“Disciplines, like nations, are a necessary evil that enable human beings of bounded rationality to simplify the structure of their goals. But parochialism is everywhere, and the world sorely needs international and interdisciplinary travelers who will carry new knowledge from one enclave to another”. - Herbert Simon
Futuring Methods & Rituals is a research seminar where we address the problem of the lack of shared futures vision in the context of widening disciplinary gap and hyper-specialisation. The complexity of the socio-political and technological world with all the mutually exclusive contradictions, conflicts and conundrums is too swampy for any discipline to claim the functional purity of the application of ivory tower like paradigms. Cross-, inter-, multi- and trans- disciplinary collaborations and synergies provide some hope for the possible to become probable as well as for seemingly inevitable to become avoidable. In the context of the seminar, we develop methodologies for approaching the complex immediate and projected challenges to the values in the desirable futures we want to inhabit and things in it we ought to avoid. In it, we see the opportunity for the critical theory to reemerge from the ashes of the seeming historicised irrelevance. We counter the foresight approaches to the future as ‘predicted’ when it is locked in the patterns of everlasting present, therefore becoming a reproduction of it.
The rituality in designing futures is especially important. For example we look at the Oracle of Apollo and Theatre of Dionysus in the Ancient world as a toolkit for designing desirable shared futures, the method of creating the commonality between the scattered tribes divided by ancestries, languages and short-term interests. Futuring methods, in fact, are all rituals that hold legitimacy to be the source of constructing the desired imaginaries. Most of the cultures have those methods present in some form, as they played essential role in establishing the vision of the what is desirable. What can we learn from rituals, like Oracle, and contemporary methods, such as industrial foresight, of futuring about the socio-political paradigms of visualising the worlds to come?
The seminar was hosted by Transdisciplinary Design Department of the New School (New York, US), Projeto Fidalga (Sao Paulo, BR). Pythian Games of Futures, that are planned by the INSTITUTE from the end of 2019 in Delphi (GR), are envisioned as a regular platform for the research seminar.