Green Week at LCC: Hopeful Monsters / Worldbuilding Tarot / Reverse Archeology

On Thursday Justin Pickard and I ran a workshop as part of London College of Communication's Green Week. The aim was to help the students to explore alternative narratives of designing for climate change. We began with BERG's / Matt Ward's Hopeful Monsters exercise: taking two objects, examining their properties and then recombining them into new objects. The utility of the objects created is irrelevant so much as a thorough understanding of the objects and their politics.

Secondly, we introduced a worldbuilding exercise using tarot cards. Each group was given a place such as Sub-Saharan Africa or South America as well as four context cards - everything from exoskeletons to flooding, from bugginess to fair wages. Form these contexts and places, the students researched and constructed an a future. The idea here was to get the students into a new context mentally, to try and think about the needs, desires and constraints of people outside of early 21st century Europe.

The third part was the Reverse Archeology workshop. The students took their future and had to design an object from it using archeological principles. We borrowed the core ideas of the exercise from Stuart Candy's Reverse Archeology. The aim is to create diegetic prototypes of their future world that can be used to talk about it.

The groups came up with three outcomes. The first was a neo-leftist religious society based in South America that used domestic algae incubators for the filtration of water and air as well as having a society that worshiped a carrot due to it's symbolism.

The second group devised a solar farm and a telecommunications tourist for the South China Sea where flooding has resulted in a loss of cultivatable land coupled by a collapse in globalisation but a massive rise in telepresence technology.

The third group created an exoskeleton used for mining.

More photos are on my flickr.