Shaping Signals: Preparing for the Future Through Speculative & Critical Design

workshop / Phil Balagtas

Speculative and Critical Design are Design Thinking approaches that can be used as tools to surface and address social, cultural, and ethical issues that design can bring. While it’s been labeled alarmist and sensational, it also enables versatile thinking and serves as a platform for discovery, conversation, and awareness that can help fuel different perspectives of the future, alternate futures, potential futures, some desirable…some not. Through the use of prototypes and scenario-building, we can use these methods to create vehicles for interrogation which allows designers to shape new discussions about charged topics that ultimately lead to more responsible design practice and foresight. Dancing between dystopic futures that address topics such as famine and overpopulation to more light-­hearted visions of near-future technology such as autonomous cars, we’ll introduce design lenses that will allow participants to investigate signals in the present, project them into a point in the future, and manifest a product or service with considerations of the state of the future environment.


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Be sure to register for this pre-conference workshop separately from your General Admission tickets.