A lot of work in the design fiction / speculative design mould is created, it seems, for no one in particular. Even if produced only once (like an artwork), often in effect it’s a mass consumption object rather than something made for one. So 1-888-FUTURES is a small experiment in making such future design more personal and personalised; a true gift, connecting the imagining and creation process to a named individual, an audience of one.
This is the third “Futurematic” design jam jointly run by Situation Lab (Stuart Candy and Jeff Watson) with New York-based design collective The Extrapolation Factory (Elliott Montgomery and Chris Woebken). Graciously hosting on this occasion is the University of Southern California’s Visions and Voices series, with the priceless collaboration of Professor Jen Stein from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
Futurematic events riff playfully on commercial and industrial making processes, while focusing on the very non-industrial, not-yet-massified design space of imaginary objects. At the first event, participants filled up a vending machine with future artifacts in a day last spring at OCAD U. For the second, last summer at NYU, people created and put future street merchandise on sale at Canal St and Broadway in Manhattan. Both used The Thing From The Future as the creative engine. This time, the ideation engine is the public’s imagination itself. With that as the driving force, workshop participants will send out as many “future presents” made to order as we can, from our temporary 1-888-FUTURES fulfilment center in Los Angeles to all over the country.
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