100 futures now : designing sustainable futures

Hooper, Les & Wright, Natalie (2014) 100 futures now : designing sustainable futures. In Strong, Marian & Knight, Linda (Eds.) INSEA2014 34th World Congress of the International Society for Education through Art , 7-11 July 2014, Melbourne, Australia.


This presentation tells the story of an initiative in middle schooling at Kelvin Grove State College that begins in the Art studios, but reaches out to other disciplines and approaches, and to community and industry partners. It is inspired by the potential of 'future thinking' to become a compelling focus in contemporary art and design. Ethically it espouses a simple premise": every student in our classrooms now has a stake in creating livable, democratic and creative futures. Every student has the potential to be an active force in making that future. "100 Futures Now" is a project that envisages creative and imaginative students working in collaboration with artists and designers to visualize amazing futures and communicate their vision through art and design.

"100 Futures Now" is one in a series of innovative curriculum initiatives at Kelvin Grove State College designed to build sustainable practice in arts education with the support of partners in industry and universities and with resident artists and designers. The model blends elements of art and design methodology to focus on the critical and creative thinking skills prioritised in ACARA and 21st century curriculum.

The organisers are developing a sustainable model for working with resident artists that goes beyond a single arts intervention or extension/enrichment experience. In this model artists and designers are collaborators in the design of learning experiences that support future programs. This model also looks to transfer the benefits of residencies to the wider school community (in this case to middle schooling curriculum) and to teachers in other curriculum areas, and not exclusively to the immediate target group.

In "100 Futures Now", story-making is the engine that powers the creative process. For this reason the program uses a series of imaginative scenarios, including those of speculative fiction and science, as departure points for inquiry, and applies the methodologies of arts and design practice to explore and express student story telling and story making. The story-making responses of student teams will naturally be expressed multimodally through visual art, design artifacts, installation, performance and digital works. The project’s focus on narratives and its modes of communication (performance/installation) are inspired by the work of experimental contemporary design practices and the speculative scenarios of U.K. based designers Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby.

Thanks to the support of an Arts Queensland Artist-in -Residence grant in 2014, resident artists and designers who work with a diversity of ideas and approaches ranging over science, bio-ethics, biodiversity, behavior and ethics, ambient sound, urbanism, food, and wearable design, will work with middle school students as catalysts for deeper thinking and creative action. All these rich fields for future speculation will become triggers for team inquiry into the deeper connections between the past, the present, and future challenges such as climate, waste, energy, sustainability and resilience.

These imagined futures will form the platform for a critical, sustainability/design futures approach that will involve questioning assumptions and empowering students as agents rather than consumers of change.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 76550
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Designing Futures, Design workshop, Sustainability education, Design thinking, Secondary Education, Primary Education, Design Education
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Design Practice and Management not elsewhere classified (120399)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > OTHER EDUCATION (139900)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > School of Media, Entertainment & Creative Arts
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Les Hooper and Natalie Wright
Deposited On: 07 Dec 2014 22:32
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2014 20:30

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