crewed habitat on its surface with artificial gravity...
Read More

A look ahead at 2021 through the rearview mirror of 1921 magazines // Poynter
A century ago, the world had just gone through the first World War; children around the world were starving; the 1918 influenza pandemic had hit; there was about to be a new president sworn in; and James Coyle, a Catholic priest in Birmingham, Alabama, was shot and killed by Klan member named E.R. Stephenson because the priest was presiding over the wedding of Stephenson’s daughter, Ruth, and Pedro Gussman, a Puerto Rican man who was working for her father. A pandemic, an election and social injustices that are appalling and unbelievable. The historical similarities between the world in 1921 and now are extraordinary. One more thing hasn’t changed. Audiences still want much the same thing from their magazines, as you’ll see in this analysis...
Read More

Cory Doctorow: Neofeudalism and the Digital Manor // LocusMag
As I write this in mid-November 2020, there’s quite a stir over the new version of Apple’s Mac OS, the operating system that runs on its laptops. For more than a year, Apple has engaged in a covert, global surveillance of its users through its operating system, which automatically sent information about which apps you were running to Apple, and which gave Apple a remote veto over whether that program would launch when you double-clicked it. Most Apple customers don’t know about this, but the kind of Apple user who does know about it is also likely to be the kind of security-conscious person who doesn’t like it and even takes steps to block it...
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Super-Flexible Display Could Enable Real-LIfe Active Camouflage // Futurism
A team of engineers from Rutgers University have created a stretchy, 3D-printed material that can change color on demand — an exotic material that could lead to an entirely new type of military camouflage. As detailed in a new study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces this month, the smart gels were inspired by the color-changing skin of cuttlefish, octopuses and squids. “Electronic displays are everywhere and despite remarkable advances, such as becoming thinner, larger and brighter, they’re based on rigid materials, limiting the shapes they can take and how they interface with 3D surfaces,” senior author Howon Lee, assistant professor at Rutgers, said in a statement...
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Imagining the city of the future has value. But leave whiz-bang tech out of it // Fastcompany
Imagining future cities has long been a favorite activity for architects, artists, and designers. Technology is often central in these schemes–it appears as a dynamic and seemingly unstoppable force, providing a neat solution to society’s problems. But our recent research has suggested that we need to significantly rethink the way we imagine future cities, and move our focus from an overarching technological vision to other priorities, such as environmental sustainability and the need to tackle social inequalities...
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Cultural Somatics & Ritual as Justice with Tada Hozumi, Dare Sohei, and Naomi Most (Video) // Transhumanity.net
Strap in for what might be the best Future Fossils episode yet: a four-way with guests Tada Hozumi and Dare Sohei of the Ritual as Justice School and guest co-host Naomi Most, in which we discuss how trauma manifests in posture and social interactions, how cultures are bodies we participate in, how the individual does not exist as we were taught, how interpersonal and sociopolitical dynamics shape and are shaped by their histories, how creative practice and ritual serve to regulate inherited wounds and ameliorate unresolved conflicts, and so much more I can’t even bother to get into it here. A truly profound, far-reaching, incompressible conversation you might want to queue up twice to be sure that you catch it all…
Watch Now

Scenario archetypes across 3 horizons // Hinesight Blog
When we explain our four archetype scenarios, often someone will ask whether there is a pattern in how the four archetypes unfold, i.e., is there a typical progression or order? My response has been – we think so, but we can’t prove it. Finally, we’re going to try! My students Lavonne Leong, Monica Jamaluddin, and Heather Benoit are taking the plunge with me...
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10 Predictions for Media & Entertainment in 2021 // Variety
COVID-19 forever changed many aspects of our lives this past year, and our collective media and entertainment choices certainly were no exception. The global pandemic fueled a massive industry divide where in-home entertainment choices thrived, while many out-of-home entertainment players, quite literally, died. Whereas Netflix living-room streaming reached new heights, many live music venues and movie theaters shuttered. It was an unjust tale of two industry sectors in a year that many would like to forget. Will 2021 signal “better days” for all and not just a few? Here are 10 predictions in what we hope to be at least the beginnings of a post-pandemic world...
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2020 isn’t a black swan — it’s a yellow canary // NiemanLab
Some of the early rumblings of change in the global journalism field came in February, when the International Journalism Festival — a favorite on the circuit as much for its quality panels as for its prime location in Perugia, Italy — announced its cancellation. On March 10, NICAR, the preeminent annual gathering of data and computational journalists, announced that an attendee had tested positive. The next day, March 11, the WHO declared that Covid-19 was a pandemic, and our sense of normalcy turned upside down, forever marking a Before Times and a Groundhog Day present...
Read More

