Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

Future visions and already available alternatives: design and anthropology in the classroom  
Eeva Berglund (Aalto University) İdil Gaziulusoy (NODUS Sustainable Design Research Group, Aalto University)

Paper short abstract:

We discuss our efforts to nurture collaborative learning in futures-oriented design through our joint teaching. Drawing on our experiences in the classroom, we focus specifically on how futures-oriented design pedagogy can converse with anthropologically rooted ideas of what is humanly possible.

Paper long abstract:

We spell out some of what we have learned in the classroom as we have explored ways to nurture collaborative learning and radical thinking beyond capitalist normality in futures-oriented design pedagogy. Our approach in co-teaching two courses as part of the Creative Sustainability Masters Programme at Aalto University, Finland, has been to combine speculative futures work with empirically grounded social research.

One of us is trained in (sustainable) design and the other in (environmental) anthropology. Over the five years that we have worked together, we have developed ways of nurturing students’ imaginations as well as bolstering their confidence in a professional field that has definite socio-political legitimacy but many challenges. Besides the technical issues prominent in public debate, these challenges have to do with occupational identities and political conjunctures but also with the philosophical legacies around (un)sustainability. Unsurprisingly, the challenges faced by our design students merge with those of faculty as well as of society at large.

We find that playing with empirically grounded alternative notions of futures, values and what is sustainable, is inspiring and productive. Students work on both speculative and real-world practical projects, informed by literature in futures-oriented design, anthropology and other social research. We find this has promoted collaborative epistemological work or “thinking with”. By bringing our divergent perspectives into the classroom, and putting sustainable design into conversation with anthropology, as a ‘record’ of human possibility so to speak, we have also fostered some unlearning of knowledge born of Western, neoliberalised, political imaginaries.

Panel P43a
Lateral Ethnographies: Exploratory Knowledge Production, Speculative Fictions, and Alternative Future-Making
  Session 1 Friday 10 June, 2022, -