After Work: Design Fictions on Digitalization and Future Landscapes of Work

Seminar Bachelor A+U ab 3. FS Master A+U/MediaArch. ab 1. FS 2 SWS | 3 ECTS

Lehrende: Dr. Dulmini Perera

What would the world of work look like with the increasing processes of digitalization and automation? How will changes in digital infrastructure affect the processes of planning? How will it change our imaginaries of the spaces where we live and work? What would a world ”after work” look like when automated services assist life, the working week consists of three days, and everyone has access to a universal basic income? What will be the spatial implications of these patterns? Can architecture play a supportive role within this transition? What kind of a theoretical framework is necessary to understand the emerging technological condition and the resulting complications?

How can ‘design fiction’ as a method help make emerging trends visible so that designers, architects, critical thinkers, and the general public can engage critically with a world that is yet to come?
If you are interested in any of these questions, we invite you to join us during the summer semester. We will explore these questions collectively via engaging with existing theoretical discussions and playful performative sessions that enable a ‘futures modeling’ approach.

Language: Deutsch/ EnglishThe 4 reading sessions will be conducted in English. The performative sessions and the Design fiction assignment can be conducted in a language preferred by the participants.Course format:4 Reading sessions + 2 play sessions + 4 consultations for group project developmentThe seminar will consist of 4 reading group sessions where we will discuss together some selected chapters from the suggested readings and the relevance of this work to our seminar theme and your projects. These critical reading sessions will be complemented by 2 performative sessions where we will work with student collaborators to engage with the topic by playing some games, listening, and interacting with stories. 4 sessions will be dedicated for consultations to help you develop your own design fiction projectsAssignment/output:The students will work in groups. They can choose any one of the themes presented and find local sites/projects related to these thematic discussions. By the end of the semester, the groups should develop their ”design fiction” using a medium of their choice.The Design fiction could either be seen as an end product, a story developed based on existing patterns related to the changing nature of work and spatial relations in the contemporary German context.Or the Design fiction can be seen as a tool that will help work with a community to understand their mental models relating to the changing nature of work and spatial relations.The collective work produced by the groups will be collected as a part of a publication and a webinar event.

Themes for reading sessions and Suggested Readings:

Session 1: Design fiction and the role of speculation in design thinking
1. Dunne, Anthony, and Fiona Raby. Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming. Cambridge, Massachusetts; London: The MIT Press, 2013.
2. Bleecker, Julian. Design Fiction: A short essay on Design, Science, Fact and Fiction. Near Future laboratory,
3. Harraway, Donna. SF: String Figures, Multispecies Muddles, staying with the trouble,

Session 2: To work or not to work, that is the question?
4. Arendt, Hannah, Vita Aktiva oder Vom tätigen Leben. München Piper, 2020.
5. Hui, Yuk. ”On Automation and Free time” in Superhumanity, E-Flux Architecture Journal, 2018,
6. Göpel, Maja, and Ute Bronder. Unsere Welt neu denken eine Einladung. 2020.
7. Srnicek, Nick, and Alex Williams. Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work. London: Verso, 2016.

Interactive story telling+ play session 1 (With student-collaborators who will lead the event)

Session 3: Virtuality, immateriality and spaces of work
8. Rumpfhuber, Andreas. Architektur immaterieller Arbeit. Turia und Kant, 2013.
9. Bridle, James . New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future. London: Verso.2019.

Session 4: The Material spaces of a digitalizing work world

10. Young, Liam. Machine Landscapes Architectures of the Post-Anthropocene. Oxford: John Wiley & Sons, 2019.
11. Easterling, Keller. Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space. London: Verso, 2016.

Interactive story telling+ play session 2 (With student-collaborators who will lead the event)

Poster design @Leonie Link


Beginn:  12. April 2021
Zeit:      montags, 11:00 - 12:30 Uhr
Ort:       Moodle