What we're about

This is a group for those interested in speculative design, critical design, discursive design, strategic foresight, futurism, science fiction and visionary approaches that use design and visual culture to imagine potential future. We will examine the ephemeral and the tangible; showcasing creative projects, far out research, and tangible strategies for affecting change. We'll be hosting speakers—practitioners, teachers, students, and other professionals who will talk about their work and methods.

Upcoming events (1)

Wicked Problems, Wicked Play

Ellery Studio

Join us for a new edition of Speculative Futures Berlin for an evening that examines ‘wicked problems’ in the built environment. We're excited to welcome Dulmini Perera, an architectural historian and lecturer at the HS Anhalt, for this event specifically examining speculative design in the world of urbanism and architecture. ————————————————— Planning and design problems—particularly in our crisis-prone present moment—are riddled with complex trade offs. Speculative methods that attempt to deal with these crises (environmental, migration, etc.) tend to ‘tame’ what are in reality ‘wicked’ problems. In the process of ‘taming’ wicked problems (questions that defy systematic understanding) we often ignore the complex systemic interconnections. This is particularly true in the urban sphere with its multiple scales of environmental systems (cities), institutional networks, and agents (designer/ subjects). Contradictions between these levels are often negated. In the 1970s, planning theorists and system thinkers, like Horst Rittel, started to rethink what kinds of methods and modeling tools might be helpful in incorporating mess in to problem-modeling frameworks. One such idea that emerges through these discussions is the idea of a “play-frame.” It questions the tendency to search for serious methods or systematic frameworks to speculate on complex problems. Instead, a play-frame suggests that modeling complexity means being less serious and becoming more playful. In the first part of the evening, Perera will explore the work of key systems thinkers from the 1970s, such as Rittel, the biophysicist Heinz von Foerster, the anthropologist Gregory Bateson, and architects like Lebbeus Woods and Cedric Price. This discussion will unpack the notion of a play-frame and its extended applications in working with wicked problems. Simultaneously, Perera will discuss her work and some experimental applications of the play frame in contemporary sites, like shrinking cities in East Germany and waste dumps in slums of Sri Lanka, that are ‘othered’ and messy. In the second part of the session we will create a short conversation with audience members to reflect on tangled relations of systems that pertain to our lives and how a play-frame might help in remaining them. --------- Dr. Dulmini Perera is an architect and architectural historian with an interest in design models and methods that emerge through interdisciplinary exchanges between architecture and systems sciences. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Hong Kong and has worked as a researcher, practitioner, and media presenter in Sri Lanka, Netherlands, and New Zealand before joining Hochschule Anhalt’s Architecture Department in 2017. ————————————————— The event is free of charge. Snacks and beverages will be provided (w/ a donation for beers). ————————————————— Please note: Speculative Futures Berlin documents events with photos and video. By attending you are consenting to being photographed (images will never be sold or handed off to third parties). ————————————————— Image courtesy: Aniruddha Phadke, Studio Fun Machines [2018]

Past events (11)

AI, Governance, & Socio-Technical Creativity

Ellery Studio

Photos (80)