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.