FUEL4Design – Design Futures Literacies2020-11-13T15:37:22+01:00


Creative, critical, timely and performative

DESIGN FUTURES LITERACIES refers to a transdisciplinary mix of theories and concepts, methods and practices geared to support situated and resilient pedagogies for design students and teachers to engage productively and critically with the given and changing contexts and conditions of Design.

This is a design that reaches beyond functionalism into the pragmatic and the imaginary. It works with a diversity of participants and interests. It aims to meet real world needs but to also reach beyond their constraints and conceptualisations to develop and sustain specifically design based literacies and competencies. These are mental, material, creative and critical skills that are enacted performatively. In doing so, we need to acknowledge and address the changing nature of futures where the temporal and spatial, social and political, economic and ethical are increasingly entwined.

The contexts, conditions and complexities of today need designers who can anticipate, enact and propose means and actions for shaping alternative futures by design. DESIGN FUTURES LITERACIES takes this up conceptually, pedagogically, pragmatically and critically.

DESIGN FUTURES LITERACIES have Design at their front and centre. This refers to ways design generates analytical and practical knowledge and expertise through acts of creative, critical making for responsible and ethical futures. Placing Design at the centre and at the forefront accentuates that futures literacies are made by making, that they are shaped and enacted through reflexive pedagogies. These are pedagogies that are shaped through practices of construction and composition embedded in learning contexts that are agile and adaptive in their critical and communicative character.

With Design at the front and centre, DESIGN FUTURES LITERACIES accentuates that its is acts of learning and researching by design that are key for design students and teachers and researchers. Knowledge and related practices of working with emergence and knowin as becoming ask that we explore and critically examine our engagement in shaping design’s futures, pedagogically and via research, and professionally and societally.

When linked Design teaching, learning and inquiry are in focus, this also positions DESIGN FUTURES LITERACIES an an addition to views on both futures and literacies. It allows us to stretch beyond frameworks and practices of addressing futures through Futures Studies and Foresight work. It does so by shifting the focus to design as making knowledge and making knowledge through design and less matters of primarily strategic, managerial and decision making views determined by given models and modes of confirmatory validation. DESIGN FUTURES LITERACIES engages productively with shaping futures by design; it augments advances in Education on learning beyond classrooms and within students personal, public and increasingly mediated lives.

We look to not one future but many futures. We address literacies as expressed by designers and designer-researchers through multiple modes of making and knowing. These are not understood in terms of literacy as a set of deliverables, but a mix of ways of shaping futures where design programme, studios, projects and research are connected with partners and communities, interest groups and policy.

This raises matters of process, of learning by doing, of engagement in matters of current and long term concern, and of roles in participative and unfolding inquiry, that take place via dialogue, and through building related and related modes of assessment and critique.


Lexicon in online journal

Figure 1 (left) REFLEXICON. Two cards showing timescales and a specific term “Speculative”. Photo by Bastien Kerspern. Figure 2 (right) Lexical tagging of traditional [...]

By |19/11/2020|