Imaginaries of Climate Pathways – Part 1
How do we imagine climate change? What futures do we understand, or can we envision, for our own communities or others? It’s easy to be completely overwhelmed with powerlessness, and the complexities and uncertainties of the situations we might have ahead of us. International bodies such as the IPCC and climate science researchers have the idea of plural ‘pathways’ which give insights into possible futures we might experience, but what could they look like in everyday life? How might we actually experience these pathways?
Students at Carnegie Mellon’s Imaginaries Lab are applying design research methods to this topic: investigating how people think about and understand this complex, massive, systemic issue through building models and experiences which enable people to explore aspects of climate pathways and possible futures for our everyday lives. We are doing this via a more intensive weekend ‘design jam’ format than a traditional studio course.
As part of the Many Tomorrows Festival, the students will be sharing their ideas and projects in development, paired with presentations and discussion with guests. Parts of the weekend at Carnegie Mellon will be streamed live on Zoom at http://imaginari.es/climate/
If you’d like to attend in person, please email email@example.com to confirm
Relation to TRANS-
We aim to develop projects that visualize or make experiential, very tangibly, that the different paths and choices ahead of us are about TRANS-itions, whether formally seen as part of sustainability transitions or transition design or just transitions or something else. But the projects will also aim to TRANS-late these potential futures into different forms of engagement than graphs or textual descriptions.
Dan Lockton is Chair of Design Studies at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA, and founder of the Imaginaries Lab. He’s an interaction designer and researcher interested in questions of how we understand the world—institutions, the environment, cities, infrastructures, technologies and complex systems around us—how they, in turn, understand us, and how design can help us understand our own agency differently in imagining and creating futures.
We're told to think globally, act locally, but these days, it seems like the most urgent questions may require global action. Our own organization is deeply considering how we can build distributed, scalable projects that are both embedded in local community, but have potential to scale more broadly. What kinds of environmental projects currently embody that approach, and how do they function? Are there pitfalls you've encountered that others should be wary of? Can we develop some best practices?