Speculative Design, Workshop Design
As a part of Project Studio II: Emergent Social Forms of the M.F.A. Transdisciplinary Design program, we were assigned to held a Participatory Futures Workshop in a external setting. We had the amazing opportunity to work along with Corbil Hill Food Project to explore the future of food production in the US. This futures workshop had them explore their relationship with thinking about futures, and how it could impact their work.
The project was developed with Alyssa Kropp, Jonas Voigt, Yuxin Cheng and Megan Willy
In the process of designing a workshop, we created a fictional institution aligned to Corbin Hill Food Project main practices called Foodure Institute. The Foodure Institute is a nonprofit organization working with all sectors of society to solve food problems. The future of food workshop series aims to speculate on how the US will approach food in the years to come, from technology to agriculture to people. As such, questions the workshop are asking include: Who will be farming? What will technology add or detract from the field? What will our food systems will look like in 100 years?
The workshop main goal was to amplify community members voices and encourage them to think about their work on a longer scale beyond the daily challenges they face. The workshop agenda was composed of an introduction of ourselves and participants, introduction to Futuring, main activity, sharing outcomes and reflection of the outcomes.
In order to contextualize participants with futuring, we made a quick introduction, explained how can be helpful for organizations and pointed out that the idea isn't to predict the future, but to allow organizations to better understand the possible futures to adapt as needed over time as things change.
After the introduction, the participants were able to pick a pre-selected signal through a game. The criteria of pre selection of the signals was to be related to Corbin Hill Food Project Practices. We divided them in five sections People, Location, Agriculture, Nature/Nutrition, and Technology/Transportation. (PLANT)
Once all the participants had a signal, they formed teams, where they discussed each signal and developed Future Wheels and Scenarios.
Later on, teams were able to represent the scenarios they discussed during the previous activity in Dioramas format with material we provided them.
The second part of making was about writing a letter from themselves in the future to themselves in the present, where they would explain they current life and give advice about their choices.
The last part of the workshop was the sharing part, where each of the teams talked about their scenarios and letters. We wrapped up with a reflection of the workshop and how they could apply this to their work. The participants gave a great feedback about how they might use futuring.
I think we can use this future wheel while strategizing our future. Too often we get caught up in the everyday and don't see the long term vision
Branding: Yuxin Cheng Video: Jonas Voight Photograpy: Mariana González