MIT Professor looks at Pro-Trump protests, Big Tech and how to stop mobilizing further violence // Yahoo Finance
Sinan Aral, MIT David Austin Professor of Mgmt. and “The Hype Machine” Author, speaks with Yahoo Finance's Seana Smith on the role Big Tech plays in violence and conspiracy theories.
Watch Now

E-bikes and e-scooters will transform our cities in 2021 // Wired
The startup world likes to celebrate exciting new technologies, such as AI and autonomous vehicles. But these are newcomers to the party compared to the electric motor, whose precursor technology celebrates its 200th birthday in 2021. Yet today, mobility overwhelmingly runs on fossil fuels. Electric-powered vehicles have been confined to the wealthy, the geeky, and the green – not sufficiently affordable, accessible or practical for everyone else. In 2021, startups and industry disruptors will proliferate, heralding a new era of e-mobility for all of us...
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The exhilarating world of post-pandemic shopping // FastCompany
The pandemic dealt a harsh blow to brick-and-mortar retail, driving revenues down by 14%. But four experts we spoke with believe that this devastating year has forced brands to cut out the most unpleasant parts of shopping, like waiting in line and replenishing staples in your pantry. When stores do finally come back, the savviest ones are going to focus on the delightful, pleasurable parts of shopping, like discovering exciting new products and enjoying in-store entertainment. If you picture sampling new cheeses while watching a string quartet perform, you’ve got the right idea...
Read More

Fun Stuff 🚀

Cool projects, articles, games, books, and other nerdy speculative things that I've discovered recently.

Open Calls/Submissions & Cool Projects

Open Calls & Submissions

NYC Media Lab & ASCAP Immersive Music Studio Challenge: Startup & University Application // Deadline 1/29/21
NYC Media Lab and American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) are exicted to launch the NYC Media Lab & ASCAP Immersive Music Studio Challenge. We're seeking startups and university teams to explore a range of experiences that demonstrate new ways for artists to create music, connect with their fans, and reimagine how we interact with music and sound. How can emerging technologies such as AR, VR, spatial audio, GANs, LiDAR, avatars and virtual characters and other immersive and gaming technologies that reflect imaginative, exploratory and creative approaches to music? The challenge will bring together a mix of startup and university teams that as a cohort will explore the overarching, speculative question: What is possible now that was not before? This 12-week challenge is open to 1) startups and 2) university teams. The NYC Media Lab and ASCAP team will select approximately 5 teams. Each startup or university team which will receive a grant of up to $5K.
Learn More & Apply

2021 Wave Farm Residency Program [RESIDENCY] // Deadline 2/1/21
In 2021, the Wave Farm Residency Program will provide artists with a valuable opportunity to concentrate on new radio artworks and conduct research about the genre using the Wave Farm Study Center resource library. Applicants are asked to propose a specific radio art project, which they will complete while in residence and premiere on Wave Farm's full-power FM radio station: WGXC 90.7-FM Radio for Open Ears. Radio artists explore broadcast radio space through a richly polyphonous mix of practices, including poetic resuscitations of conventional radio drama, documentary, interview, and news formats; found and field sound compositions reframed by broadcast; performative inhabitations/embodiments of radio’s inherent qualities, such as entropy, anonymity, and interference; playful celebrations/subversions of the complex relationship between senders and receivers, and the potential feedback loops between hosts and layers of the audience, from in-studio to listeners at home to callers-in; use of radio space to bridge widely dispersed voices (be they living or dead), subjects, environments, and communities, or to migrate through them in ways that would not be possible in real-time and space; electroacoustic compositions with sounds primarily derived from gathering, generating and remixing radiophonic sources.
Learn More & Apply

TRACKED & TRACED: Science Gallery Detroit [CALL] // Deadline 2/5/21
Watchmen and sentinels were joined over time by security guards and closed-circuit TV, and now, by video, data scraping, and bio-sensors. Retail loyalty programs, website cookies, law enforcement facial recognition software, routine health screening, and airport security lists are all part of the vast presence of different kinds of surveillance in our society. And, these are just the forms that are part of mainstream awareness. What else lurks in the realms where data mining and AI surveillance algorithms are developed, flourish, and get put into practice to drive profit, achieve military or security aims, or control other human behavior? While these technologies are all too often deployed in ways contrary to our individual interests, they have also been used to advance personal and public health, reduce human impact on the environment, and engage citizens in participatory monitoring of the natural world. How can we understand and gain control over these practices, unraveling dystopian connections, and further developing utopian-leaning connections?
Learn More & Submit


