CRITICAL DESIGN CRITICAL FUTURES II: BIG +SMALL, TOP DOWN + BOTTOM UP RETHINKING SUSTAINABLE DESIGN FUTURING

Next Generation Infrastructure: Future-Proofing Infrastructure for the Anthropocene

9:30 am — 11:00 am

Saturday May 7th The Chace Center, RISD Museum

Next Generation Infrastructure
highlights hopeful examples from around the world that demonstrate how our complex, interdependent utilities can support an urbanizing world, subject to carbon constraints and the impacts of climate change. It shows how critical infrastructure might be designed to be more efficient, less environmentally damaging, and more resilient, with crosscutting benefits and lower costs.

Hillary Brown is Principle of New Civic Works and Founder of the City of New York’s Office of Sustainable Design.



Design thinking and future making or democratic design experiments (in the small)?

11:30 am — 1:00 pm

Saturday May 7th The Chace Center, RISD Museum

With design thinking successful entrepreneurs in hubris claim to design, innovate and make a prosperous and even democratic ”future” for us all. But what if this is only a dominant ideology and hegemonic power in disguise, disciplining and eventually threatening our lives? This conversation, with a dash of melancholia, explores less successful still hopeful situated counter examples of co-designed "marginal futures made in the small and by the many". The examples range from creative communities in less favorable neighborhoods, to maker spaces as genuine collaborative forms of production, to democracy revitalized through imaginative public engagements.


Design, Democracy and Work: Exploring the Scandinavian Participartory Design Tradition

6:00 pm — 8:00 pm

Thursday May 5th The Chace Center, RISD Museum

Pelle Ehn has been one of the most important figures in the development of worker orientated design, participatory planning and democratic design in Scandinavia. Author of "Manifesto for a Digital Bauhaus" (1998) and Making Futures: Marginal Notes on Innovation, Design, and Democracy (MIT Press, 2014), he is a professor at the School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, Sweden. This talk will explore traditions of worker orientated design in Scandinavia and reflect on the ways in which design might still contribute to a more social just workplace.

Making is Learning: A Discussion on Project-based, Hands-on Learning

2:00 pm — 3:30 pm

Friday April 29th Prince Lab 222A, Brown Design Workshop

In this roundtable discussion, we’ll address how “learning-by-doing” methods found in the fields of design and engineering foster more active learning experiences in higher education, resulting in deeper understanding of problems, concepts, and theories. How does project-centric methods of learning cultivate stronger problem-solving and problem-finding skills? How do iterative making processes make abstract concepts more concrete and understandable for learners? How could this model of learning change in the future? Through discussion of our own educational experiences, we’ll investigate how non-linear methods of research, prototyping, and critique lead to richer and more enduring learning experiences.

Ingrid Lange is senior in Industrial Design at Rhode Island School of Design, excited by cross-disciplinary collaborations that focus on creating a better relationship between technology and people.


What We Mean When We Say Critical Design: A Roundtable on Design & Future

2:00 pm — 3:30 pm

Wednesday May 4th Prince Lab 222A, Brown Design Workshop

Critical Design, Speculative Design, Futures Design—what do these mean? In this roundtable, we will break these buzzwords down into their meaningful components and reflect on the state of the field. We will also discuss how design fits into the current disciplinary landscape; as design-oriented approaches permeate many disciplines, what do these refinements of the term mean in terms of how it is situated? Is Design the 3rd culture? Can making and thinking be separated? Who can design be for? Through discussion of personal experiences in the academy and interactions with the field, we can work towards a consensus of terms and ways to investigate design at Brown.

Lukas Winklerprins is currently managing the Brown Design Workshop and fellow at The Design Office.