Back From The Future

Useful information

Team members
David Weingartner Sarah Eisenmann Simon Leebman Christian Escher Ramona Pielenhofer Maren Wolf
speculative design cocreation collaboration urban design future thinking

Short Description

We are a program for participatory futures research and making in the social city life context.

Detailed Description

This project was born from the growing resentment of observing isolation, consumerist attitude and helplessness in our city. We would like to live in a city that catalyzes creative power for co-creating the environment we live in, where people feel agency and responsibility to do so.
We worked with various groups of citizens of Munich to extrapolate trends and forecasts of today into possible futures in several full day workshop sessions. They created more than 80 future scenarios around diverse topics relating to the city context with correspondent stories of the society living in it including the design of everyday objects from those futures to make them tangible and therefore more immediate. In the current phase of our project, we will use the designed futures in interventions in public spaces to irritate the broader society in the city creating resonance around the potential futures and describing the futures Munich citizens want to live in and the pathways that lead there.

Project Details

Does your design take social and cultural challenges and human wellbeing into consideration?

Imagine people in your community are connected, not only spatially, but also in a shared sense of conscious and collaborative future making. Instead of fear, passivity and consumerist attitude towards a city, we want to create the will for responsibility and agency to design the social city life through a collaborative process.

Does your design support sustainable production, embodying circular or regenerative design practices?

Our project is about the creation of a sustainable mindset, in the sense of cultivating our thinking as future making citizens. Making this a regenerative design process is implemented in us open sourcing the project, making it free and available to other cities.

Does your design use principles of distribution and open source?

Long-term thinking and transparency is key to us! To extend the reach of the future scenarios and enable resonance, all project resources, methods, run sheets, tools, stories and artifacts will be available under open source license. The goal is to share this project in a way that other cities can create the same impact in their society.

Does your design promote awareness of responsible design and consumption?

Absolutely, since our goal is to nudge future making citizens and make them aware of the responsibility they have with their way of consuming, creating and living in their own city.