Maggie Greyson, Alexis Tennent, Jizhen Shan and Yunlong Wang, Emily MacLoud and Ashleigh West
RSD12-Salons are sessions dedicated to exploratory work that have been grouped to create an interdisciplinary space for researchers to talk together and generate collective input from an interested audience.
Futures are uncertain things. Systemic design has embraced futuring as a methodology that can engage diverse stakeholders, unearth hidden assumptions and expectations, and provide actionable, measurable, and tangible milestones toward different outcomes. As powerful as these techniques are and as frequently as they are employed, the underlying values they hold are often left uninterrogated. The authors in this salon are deeply concerned with how values of all kinds are implicitly built into futuring methods and, therefore, the futures they create. Anyone using these techniques will want to understand who is represented in the futuring process, how their ethics and values are operationalised, and what power dynamics remain latent in these techniques.
Alexis Tennent examines empowerment through different conceptions of time. While North Americans use clocks to organise activities, linear clock time is not necessarily the best device for everyone to describe how they experience and manage daily and life-long responsibilities. A move away from clock time might enable more people to participate in future thinking and communicate how they see their lives playing out under different contexts, allowing society to better act in the present towards beneficial long-term goals. By examining the constraints of linear time and exploring the possibilities offered by non-linear concepts, it is possible to nourish a continuous pluriverse across the past, present, and future. Revolutionary and interlocking time are particularly effective in subverting the oppressive nature of linear time, enabling us to retrieve stories and knowledge that has been erased, and thus, a wider range of people to have pasts and futures. By embracing these alternative temporal frameworks, we can move beyond the constraints of linear time and imagine more radical and liberatory futures.
Jizhen Shan and Yunlong Wang explore community participation and social innovation, starting from the idea of “value entanglement”, focusing on human participation and community co-creation, and adopting the concept of social innovation to promote the development of sustainable communities. They propose some specific strategies and methods, such as a collaborative point system that encourages community members’ participation and reflects individual surplus value, as well as the conceptual design of a community app, in conjunction with the case of Professor Zhou Zishu’s Groundnut Community at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. They suggest that the development of sustainable communities can be promoted through community participation and social innovation under value entanglement, to assist practitioners, policymakers and researchers.
Emily MacLoud and Ashleigh West delve into the designer’s responsibility to be self-aware and their position in “design defuturing,” meaning their influence on negating certain futures. To demonstrate how designers defuture, the authors provide experiences of narrowing the scope in design projects through speculative scenarios and reflect on the implications of this practice. They suggest the potential of mindfulness and Buddhist frameworks to guide designers toward creating futures and producing design fictions that are egoless, detached from outcomes, and recognise impermanence and the interdependence of all beings. These practices help designers enact “contra-innovation” and challenge the dominant narratives and innovation actions that defuture, and encourages a more inclusive, adaptable, and empathetic approach that aligns with human-centred and sustainable design principles.
Maggie Greyson is an Association of Professional Futurists (APF) board member. Her work has been recognised by APF for the Most Significant Contributin to the Fireld of Futures Work Winner of the Next Generation Foresight Practitioners Special Award from the School of Interantional Futures. Robust research and creative risk-taking define her career as a designer, futurist, and writer.
#113 Jizhen Shan
Reconstructing the Future: Exploring Community Engagement and Social Innovation Amid Value Entanglement
#181 Emily MacLoud and Ashleigh West
Futuring: Toward a more inclusive and empathetic approach
#71 Alexis Tennent
Influences of Dominant Conceptions of Time on Futures
#205 Luea Ritter, Marco Gyger, and Anaïs Sägesser
Inquiry Into Preconditions, Social Architecture and Design Process for Co- Creating A Social Field For a Culture Of Care And Kinship