Visualizing the Invisible: Experiential Futures workshop

Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney facilitate an experiential futures workshops at the summer course "Visualizing the Invisible: Design and Creativity in the Netherlands" of the University of Washington. The course title references the fact that “design objects” are not isolated objects with little to no social or political import, but are dynamic systems entangled in complex (material, spatial, temporal) networks that are very often “invisible.” The course intends to develop a “visual apparatus” that allows the students to “see” these ordinarily invisible networks, to “see” design as deeply embedded in the world.

The goal for the workshop is to supplement the students’ visualization skills by adding a futurist element to their thinking. During the second half of the summer course, students will produce a final design project that “visualizes” a design problematic. They will need to choose a design problem, research the historical and social elements involved with the problem, and then produce one solution to the problem. Finally, they must consider what political and ethical outcomes are desired, and judge whether or not their design solution achieved their design goals. They will thus be required to “imagine futures” for their design solutions. The workshop will provide possible tools and directions to imagine possible futures of visualising the invisible.