This collaboration studio will actively engage with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Innovation Service (UNHCR) and members of UNESCO’s Futures Literacy Network to explore storytelling and speculative fabulation as a practice of design. We will explore the capacities of stories to build relationships, challenge entrenched power dynamics, and prompt imagination beyond the representational. Engaging storytelling as a ‘cosmological technology,’ we will work together to develop alternative visions and approaches that challenge the myths, metaphors, and narratives that make it difficult to shape futures that center justice in organizational processes. With an emphasis on transformation, we will disrupt traditional storytelling practices and tropes through the use of cut-ups, recombinant narrative, visionary fiction, collaborative meaning-making, non-linear, and transmedia forms. In conversation with science fiction, queer and feminist theories, indigenous discourses, Afrofuturism, drag and other performative interventions, this course explores how speculative and critical approaches to design can act as catalysts for imagining alternate presents and possible futures. From alien kinship to the undercommons, we consider subversive responses to dispossession, marginalization, precarity, and the forces that foreclose or curtail the possibility of a future. We will be engaging intersectional themes such as ecological collapse, the politics of humanitarianism, belonging and identity, and living and complex systems.
Open to: All University graduate students, and undergraduate juniors and seniors. Some seats have been reserved for MFA Design & Technology students.