A Crystal Guide

Posted April 29, 2023 by Maja Kuzmanović, Nik Gaffney, Justin Pickard, Maya Weeks, and Theun Karelse

Introduction to 'Crystal: Navigating Uncertainty', an edited reader for acting, relating, and hesitating in these uncertain times.

A guide to the crystal route, which probes different approaches to navigating uncertainty. We invite you to proactively engage with whatever crosses your path, prototype possible futures, seed new realities, and grow your own worlds.

a tap

These Uncertain Times: Collective taming of uncertainty are effortful achievements, requiring maintenance and upkeep

barbed wire tangled in branches

Hip Deep in the Thick Present: Using the tools of science fiction and social theory to explore infrastructural reconfigurations for Anthropocene futures

an owl with mechanical wheels in the background

Skirting the Adjacent Possible: From anticipation as an instrument for effective decision making, to anticipation as a metamorphic craft of selection, uncovering, re-connecting, and re-animating things already present

A guy with a backpack asking for a lift on the side of the road

Words Which Matter to People: Considering the necessity of living language and its implementation

a box of a card game called 'manifesto'

With all Caveats: Manifesto Writing in an Age of Uncertainty


A Gonzo Futurish Manifesto: Opening the door to a futurist who seeks randomness, collapses linear thought, and ups their game


Arts Thinking in a VUCA World: Values, Understanding, Choice, and Agency, a shifting paradigm for a changing world


Dimensions of Experience: A (very) preliminary theory of futuring


Maybe We Were the Birds: Using unknown sounds to create conditions favourable to speculative thinking


Futuring at a Human Scale: FoAM’s take on the practice of Experiential Futures, as a way to explore the unknown using the wondrous aptitudes of the human sensorium in messy social situations


Calibrating Experiences of the Future: On familiar forms in unfamiliar circumstances

Making Things Physical

Making Things Physical: Considering embodied, multimodal, and playful learning in exploring possible futures

Experiental Dreamscapes

Experiential Dreamscapes: Imagining with our whole bodies what futures we might create

Food Futures

Food Futures: Featuring three tasting menus that explore the relationships between food, health, and the environment


A Study Room in the Desert: Crafting experiences to stimulate engagement with a library of printed books


Whispering Worlds into Being: On alternate reality narratives, partial knowledge, and the fertile edges between realms

Future Preparedness

Future Preparedness: Methods to shore up resilience amid mounting polycrises

Everyday Hedging

Everyday Hedging: Distributing risks and seizing opportunities in a variable world


Prehearsals and Pre-enactments: Test sites, training protocols, and case studies interrogating anticipatory reflexes and interpersonal responses to possible futures

Doing Nothing

The Futures of Doing Nothing: Probing the negative space around “the future of work”


Tsunamipants: How to survive the meteorological horrors of our future climate? Some speculative, semi-practical wearable personal safety devices

Arka Kinari

Arka Kinari: Sounding the alarm for ecological crisis and prefiguring nomadic life in a porous and borderless future by re-engaging with the last great commons — the sea


The Flotilla: A hyperstition, a pre-enactment, and a historical account of the Guild of Resilients and their attempt to grow their own world in a melting pot of cultures and species


Circuitbreaker: Ambient soundscapes composed with field recordings from the first Covid-19 outbreak


Viruscraft: Using games to connect disparate groups and individuals with experts, before and during a viral pandemic


Certainty Ltd. The rationale behind FoAM’s uncertainty clinic, offering bespoke futuring for individuals, families, and collectives

Lab Approach

A Lab Approach: Facilitating collaborative processes with surprising results, by conducting experiments and fostering emergence

Future Lab

A Future of the Lab: Guidance and suggestions for creating labs that support innovation and creativity


Taking Risks or Making Risks: Complexity, uncertainty and possible futures in the context of technological innovation and entrepreneurship


Some Notes on Transdisciplinarity: How to work through and across disciplines


The Circle: Technologically-augmented group practice to face and withstand a prolonged winter.

Recovering Experts

Recovering Experts: Working across fields and sectors to collectively create knowledge


Breaking Down the Economy: On emulsification, and how to act when all seems congealed.


Grey Skies Thinking: Concerning the Institute for Experiments with Business (Ibex)


Radmin: Reclaiming administration as a space for action, play, and intervention.


Does it scale: A preoccupation with scale permeates the contemporary market economy; what other mechanisms might produce the conditions for meaningful change?

Tiny Mining

Tiny Mining: Dispatch from a community of practitioners exploiting the interiors of the human body for rare earth and other mineral resources


Granting: On wielding fundraising strategies as a form of magic


Models to Magic: Using the vessel and paraphernalia of business to manifest the worlds we want


Communing with Externalities: Contemplating the external forces that affect a financial ecosystem’s balance

Practical Ontology

Further Adventures in Practical Ontology: And other ponderings on existing and engaging with the crystalline fragmentation of the world into many incoherent, jostling realities

More Than Human

A More than Human Manifesto: Calling time on human exceptionalism, urging contemporary creative spirits to make our practices less destructive, and adopt a vocabulary that can better support our planet’s ecosystems

Within Circumference

Within the Screened Circumference of the Minds Eye: Nature's perfect solution to spatial optimisation; a floating, shimmering thin-filmed sphere of almost nothing


The Naming: On the experience of moving into a new identity; a stretching and extension


Desakota Uncertainties: Navigating and dwelling within the novel, hybrid geographies of the urban-rural fringe.

Life Support

Life, life support, and the afterlives of (im)possible worlds: Setting the stage for improvisational and palliative futures, among other possibilities for surrendering to and moving through uncertainty.


Apero: Yielding to the glitches and lag, noise modifying signal as participants slide in and out of sync.

Prismatic Refractions

Prismatic Refractions: Soundscapes for navigating uncertainty, from a series of soundtracks for FoAM's Anarchive.