I had the pleasure of sharing my thinking about Lewis’s Mumford’s work on the megamachine as the speaker in this week’s CSTMS Colloquium series.
Several articles, including one I wrote called “Starting with Universe: Buckminster Fuller’s Design Science Now,” are now available in a Futures Special Section on Mediating Futures; Guest Edited by Cynthia Selin.
The special section collects different research perspectives on the inaugural Emerge: Artists + Scientists Reinvent the Future. This was an unparalleled campus–wide event uniting artists, engineers, bio scientists, social scientists, story–tellers and designers to build, draw, write and rethink the future of the human species and the environments that we share.
Selin introduces the special section this way:
Emerge: Artists and Scientists Redesign the Future, hosted by Arizona State University in 2012, united artists, engineers, bioscientists, social scientists, storytellers and designers to build, draw, write and play with the future. Over three days, and in nine different workshops, participants created games, products, monuments, images and stories in an effort to reveal the texture and feel of emergent futures. The Emerge workshops drew from a burgeoning field of future-oriented methods that infuse art, design and information technology into the development and delivery of scenarios and design fictions – a constellation of practices I call “mediated scenarios”. This introduction and the articles in this special issue, work to make sense of these emerging practices, and of Emerge itself, in order to develop appreciation of this rising genre. In doing so, the papers in this issue ask critical questions about the nature of these novel forms of foresight practice and investigate the trade-offs and potencies involved in the workings of mediated scenarios.
Global leaders from industry and creative practice joined ASU faculty and talented students for hands-on workshops as well as the Digital Culture Festival which included exhibits, interactive shows and live presentations. ASU and Emerge featured a line-up of world class keynote speakers for the conference-closing Keynotes Session including noted writers, designers and futurists such as Stewart Brand (The Whole Earth Discipline), Bruce Sterling (The Difference Engine, Beyond the Beyond), Sherry Turkle (Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other), Bruce Mau (Incomplete Manifesto for Growth, Massive Change Network), Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, Remade) and ASU President Michael Crow.
Next week I will join other members of ECAST at the Consortium for Science Policy and Outcomes at ASU’s Washington DC office to discuss US participation in the World Wide Views on Climate and Energy citizen dialog set for June 6, 2015. At the New Tools for Science Policy seminar, Bridging the Democracy Gap: World Wide Views on Climate and Energy, we will talk about plans for coordinating efforts across five U.S. sites: Boston, Ma; Phoenix, AZ; Ft. Collins, CO; St. Paul, MN; and Huston, TX (tentative participation).
On June 6, 100 citizens representing the demographic diversity of the host countries will attend daylong meetings at sites around the world. Participants will receive the same balanced and vetted information about issues on the agenda for the December 2015 UN climate summit (UNFCCC) in Paris, and discuss these issues at tables with 8 participants and a facilitator. Their views on these issues will be published online and presented at both preparatory meetings and at the climate summit.
I visited the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority and Underrepresented Student Participation in STEM center at the California Polytechnic State University and gave a workshop and talk entitled “Making and Doing in Science and Technology Studies: Participatory Technology Assessment as Technological Wayfinding.”
The Futurescape Cal Poly workshop is based on the Futurescape City Tour model. Created at the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University, Futurescape City Tours are designed to facilitate public engagement with technology and its relationships to urban environments and sustainability. The FCT methodology is interactive, participant-driven, place-based, and employs photography as a tool for deliberation across multiple timescapes.
Facilitator Gretchen Gano will work with participants to employ the FCT methodology to engage with the past, present, and future of Cal Poly as an inclusive, diverse, equitable and comprehensive 21st century polytechnic university. Experiences of San Luis Obispo and the Central Coast of California will also be explored.
This experimental event is open to the university and public. However, participants are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday Oct 31 to receive instructions for how to take and select photographs of Cal Poly and in San Luis Obispo that will be used to explore expressions of the past, present, and future at the workshop.
ASU’s new Virtual Institute for Responsible Innovation sponsored my June visit and exchange with the GenØk Centre for Biosafety at the University of Tromsø, Norway with host Fern Wickson. GenØk carries out risk assessments regarding marketing applications for GMOs. I gave a talk and participated in a roundtable discussion on the topic “Public Engagement as Technology Assessment” with staff and visiting scientists.
I visit the brilliant Skyspace with two distinguished scholars of public engagement to contemplate experience and materiality.