Reconstrained Futures

Speculative Design Education Exhibition
26 Bienale of Design, Ljubljana

14.11.2019 – 9.2.2020
Podhod Ajdovščina


Is there a common future and if so – to whom does that future belong?

 As part of the SpeculativeEdu project funded by the European Union Erasmus+ programme, the Reconstratined Future Exhibition presents a selection of student projects produced via a speculative design approach, dealing with (our) futures, from the microlocal futures to the global visions of tomorrow.

The Reconstratined Future Exhibition projects offer guidelines for concrete mechanisms, tools, and techniques for action, and some possible scenarios for the future such as climate, ecological, and social issues.


“How do we shift the power relations of speculation?”

“How can design education give subaltern voices have visibility and power?”

“Is it possible to enable the democratisation of speculation?”

“Can we speculate about other peoples’ realities?”

“Is deciding not to design the most radical act of design?”

“Is speculation possible without projecting one’s own desires or fears?”

“Where is the grey area between inspiration and colonisation?”

“ How to move from speculations to reality?”

“How to act instead of waiting for “salvation” in disasters?”

“Why is it so difficult to imagine a more positive future?”

“How to reconstrain design practice and education?”


Museum of Native Dishes

In the near future extreme climate changes, global warming and rising of the sea level lead to changes in the food chain on the east coast of the Adriatic. The dramatic decrease in annual agricultural yields and the decline in native Adriatic fish led to changes in the way people perceive food. Traditional ways of preparing and eating food gave way to new models of experiencing dishes. Old, traditional recipes and tastes are no longer to be found and the locals remain deeply nostalgic for such memories.

The Museum of Native Dishes is now open in order for locals to socially experience the flavors they were used to during their childhoods, tastes that can no longer be found. It is open for anyone interested in the old native ways of food making (and the lost concept of “recipe”). The museum not only allows you to get the taste of what the food used to be like, but to also appreciate the forgotten ways in which these recipes were originally prepared. Museum is based on forgotten concept of a restaurant in which the waiter will serve your dishes. Food is coming in the form of a pill, each pill contains parts of the course and one can taste either single part of the course or combine them all.

Supervisors: Ted Hunt and Marija Polović

Participants/authors: Marija Banić, Anamarija Buljan, Bruno Dubravec and Dejan Zobenica

Workshop “Interakcije 2018 – Life After Disaster”,  Arts Academy, Split, 2018.

Splitska dica (Tent Community)

The project follows the story of students come to study in the city Split on the Adriatic coast in the 2060s and cannot find any accommodation during their studies because of the prolonged tourist season, which occurred due to global warming. The government, city administration and local society neglect their needs, call for help and frequent protests, so students decide to act alone and set up a movement called “Splitska dica”. 

In order to reclaim the importance and values of the students as a part of the society which are responsible for the future, but becomes completely rejected by the city, “Splitska dica”, a community movement which raise awareness but in the same time offers a temporary alternative, has been formed. Acting from bottom-up, DIY, they set up tents in different locations around the city, offering a temporary solution to students. In order to trigger a strong reaction of local society and city authorities they published the manifesto, as well as installing the projections of their former rooms on tents that represent nostalgia for the lost, and in the same time facilitating adaptation to a new way of life. 

Supervisors: Ted Hunt and Marija Polović

Participants/authors: Marija Matulić, Neva Zidić and Alejandra Robles Sosa

Workshop „Interakcije 2018 – Life After Disaster“,  Arts Academy, Split, 2018

Fjaka (Let’s Party – DIY Politics)

Fed up with the mainstream parties that dominate the political system? Why not start you own? 

From single-issue campaigns to satirical frivolity, at the more creative fringes of the political spectrum unorthodox parties and candidates are challenging established aesthetic order and political conventions. In true do-it-yourself spirit they have created alternatives to what they think is missing from mainstream parties and have made politics relevant and fun for them. 

Let’s Party drew from this tradition of independent politics to inspire young people to consider their own political language and goals but also to recognise methods, techniques and language employed by political parties in their communication with the citizens in order to understand political discourse. Participants were tasked with designing their own party and taking it to the streets to agitate and engage citizens of Split.

Supervisors: Demitrios Kargotis and Oleg Šuran

Participants/authors: Sara Poljak, Dora Stupalo, Mate Žaja, Marija Polović, Pina Šegula Seršen, Otto Kušec, Nika Tecilazić, Anja Kepert, Milica Novaković, Jelena Strugar, Helena Tošić, Ana Sutlović, Elin Engström, Adrian Rovina, Miljenko Dujić, Anamaria Buljan, Felicia Nilsson and Lara Benevides Da Silva Fernandes 

Workshop „Interakcije 2016 – Speculative NOW!“,  Arts Academy, Split, 2016


The Future is Unwritten

Textile materials, clothes and their codes are time travel analogue messages from the past which communicate personal worldview, political and geographical contexts. Local makers/craftsmen from the Adriatic city of Split were invited to consider their inherent skills from the past and project them into a future technological context. A sailmaker, a seamstress, and a crochet crafter were invited to make a suit resistant to the Mediterranean weather (wind) phenomena called “jugo” and “bura” with local materials. For example, reused sailcloth donated by a local sailmaker was used for the raincoat. 

Theirs textile message travel through time to the future inhabitants of Split, coded with the handmade data and patterns based on the different local and cultures around the world. The message, the process and materials can be decoded by reading through the glossary.

Supervisors: Ivica Mitrović and Oleg Šuran

Student/author: Alejandra Robles Sosa

Visual Communications Design master programme (module: Interactive Media Design), Arts Academy, Split, 2018/2019

AAA (Amazon Actively Aging) / Maribor+

Discover the future of aging and come with us in Maribor to enjoy the eternal rest!

