The Travel Guide to the Future is a DIY fanzine that maps and tells stories of “futures made locally, in heterogeneous communities, and with marginalised public”.
The Travel Guide was produced as outcome of the “Making Futures” workshop. This workshop was organised by Medea‘s Pelle Ehn, Elisabet Nilsson, and Richard Topgard, and Laura Watts from Copenhagen IT University as part of the Participatory Design Conference 2012 (Roskilde, Denmark).
The aim of the workshop (whose approach was influenced by Robert Junk’s Future Workshops) was to “collaboratively envision and plan for locally grounded particular futures” by involving “an assembly of local (often marginalised) participatory initiatives of future-making practices”. (from the call for submissions)
Participants were invited to present an example of a local future “being made” (social innovation projects, new collaborations in public interventions… ) in the form of a “tour” of the case study. In the first part of the workshop, the examples were explored individually, as “islands”. During the day, the “archipelago of futures” was then mapped by drawing connections and search for collaboration and controversies between examples.
The Travel Guide to the Futures was produced in the afternoon, by participants themselves documenting the archipelago and exploring cross-cutting themes that highlight similarities and differences between cases.
“This part of the workshop explored the proximities of some futures, and distances of others; the shared challenges both within the cases themselves and of the experiences of the design practice. It also considered the connections and resistances between these multiple forms of innovation practice. Through these discussions and sharing of stories, images, and texts from the cases, participants generated a travel guide” (from the project Website).
The Fanzine and the companion guidebook that collects all the papers submitted for the workshops can be downloaded from the Medea Website: http://medea.mah.se/2012/08/pdc-making-futures/