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Speculative Systems (ABPL90147)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5Not available in 2019

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Year of offerNot available in 2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeABPL90147
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This seminar explores technology in relationship to nature, culture and design. Its core goal is to critically consider future design practice and values, knowledge, skills, communities, learning behaviours and forms of resistance that are of relevance to future practitioners.

The seminar engages with creative, speculative, imaginative, critical and aesthetic aspects of technology. It does so by analysing a broad range of computational and other practices including generative design, textual or visual programming, electronics and mechatronics, robotics, digital fabrication, game design, interactive and new media art, dynamic modelling, simulation and visualisation, interactive and distributed systems, forms of autonomy and artificial intelligence, self-organisation and self-assembly, material computing, cyborgs, singularities and even extra-terrestrial creativity.

The teaching method combines reading and class discussions with individually tailored speculative research methods where students are encouraged to develop and investigate future-oriented projects motivated by their own long-term personal goals.

As an opportunity for an in-depth exploration, the seminar can be used to develop themes for the subsequent Design Thesis or topics for the Master and PhD programs. Beyond this, the outcome of this course can be used to inform design/art projects, support research within professional practices or lay foundations for innovative career paths and business models.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of the subject students should have developed:

  • Familiarity with the current conceptual thinking in regard to natural, technical and cultural systems.
  • Critical understanding of the creative opportunities emerging from science, technology and computation.
  • Critical awareness of the role design plays in complex, hybrid ecologies.
  • Understanding of collaboration with non-human creative agencies (algorithms, machines, materials and living entities).
  • Ability to define research and implement innovative, future-oriented projects.
  • Ability to plan personal development in the light of current trends and possible futures.

Generic skills

On completion of the subject students should have developed:

  • critical thinking and analytical skills
  • skills in information gathering and critical synthesis
  • skills in developing comprehension of complex concepts and the ability to express them orally and in writing

Last updated: 3 April 2019