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Emergent Futures Collective

A design collective prototyping today to imagine and create our tomorrows


  • Oct 14, 2021

From the 16-24 of October, the designers and makers forming the Emergent Futures Collective will present their work during Dutch Design Week 2021 at Yksi Expo in Eindhoven. The exhibition is realized by Distributed Design, a project led by Fab Lab Barcelona and co-funded by the Creative Europe program of the European Union, and is organized in close collaboration with the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and Elisava School of Design and Engineering. The collective is made up of a distributed network of passionate and creative human beings dedicated to creating awareness and driving action towards social and climate justice. They are a new generation of designers, artists, computer engineers, industrial designers, and strategists that believe in open collaboration and understand the importance and urgency of knowledge sharing and exploration that challenges our established systems.

The collective formed during the Masters of Design for Emergent Futures (class of ‘21), a program from the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and ELISAVA School of Design and Engineering in Barcelona, as a response to the perceived need for design which is “solutionary”: design which improves the life for both the planet and people on it. Heavily influenced by new design methodologies presented in the program, and drawing from distributed design practice, the collective is dedicated to scaling up the positive impact of design by reimagining the ways we care, learn and work through hands-on interventions. 

Emergent Futures Festival

The first initiative, the Emergent Futures Festival, took place in June of 2021. This non-for-profit event connected a local network of like-minded designers and a globally distributed community of change-makers through exhibitions, workshops, panels, discursive events, and local community interventions. These creative interventions addressed material overabundance, mental health, expanded consciousness, the climate crisis, social injustices, and community needs going on to form the collectives four key research areas: ‘Spatial Justice’, ‘Empowering Care’, ‘Post-Human Awakening’ & ‘Planetary Mutualism’.  

By rethinking the role of design, the festival showcased that the futures we want to see tomorrow can be designed by the actions we take today.

Panels included:

  • “Resilience through Responsibility” – an open discussion on the  importance of communities and purpose when building sustainable business models and driving conscious consumerism.
  • “How to Bridge the Digital Gender Gap in the ‘New Normal’”– a roundtable discussing the rising gender gap created during the pandemic and potential solutions.
  • “A Conscious Humans Guide to Rural Life” – a community discussion on bridging the gap between urban and rural.
  • “Nomadic Box” –  a panel discussing the life cycles of our everyday objects. 

Community Events included: 

  • “Sister Loba Challenge” –  a cyclist challenge using a open- source tracking device for women to map interactions within their route and arrive to their destination safely.
  • “Phygital Awakenings” –  a guided Kundalini meditation using technology and mycelium as tools to augment and enhance perception.
  • “215: Art Build & Memorial” –  a Chimalli to honor children lost from First Nations.
  • “Aqui: Collaborative Placemaking” – an open-source community building session with the local community of Poblenou which collectively prefiguring pacified visions for streets by co-creating modular urban furniture out of recycled materials.
  • “Silent Playscape Game” — a large-scale public version of the Silent Board Game based on The Silent Game- originally designed by John Habraken and Mark D Gross. 

Workshops included: 

  • “OND Masks” – a cosmetics product workshop offering an alternative to the sheet mask with the use of natural ingredients and food waste.
  • “Mycelium Board Workshop” – a session building furniture using mycelium boards.

Exhibitions included: 

  • “Hypothetical Authorities” – presented the Autonomous TreeÂŽ – a speculative living agent and representative for non-human life – reframing the relationship with authorities and the types of challenges they focus on. â€œSensing Matter” – a project exhibiting biomaterials made of food waste with attention to sensorial perception of our material reality and our relationship as humans with it.

The collective is now centered on works surrounding these four key pillars. The first pillar ‘Spatial Justice’ touches on multiple topics: building strong relationships in order to connect rural and urban communities, co-creating for fair mobility by working together with local decision-makers, and mutually-benefiting spatial planning. ‘Empowering Care’, centers on reimagining the way we learn, work, and care through empowering the individual. The third pillar ‘Post-Human Awakening’ aims to reframe the relationship between ourselves and non-humans entities in order to enhance awareness and progress toward collective success. ‘Planetary Mutualism’ focuses on expanding consciousness, to shift towards reciprocal collaboration among all actors at all scales on the planet. 

Join the Emergent Futures Collective at Dutch Design Week to learn more!

Project Details

Dutch Design Week visiting hours 10am-6pm.

Yksi Expo — Torenallee 22-04 I 5617 BD Eindhoven

Website: https://emergentfutures.eu 

Instagram: @emergentfutures.eu

Contact: [email protected]

Oct 14, 2021