Methods ideation for participatory critical futures making in immersive shared spaces
Can shared immersive digital spaces facilitate the co-creation of fairer and more sustainable futures with communities at the margins? This research will engage with communities to co-produce a series of use-case scenarios in which an immersive environment could be used to support participatory critical futures making.
Social futures are frequently presented as digitally-driven, ‘predicted inevitables’ (Adams et al 2009), and draw on a narrow range of experiences and priorities (Facer & Sriprakash, 2021; Andersson, 2018; D’Ignazio and Klein 2018). This framing excludes the voices of communities at the margins, limiting the opportunities for people to shape their own futures. It also fails to draw on the diversity of knowledges and lived experiences necessary to generate more sustainable and inclusive futures and respond to the complex challenges currently facing society.
The research team will explore how shared immersive environments, such as The Igloo CAVE, can facilitate the co-creation of fairer and more sustainable futures with communities at the margins using an immersive digital visualisation shared space. The platform may enable emerging, complex, dynamic and sometimes abstract ideas about futures to be visualised and discussed in more immediate and tangible ways – with this be a way to a way to democratise and diversify futures thinking and futures making?
By engaging with community, research and design participants, this project will to co-produce a series of use-case scenarios in which an immersive environment could be used to support participatory critical futures making.
What is being created?
As part of this research project there will be a series of workshops designed to co-produce ideas for using the Igloo CAVE as a platform to facilitate the community imagination of desirable futures. Including a visit to the Igloo CAVE in situ. Workshops will explore:
- What elements of existing methodologies would be appropriate for co-designing futures with community groups in shared immersive spaces?
- What might be the benefits and relevance of participatory critical futures making for specific community groups?
- What activities are the most promising to pursue with this technology and this community?
Who are the team and what do they bring?
- Dr Lyndsay Grant (School of Education, University of Bristol) brings expertise in critical approaches to digital technologies in society and education, digital/data literacies; sociotechnical futures.
- Dr Neil Carhart (Civil Engineering, University of Bristol) has expertise in the relationships between the design of the built environment and health and wellbeing; use of digital technologies to support co-design and decision making in shaping future roles.
- Jon Somerscales (Interaction designer and user researcher) brings expertise in public creative research projects focused on positive social and environmental behaviour change.
- Pravanya Pillay and Qazzally Ali‘s (Babbasa) work centres on digital platforms. Babbasa is a youth empowerment social enterprise working with marginalised young people in Bristol.