Interview FoAM. Speculative Edu


How to use design to speculate about possible futures? Interview with FoAM's co-founders Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney for Speculative Edu, European project designed to collect, exchange, reflect upon, develop, and advance educational practice in the area of speculative design and its self-critical approach.

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One of the key assumptions with speculative approaches to the world is that design probes or small scale experiments can enable a wider creative, critical engagement with the entities and systems that surround us. If design has the potential to change things (hopefully for the better) then it’s worth thinking about how, why and what we are engaging with.

Design, and in particular Speculative Design, can provide ways to change, circumvent or adapt an unsustainable status quo. It can offer tools and techniques to critically explore how things might be otherwise, to prototype, experiment and hopefully make informed decisions grounded in experiential learning. This sense of agency is entangled with consequences (intended or not) and responsibilities for individuals, organisations, communities, societies or the planet.

Since futures and Speculative Design have increasingly become a part of business, industry and politics, a designer with a generalist mindset could apply their work in almost any field of interest. The question to ask is what activities are most worthwhile, considering the environmental, cultural and social turbulences we’ll continue to be faced with. What applications would you like to see? In what contexts and at which scale could your work be significant? What would make the most substantial difference?

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