Speculation as Strategy

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As the first meet-up, this event will introduce the practice of speculative design. We are also fortunate to have designer Stephanie Lukito in from Jakarta, Indonesia who will share her practice.

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First, designer Jack Wilkinson will talk through canonical examples and his interpretation of the practice. More traditional designers will be encouraged to ask questions, and practicing speculative designers are encouraged to feel free to drive the conversation. The primary role of the designer is often as problem solver, but the practice of speculative design calls on the designer to instead be expert interrogator. What is meant by speculative/critical/discursive design and what can more traditional practices design learn from it?

Next, award winning designer Stephanie Lukito, visiting from Indonesia will join Jack in conversation. Having worked with Toshiba, Ford, and NYC Parks, she uses speculation as a starting place, and often, what begins as a project meant to provoke ends up being a reasonable, albeit radical, solution to an emerging problem. As has happened with her Fast Company award winning speculative project Interzone, what happens when discursive design projects, meant to provoke, become embraced and even funded? How can designers use speculation to open up spaces of alternative innovation and turn the speculative proposal into radical strategy?

Finally, inspired by her time in Jakarta, Stephanie will lead an speculative exercise asking, how can emerging micro-economies inform alternative global futures?

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Stephanie Lukito is a designer with many roles and interests, backed by a love for creativity, experimentation, and collaborative methodology. An award-winning interdisciplinary designer, she believes in asking the right questions in order to find nuanced opportunities and translate them into playful outcomes for the real world. Currently based in Jakarta, she has presented her work in Berlin, London, Tokyo, and New York. She recently was Fast Company World Changing Ideas Finalist for her project Interzone which reimagined New York City with three new timezones. Stephanie gravitates towards projects that aren't rigid—ones that reinterpret a context or provoke new questions. Through this practice, she hopes to shift how we see our surroundings and cultivate new possibilities for the future—one that is more flexible, open, and kinder to our environments. Outside of these interests, she is a hiker, cyclist, camper, and cook. Someday, she wants to live in the mountains, sans internet.

Jack Wilkinson's projects emerge in the space where theory takes form and extrapolated trends are realized. His practice is rooted in speculation as a means to empower imagination and explore what lies across the posthuman horizon. Leveraging his background in both entertainment and psychology, he seeks to utilize design to create transformative technology to evolve human ontology and find greater empathetic ways of being. He is a part time lecturer at the Parsons School of Design, a Fellow at the Emerging Future Institute and a frequent collaborator with the Extrapolation Factory. He has worked in the Designed Realities Lab alongside Tony Dunne & Fiona Raby and taught alongside Shannon Mattern in the Urban Intelligence Lab. His current focus is on the design of intelligent systems, questioning their role in helping to combat climate chaos and speculating on their ability to bridge the communication gap between human and nonhuman. Outside of his work in design, Jack is also an avid traveller, a trained chef and occasionally moonlights as a stand-up comic.