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Guerrilla Futures

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Guerrilla futures is a practice at the intersection of strategic foresight and tactical media.

It's a direct answer to the challenge of bringing possible future scenarios to life in urban spaces.

This is an edited version of a presentation made by Stuart Candy (@futuryst) as part of a panel on Urban Tactics, for the second annual Festival of Transitional Architecture (@FESTA_CHCH) in Christchurch, New Zealand, on 26 October 2013. The panel was organised by Barnaby Bennett (@mrbarnabyb). http://festa.org.nz/

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Guerrilla Futures

  1. 1. Guerrilla Futures Stuart Candy Ph.D. | @futuryst OCAD University | Long Now Foundation Festival of Transitional Architecture (FESTA), Christchurch 26.oct.02013
  2. 2. Strategic Guerrilla Foresight Futures Tactical Media
  3. 3. Strategic Foresight is “the ability to create and maintain a high-quality, coherent and functional forward view and to use the insights arising in [practically] useful ways.” - Richard Slaughter, The Foresight Principle
  4. 4. Tactical media is “a form of media activism that privileges temporary, hit-and-run interventions in the media sphere … that engage and critique the dominant political and economic order.” - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tactical_media
  5. 5. Hawaii 2050 (2006) Four “experiential futures”, immersive scenarios set in Hawaii in 2050, were staged for 500+ participants embarking on a public sustainability planning process. (Not a guerrilla project, but a starting point…)
  6. 6. Our view: Routine foresight lacks impact and “Experiential futures” showed promise but Official processes were too timid to succeed
  7. 7. = If you can’t do it officially, do it unofficially
  8. 8. FoundFutures: Postcards from the future (2007) Postcards from four different versions of Hawaii circa 2030 were mailed out serially to the homes of over 100 community leaders.
  9. 9. FoundFutures: Artifacts from the future (2006/07) Installations of playful and provocative future artifacts in urban places, for people to encounter in the midst of their everyday lives.
  10. 10. FoundFutures: Chinatown (2007) Future artifacts from three scenarios for a much-loved neighbourhood. We created the stories after speaking with residents and business owners in the area about its history and their latent concerns.
  11. 11. ‘Green Dragon’ What becomes of Chinatowns when China is the predominant geopolitical superpower?
  12. 12. FoundFutures: Chinatown “Green Dragon”
  13. 13. ‘The Bird Cage’ How would the community fare if a bird flu outbreak occurred in Chinatown?
  14. 14. ‘McChinatown’ How would it feel for gentrification to take over the neighbouthood?
  15. 15. Advertising at Copenhagen airport during COP 15 (2009) Greenpeace and tcktcktck urged the world’s leaders not to miss an historic opportunity.
  16. 16. Earthquake awareness in San Francisco (2007) The Bay Area Red Cross temporarily placed a double-sided billboard at the bottom of Market Street in quake-prone San Francisco, vividly visualising seismic destruction and encouraging disaster preparedness.
  17. 17. New York Times Special Edition (2008) Culture jamming activists The Yes Men and artist Steve Lambert distributed an idealised future edition of the newspaper, featuring “all the news we hope to print”.
  18. 18. FoundFutures: The People Who Vanished (2012) A participatory experiential scenario (performance + mixed media installations) was staged with our collaborators in Phoenix for the first ‘Emerge’ festival at Arizona State University.
  19. 19. Hypothetical Development Organization (2010) Rob Walker and collaborators installed fanciful signage in the streets of New Orleans, suggesting imaginative new uses for disused buildings.
  20. 20. Compare with ‘unsolicited architecture’
  21. 21. “Unsolicited architects do not wait to tackle the big issues often overlooked by the market. They create briefs where none are written, discover sites where none are owned, approach clients where none are present, and find financing where none is available.” - Rory Hyde
  22. 22. Guerrilla futures combines strategic foresight with tactical media…
  23. 23. …to produce unexpected encounters with possible worlds.
  24. 24. Guerrilla futures principles: . Don’t break the universe . The tip of the iceberg . The art of the double-take . playfully . collectively
  25. 25. The point is to show, as well as tell, different stories…
  26. 26. …bringing futures to life in order to influence how we act today.
  27. 27. Plus it’s fun.
  28. 28. Take back the future!
  29. 29. Thanks. More at: foundfutures.org futuryst.com @futuryst

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