Speculative Futures

Imaginative students + Innovative pedagogy = A great way to wrap up 2021!

Next week students my art, design & technology classes at the University of Vermont will present Speculative Design projects, imagining speculative futures and speculative pasts. We looked to the text Speculative Everything by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby for speculative futures. Earlier in the semester, we had an in-person artist visit with Minne Atairu and what we learned of her project Igun AI informs our thinking of speculative pasts. 

Inspired by last summer’s 2021 NYU Faculty Resource Network seminar with instructors Diane Epelbaum and Tahneer Oksman , I implemented a highly scaffolded assignment schedule over two weeks with numerous assignments built upon each other to support idea development. The intention is to encourage students to develop their ideas, allowing for a fluid design-thinking process to unfold over time and avoid last-minute cramming. Scaffolded assignments included mind maps (inspired by Tony Buzan‘s method), short writings, sketches, and rendered and digitally fabricated prototypes made with 3D printing and laser cutting in UVM FabLab.

Presentations start next Tuesday, December 14! I can’t wait! It is a pure delight to behold the imaginations and aspirations of our UVM students and their commitment to social and environmental justice.