Commoning The Anthropocene | Call for Abstracts // Deadline 2/26/21
We are pleased to announce our call for individual presentations, special sessions, webinar panel discussio🔥ns, and methods workshops. This conference aims to bring together scholars and practitioners interested in the role that the exercise of common property systems to land use and other shared resources (commoning) will play in the Anthropocene. We will cover topics such as conceptualizing commons across multiple scales, commoning in a telecoupled (or hyper-connected) world with tipping points and deep uncertainty, new forms, and trends in global commoning, interdisciplinary methods to study new emerging commons spaces, scaling up commoning in practice, and much more.
Learn More & Submit


Cool Projects

Near Future Laboratory // Julian Bleecker
The Near Future Laboratory Podcast is a series of conversations with leading makers and thinkers who are passionate about creating more habitable near futures. So far they have two episodes published, speaking with Fabien Firardin and Nicolas Nova in first, and Scott Smith in the second.
Check It Out

Twitter Thread Collection of SciFi Books with Furthest Timeline (Extrapolated from/connected to our own timeline now)
Shared by Anthony D Paul on SF Slack. Such an amazing list, bookmark this!!!
Check It Out

Future Traveler: Utrecht in 2030 - The Green Beauty! // Shared by Peter Van Barneveld in SF Slack
A write up and collection of images depicting what living in Utrecht in 2030 might feel like.
Check It Out

🔥The Manual of Design Fiction // Upcoming in 2021 from Julian Bleecker, Nick Foster, Fabien Firardin, and Nicholas Nova
Design Fiction as an approach to addressing the challenges facing today’s organizations that the old PowerPoint and Post-it Design Processes simply do not address. It helps develop unique, compelling representations of your future that anticipate unforeseen consequences, de-risk bold decision making, and identity (and reveal) a range of possible-probable futures. Rather than predicting futures, Design Fiction is a way to explore the implications of your futures and represent those implications through artifacts. This Manual of Design Fiction is a definitive text on the practice of Design Fiction. It is a canonical how-to guide with a catalog of relevant projects and the trajectory of the Near Future Laboratory over the 14 years working together.
Check It Out

Commune Research Commune
The Commune Research Commune collectively produces knowledge about collective living projects. We are interested in creating discourse about new places and new strategies for resisting capital; in sharing our ideas in, and beyond, our own shared spaces; in acting our way into different modes of thinking and thinking our way into different modes of acting. We seek to explore and share intellectual space and ideas in the shared space itself: to live the research commune. Communes are built around commons, which they collectively steward; our commons is an evolving and dynamic body of knowledge about the practice of living in common.
Check It Out

 

Gaming, Shows, Books & Other Random Cool Stuff

Simpsons Predictions For 2021 [WATCH] 
The Simpsons have long been prolific projectors into the future of world events from the Super Bowl, to grease stealing, to Trump becoming President. Their uncanny ability to always seem to know what’s next coming from the fact that they always seem to have their thumb on our current human trajectory. I’m not talking about the time Lisa projected the Simpson world growing a fifth finger either. Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie, and the whole of Springfield has turned out to be right for many moments in history. We analyze when the Simpsons saw into the future and why some folks are freaked out about what they see coming for 2021...
Watch Now

Horizon Forbidden West [PLAY] Upcoming in 2021 on PS4/PS5
Easily one of the biggest exclusives to hit the PlayStation 4 was Guerrilla Games Horizon Zero Dawn. The video game threw players into the distant future where mankind fell leaving once-thriving cities as an old shell quickly taken over by nature. What’s left of humans have gone back into living in small tribes scattered across the lands while the world is dominated by large metal machines. Now a sequel is coming out called Horizon Forbidden West. Along the way, players will find a new larger world with iconic landmarks, new machines, and even tribes. It’s said that one of these tribes has been hostile and possesses the power to override machines making them useful in combat...
Check It Out

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Max Gladstone [READ]
Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading. Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.
Check It Out
 
 

What I'm Reading

Here is a quick snapshot of my favorite books, podcasts, and articles this week.

Harrow the Ninth
Tamsyn Muir

And Now For An Architectural Criticism Of Cyberpunk 2077
Luke Plunkett

Tabletop gaming in 2021 will be defined by these last 12 months of chaos: How the pandemic, social unrest, and labor relations have shaped board games and RPGs
Charlie Hall

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You can also learn more about my work at danamartens.tech.

 


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Join the NYC Speculative Futures meetup, a group for those interested in Critical Design, Speculative Design, Design Fiction, Discursive Design, Futurism, Science Fiction or any other incarnation of the approach which involves using Design to speculate about alternate futures. We'll be hosting speakers, workshops, and more!
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www.danamartens.tech

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