A changeist in microresidency

Posted July 11, 2013 by Nik Gaffney

While discussing various plans to continue FoAM's experiments with prehearsals and ARNs, we were introduced to Scott Smith's work in "critical futures" by Honor Harger and an erratic exchange ensued. There were some obvious common threads and just as many distinct differences in approach to encourage further conversation. Since we've been experimenting with residency formats recently, it was a perfect opportunity to spend a day together as one of our first 'microresidencies'

The microresidency's main purpose was to familiarise ourselves with other's work, methods and ideas while exploring opportunities for collaboration.

Scott took us through an overview of his recent work in which he juggles commercial foresight work with education, free-form research explorations, sensorial immersion, workshop facilitation and fieldwork. We discussed some of the methods involved in his Design Fiction, Futures Institute and Summer Futures Lab workshops, where high school students or young professionals use forsight techniques to approach complex problems, often finding innovative and imaginative solutions.

Scott shares our desire to find ways of improving the accessiblity of foresight techniques while using more visual and embodied techniques (e.g. prototyping, storytelling, ethnography, photographic cut&paste, locative media, minecraft, etc) and has spent years pragmatically refining tools for research, critical uncertainties and future-probing. We took this opportunity to clarify FoAM's approach to future preparedness and visionary adaptation, in particular devising techniques for embodied or inhabited foresight in prehearsals and pre-enactments and the more open-ended Alternate Reality Narratives.

After a long day of fruitful discussion concluding with the almost obligatory Belgian Beers at dusk, several avenues for further collaboration remain open.