Thinking concretely about alternative futures is harder and rarer than it should be. THE FUTURES BAZAAR is a public imagination toolkit to make exploring times to come easier, more fun, and more common. Released by the British Broadcasting Corporation and Situation Lab (publishers of The Thing From The Future), the kit has been used by groups in various parts of the world, and recently won the inaugural Inclusive Foresight Award from the Association of Professional Futurists.
The Futures Bazaar concept explained
A Futures Bazaar revolves around participants bringing in ordinary household objects that might otherwise be thrown away, and, step by step, turning them into artifacts from various future worlds. Funny or sad, thrilling or scary, the collective imagining of the gathering can be taken in whatever directions are important to the group. Whether the context is a classroom, a community festival, or a professional team seeking a creative retreat activity (the pilot event was staged for 200 designers from across the BBC), the kit includes everything a would-be organiser might need to start planning their own event.
The self-contained kit requires minimal resources to run, and in an effort to spread futures fluency more widely, it has been made available in open access for download, adaptation and non-commercial use by anyone, anywhere.
This free webinar presented by Teach the Future marks the first time that the project’s authors Filippo Cuttica (LEGO, Copenhagen Institute for Interaction Design) and Stuart Candy (Parsons School of Design, NASA JPL) are doing a public talk on the design with a live Q&A on the project, to help widen awareness and use of the kit.
Anyone curious about what a #FuturesBazaar is, and what’s involved in staging one, is warmly encouraged to attend!
Free toolkit download
The toolkit is made up of three elements: Manual, Slides, and Printouts. The Manual (a complete guide for use in hard copy or on a tablet) helps you plan your own event, the Slides (to display on any large screen or projector) help you run it, and the Printouts (ready to go in either colour or B&W) are for distributing to participants on the day.
All this has been packaged into a single zipped folder containing the full set of PDF documents below: