Design + Ethnography + Futures I: Uncertainty Symposium
10th – 11th December 2014
Invitation only symposium
Through this symposium we will explore how by bringing together Design + Ethnography + Futures we can deliberately step out of established disciplinary methodologies. This means moving into the future with people and challenging what we habitually do and think about. We want to open up a space where we can question the taken-for-granted, trigger genuine surprise, play with the edges of boundaries and reconfigure ways knowledge is produced.
Throughout 2014, we have been developing an agenda for our Design + Ethnography + Futures programme to propose a new meeting of design and ethnography through a focus on futures. D+E+F builds on design anthropology and design ethnography, but is not exactly either of these. Our work, which has developed through a series of workshops and iterating research projects, has focused around concepts of sharing, making, moving and disrupting. We are exploring how the future orientation of combining design + ethnography approaches invites different forms of change-making, where uncertainty and the ‘not-yet-made’ is at the centre of inquiry. It brings the improvisory, playful, imaginative, sensorial and somewhat contested edges of both fields to create an opening to experiment with what might emerge out of an assembly of ideas, people, feelings, things and processes.
This symposium is above all a context where we will get to explore these ideas with you – by talking and engaging in workshop-like activities. By ‘hacking’ a traditional symposium format, we are inviting you to explore together ways not to know, rather than sharing what we each already know through argument and consolidation. In joining us in this endeavour, we are also asking the participants to ‘let go’ of their preconceptions behind, forego the need for a resolution, and enter into this together, to anew and awaken and become more aware of the emergent.
By embarking on this journey, we also have some specific and more strategic objectives:
- To consolidate a global network of researchers who will continue to develop these themes together, located in hubs across the world;
- To apply for funding internationally for future network meetings;
- To look into possibilities for applying for research funding together for shared projects; and,
- To produce a publication output as well as creative practice works where relevant.
Sarah Pink & Yoko Akama
RMIT Design + Ethnography + Futures research program leaders