In the year 2079, in the dystopian future, characterised by the global corporations, local migrations and aging of population, the city of Maribor in Slovenia is trying to find ways for maintaining city infrastructure and to preserve its urban life. As the last hope for survival, the city gives governance to the Amazon corporation which brings financial stability via its medical research centre – Amazon Med.

By AAA program (Amazon Active Aging) the city transform itself in Maribor+, imagined as utopia where locals and newcomers would enjoy advanced social system, comfortable life in the third age and the sustainable end of life. In return, citizens agree to share their medical data via accompanied wearable companion devices and at the end of the life they decide if they want to become nutrient biomass or Human+ protein burger.

Is this utopia or dystopia of the Maribor’s future? By designing various do-it-yourself interventions, based on the traditional way of life, local citizens are answering these questions.

Supervisors: Ivica Mitrović and Oleg Šuran

Participants/authors:  Heather Griffin, Upendra Vaddadi, Marketa Dolejsova, Joatan Preis Dutra, Jasmina Weiss and Tara Mijalović

Workshop „Future Friends“, SpeculativeEdu, Maribor, 2019

Alternative Friends

♬ So no one told you life was gonna be this way… ♬

The opening line in the Friends theme song hints at the rift between expectations and realities in life. That’s about as deep as the show goes in stimulating critical discourse to challenge social constructs. But that wasn’t the purpose of Friends. What if it was? How can performative comedy become a medium to promote discussion and debate of our collective future?

The workshop Alternative Friends sought to answer questions that explore the changing dynamics of global economics, politics, race, gender, sexuality and technology.  It began with an introduction to the sitcom as a storytelling device. Participants were guided through worldbuilding, creating character profiles, and drafting and performing their script. During the process, clips of Friends and Parks and Recreation were shown to highlight the ubiquity of Trodov’s Theory of story progression. The two groups wrote and performed their own storylines, satirizing intrusive technologies and moral dilemmas that arise in their future worlds.

Supervisors: Jimmy Loizeau, Matt Ward, Dash Macdonald and James Auger

Participants/authors: Lourdes Rodríguez, Lesley-Ann Daly, Yuxi Liu, James Delaney, Ladipo Famodu, Aliki Tsakoumi, Masafumi Kawachi, Sjef van Gaalen, Susanne Wieland, Katja Roškar, Kristina Kontrec

Workshop „Future Friends“, SpeculativeEdu, Maribor, 2019

Arjeplog Gemenskap

“Welcome to Arjeplog Gemenkap in Northern Sweden. We are a self-sustaining international community that believes in education everywhere, age equality, and the wisdom of the plants. Each month we introduce climate refugees from around the world to our way of living during the Welcoming Ceremony. Things haven’t always been this way. We once allowed seasonal automobile testing on our (no longer) frozen lakes. From the ashes of the automobile industry grew a renewed respect for plant life and the interconnection of our natural world. We decided to minimize our impact above ground by converting all existing buildings to sleeping quarters, the Upper Dens. We transformed the vast bunker network from the Cold War into spaces for socialization, the Lower Dens. The only above-ground space we allow human interference is within the biodomes. Here, care is taken to cultivate a variety of plants that offer nourishment to our entire population.”

Supervisors: Salvatore Iaconesi, Oriana Persico and Federico Biggio

Participants/authors:  Rita Trombin, Jennifer Gasser, Su Wu, Giulia Mangoni, Ladipo Famodu, Leonardo Gerritse, Marija Polović and Alejandra Robles Sosa

Workshop „NeoRural Futures“, SpeculativeEdu, Rome, 2019

We did something for Africa

“We were asked to create a future scenario for the rural town of Lushoto, Tanzania. Early on in the process, some concerns emerged. Aware of the critiques speculative design has received in the past, mainly for reinforcing colonialist and imperialist ways of thinking, we came to the conclusion that we should not speculate about the future of Lushoto; some work can simply not be done detached and upon the people it concerns.”

Project is critical reflection of a certain speculative design which neglects such concerns, speaks via narration through the voices of two fictional characters – Alex Staire, a designer who follows through with creating a future scenario for Lushoto, and Victoria Turner, an anthropologist, who does not hesitate to point out the moral questionability underlying Alex’s project. 

Supervisors: Salvatore Iaconesi, Oriana Persico and Alessandra Del Nero

Participants/authors: Eliza Chojnacka, Markel Cormenzana, Sabrina Haas, Elena Hess-Rheingans, James Hillman, Yang Li and Camila Monteiro Pereira

Workshop „NeoRural Futures“, SpeculativeEdu, Rome, 2019


How can design be used to encourage speculation and critical reflection through the use of fiction? What design fiction and speculative design are is intrinsically defined by what (their makers think) their role is in society and also intrinsically includes their fictional nature. The project explores this deduction by reflecting on these critical practices from multiple perspectives.

What position could the designer take in this changing world? How can we build multispecies inclusivity into the process of designing future scenarios? And what language could be suitable as an inclusive communication format for new ecosystems? The project presents a semi-fictional script about the role of the designer in a changing world, spoken in the alternative language of wavelengths. The script takes the Future Friends SpeculativeEdu discussion from Maribor about the state of speculative design as its starting point, and combines a transcript of this discussion with the results from personal research, multiple interviews and thoughts shared in countless conversations.

Supervisor: René Put and Jellichje Reijnders

Student/author: Erik Peters

Sound Design: Malte Burmester

Crossmedia Design, AKI ArtEZ Academy of Art and Design



Exhibition curators: Ivica Mitrović and Oleg Šuran

Producer: Institute for Transmedia Design