This was the inspiring question a group of 25 participants explored during the first webinar Cumulus Park organized together with knowledge partner Digital Society School (DSS) on April 16th.
Shifted to an online gathering, this two hour session focused on Speculative Design as a methodology to visualize a new future. A future in which everything is possible and nothing is certain.
Speculative Design is a method to creatively shape a new future. Unlike scenario thinking and other design methodologies, speculative design is not so much focused on what is already in existence. Design used to be geared towards projected and probable futures based on the current status quo. Speculative design is adding different attitudes towards the future; plausible and preferable ones.
Pre-readings were shared prior to the webinar in order to gain understanding of the basic concepts of the methodology upfront. A variety of online platforms was used during the webinar, which allowed us to present and design simultaneously.
The Hyperconnected City as a possible future comprises of various products, services, practices and persona, each of which designed by a sub-group of participants in the webinar. Robotized cleaning, an open-source conglomerate of health apps, autonomous flying taxis and new green ecosystems could all be part of this future. What if there would be a city of moss that requires a larger diversity in order to survive? Existing paradigms were shifted in order to open up creativity and new ways of thinking.
Map out your future
Participants experienced how speculative design can help map your future, by applying tools to world-build a possible and preferable scenario in the hyperconnected city, in order to create concepts and narratives on this alternative future scenario. Although the hyperconnected city formed the basis for this webinar, participants were presented a methodology for thinking in a new way about the current reality and future possibilities in any sector and in any form. They gained some additional equipment to re-shape their future and re-think how current challenges may be turned into opportunities.
Cumulus Park brings together professionals and innovators from public and private organizations, knowledge institutes, start-up, scale-ups and local communities to work together on innovative solutions for complex challenges. Our focus is on collaborative innovation processes, tools, technologies, and infrastructure. In our vision, innovation starts with a mindset for collaboration and creative thinking. Digital Society School is our valued knowledge partner in bringing creative content to our community.
Want to learn more?
Read this article about the event by Mick Jongeling.