Conversations: Stuart Candy

I had the great pleasure of picking up Stuart Candy from the airport this past week and discussing my thesis interests and investigations with him in traffic. Stuart is the Senior Foresight and Innovation Specialist at Arup, Adjunct Professor at California College of the Arts, and Research Fellow of The Long Now Foundation.

LAX > Pasadena (from memory):

  • Futuring practice needs a kick in the ass. Held back by various expectations. How can a futuring practice provide more “honest” or catalytic vision reports that go beyond corporate needs … This would take a special client, “someone that would basically say, ‘scare me.'”  Futuring practice is trapped in a cyclical process.
  • Fiction is a word that carries a lot of weight – if it is used, be considerate of it’s implications. Your project (my thesis) is not about fiction, it is also not about non-fiction: it is about the bridge between them.
  • Business and entrepreneurship is a very interesting concept for framing a new futuring practice… Read “the lean start-up” book: defines entrepreneurship as a commitment to engaging with, and innovating in, the unknown.
  • Gallery setting sucks – how can works be created that engage an audience in a more intimate manner? Example: postcards from the future.
  • “Diegetic” is a good word, but may not be willingly adopted by industries outside of the literary and artistic realms
  • A process or “template” should be avoided. Always start in the form of theory and illustration that leads to more paths for investigation and exploration. Illustration ——> Exploration. Set the scenario so that you have the world, or greater picture, and then dive in to the specifics, not vice versa

Notes from lecture @ Art Center College of Design

  • Always design “things” while imagining them in their larger context. Chair –> Room. Room –> House, etc..
  • It is not about utopia, or dystopia. That is too simple. Real life is a mixture of the two… the everyday.
  • Futuring is never accomplished by one author: collaboration is central to the process of speculation and prediction. Facilitate a discussion to speak about and deepen the thinking of possible, probable, and preferred futures.
  • Futuring is not accessible (*image of a stack of papers and a bunch of graphs*). Proposed ways to make it more accessible: Trasmedia Storytelling + Experiential Structures. These can spark a conversation around the communication of an idea or concept that leads to personal exploration.
  • Making allows the threshold of imaginary and real to dissolve.

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