Science Fiction, Utopia, and Speculative Design

Parsons School of Design: Parsons First Year

Non-Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
SciFi, Utopia & Spec Design
Spring 2024
Taught By: Faculty TBA
Section: A

CRN: 12024

Credits: 3

"Utopia is a world I made up by combining utopia and dystopia – the imagined perfect society and its opposite – because, in my view, each contains a latent version of the other."-Margaret Atwood. In this class, we will interrogate the implications of design and technology on society through the reading and watching of science fiction. As we dabble in these emblematic science fiction universes, we can examine how technological innovation can bring forth aspects of utopia and dystopia at the same time. Students will be then introduced to the practice of speculative design and create their own science fiction worlds through worldbuilding exercises before making their ideas tangible by creating their own “artifacts from the future.” Using these artifacts as provocations, students will engage with their peers to discuss what kinds of futures are preferred, and why. As a final project, we will read and write design fiction stories proposing possible alternative futures as a way to explore the social, political, economic, environmental, and cultural implications of change and innovation. By imagining different versions of the future as designers, we are already beginning to shape it.

Open to: Parsons First Year students, and others, space provided.

College: Parsons School of Design (PS)

Department: Parsons First Year (PUFY)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: February 4, 2024 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2024 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: No

Status: Waitlist*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 9:04am EST 11/30/2023

Meeting Info:
Days: Wednesday
Times: 4:00pm - 6:40pm
Building: TBD
Room: TBD
Date Range: 1/24/2024 - 5/8/2024