James Auger | talk

Speculative Futures

The future happens through myriad complex factors shaping, informing, and constraining the how and why of things. Every act of creation happens under the influence of a given set of forces or conditions. The idea of constraints is especially familiar to designers: for every project there are good constraints and bad constraints; some that inspire, others that limit. But particular constraints on the way we think about the future result in a much narrower range of possibilities than we might otherwise experience. Constraints keep us to well-trodden paths; they commit us to making the same mistakes, over and over. The constraint of positivity or progress dogma, for example, blinds future-makers and future-shapers - scientists, technologists, politicians, designers, etc. - from the potential negative implications of their proposals. Other constraints on how the future happens include ingrained systems and infrastructure, epistemology, unconstraints, historical factors, market constraints, and education.

Literature and film have long explored possible futures, both inside and outside of these constraints. But a more systematic approach to the constraints that govern our possible futures has for the most part been lacking.

In this presentation James Auger will explore some of the most fundamental constraints and the ways in which they influence and narrow the scope of future possibilities before showing how a re-thinking of design can provide an alternative.

01 OUT: 21H00 – 22H30 | Ginjal Terrasse