Speculative Design
by Lisa Ma

Speculative Design makes proposals that digest large complex issues surrounding our futures into tangible designs for debate. These emerge as memes to change our perspective on scientific research and tech trajectories. I push a form of Speculative Design that builds mutually beneficial relationships between fringe communities and the mainstream population.

Spas at Cat Ladies’ homes for parasitic infection, Airport activists that give tours of villages endangered by aviation expansions & joystick factory workers that do part-time farming when our latest tech fad switches to the next wave, at the detriment of a global food production.

As we enter a time when thoughts and believes reach beyond consumable slogans, these designs propose ways where we can have voices in quieter, more compassionate ways that reach beyond a traditional loud activism.

Lisa Ma socialises activism. Combining fringe communities, ethnographic research and speculative design, her unusual ‘platforms of engagement’ creates social events that are perceived as activism but function as services.

From beauty spas at cat ladies’s homes to tours by airport protesters and Farmification of Chinese joystick factories, her ‘passive activism’ designs pushes forward passive protest in an era of abstract petitioning such as ‘clicktivism’ & ‘slacktivism’.

In Lisa’s recent project, she founded a community called Naturtarians in a vegetarian Belgian town that chooses to eat to control to opposed taxations for poisoning invasive animals. Naturtarian inspired a documentary series to be filmed by Canvas Collection in 2014 and Lisa is connecting the experiments to question the future of Luddism and healthcare with Nottingham.

Lisa Ma lectures widely and writes about futures, activism and speculative design in molecular cuisine books and invasive science magazines. She is a London Global Shaper for World Economic Forum and shares her adventures at fringejoyride.com.


Lisa Ma

Image provided by Lisa Ma, Meetingpoint
This work was submitted by Lisa Ma on 22 February 2014.

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