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Accepted paper:

Speculative Fabulations towards an anthropology by means of design

Author:

Zoy Anastassakis (Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro)

Paper short abstract:

Writing speculative fabulations, I discuss design education, and its pedagogical approaches of learning by doing and collective imagination of transformative futures. Doing it, I propose to redesign anthropology as a special mode of collective imagination capable to point for future transformations.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper, I present a post-PhD research conducted by me in the Center for Research in Anthropology (CRIA), Lisbon, Portugal, from 2019. By specifying the originality which distinguishes design education, namely pedagogical approaches of learning by doing and collective imagination of transformative futures, I propose to reconsider anthropology by means of design. My hypothesis is that meshed with design, anthropology can transform itself in a social science capable of operating not only as an instrument for the understanding and critical reappraisal of social and cultural dynamics, but as a special mode of collective imagination capable of pointing to innovations and future transformations on social and cultural issues. In order to discuss these matters, I explore an innovative genre of anthropological writing, speculative fabulation, that originally combines ethnographic rigor and comparative analysis with collective imagination of transformative futures. With it, I ask questions like these: What constitutes and distinguishes design education from other educational approaches? Why can processes of reevaluation of education in design be a topic of interest to anthropology? First, because design education is organized around experimental collective practices. Students learn by doing. To learn, they need to be attentive, observing, but above all, participating, engaged in addressing issues related to the imagination of alternative futures. Even in moments of crisis, design education has not given up on these basic premises, namely, education by doing and collective imagination of transformative futures. Because of this, I believe that following these premises we can redesign anthropology education and practice.

panel P026
Futures Anthropology as Interventional Theory and Practice [Future Anthropologies Network]