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Projektmodul / Project Module
Fantasy is Reality: Interfaces for Hanging in There
Instructor: Vertr.-Prof. Jason Reizner
Credits: 18 ECTS, 12 SWS
Capacity: max. 15 students
Language: English
Date: Plenum: Tuesdays, 13:30-18:30; Consultations by appointment
Location: Online
First Meeting: 13 April 2021, 13:30
(Link to online meeting will be sent to accepted participants by email.)


Fantasy is reality in the world today
I'll keep hanging in there, that's the only way
–Parliament, 1970

Heavy times demand not only solidarity, ingenuity and resilience from us all, but also the capacity to fantasize a different existence thereafter. While societal disruptions resulting from armed conflict, natural disaster, famine and pandemic have accompanied homo sapiens sapiens since time immemorial, the world at present finds itself in the midst of the first generation of ubiquitous global crises to unfold in the post-information age.

As a novel virus has upended established norms framing how we interact as social creatures in physicality, our abrupt thrust into everyday virtuality over the past year has evidenced our dependence on technologies that have made the quantum leap from science fiction fantasy to quotidian existence. From genomic sequencing to logistics networks to high definition videoconferencing, the contemporary digital infrastructure that underpins the systems keeping us hanging in there also provides a canvas to fantasize about what is yet to come.

This project module provides a platform for artists, designers and architects to hypothesize and explore design fictions centered on virtual, physical and post-physical interactions, cybernetics and participatory interfaces, with a view towards articulating speculative futures that prototype the tomorrow we dread and/or long for.

Through a series of lectures, workshops and targeted discussions, participants will address topics including post-human centered design, telepresence/telerobotics, network cultures, edge computing and distributed computing, machine learning, human and artificial intelligence, generative and autonomous systems, environmental sensing and smart citizenry.

Admission requirements

Enrollment in MKG/MAD MFA or MediaArchitecture MSc programs

Application and registration procedure

Application with CV and Statement of Motivation to jason.reizner [ät] uni-weimar.de


Successful completion of the course is dependent on regular attendance, active participation, completion of assignments and delivery of a relevant semester prototype and documentation. Please refer to the Evaluation Rubric for more details.

Eligible participants

MFA Medienkunst/-gestaltung, MFA Media Art and Design, MSc MediaArchitecture candidates

Platforms and Tools

This Wiki
BigBlueButton (only as necessary)
Cisco WebEx
Google Jamboard

Syllabus (subject to change)

13 April 2021 / Week 1
Course Organization
Administrative Housekeeping

Assignment: For next week, please review Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias by Michel Foucault

Please be ready to share your preliminary ideas for your concept for your semester project.

20 April 2021 / Week 2
Less is More:
Dystopia, Utopia, Heterotopia, Xenotopia

Assignment: In preparation for next week's guest lecture, please review "Automatic Sweethearts", a chapter by Michael Hauskeller in Mythologies of Transhumanism

27 April 2021 / Week 3
How (not) to think of our technological future
Guest Lecture with Prof. Mario Verdicchio, University of Bergamo (IT)

Assignment: For next week, please review SImulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard

4 May 2021 / Week 4
Speculative Design, Design Fiction and the Cone of Futures
Subversive Prototyping
Ideation & Iteration

Assignment: In preparation for next week's Roundtable, please review some of the examples of speculative design and design fiction presented in today's class. Even if you already have a project concept defined, articulate using notes or sketches and be ready to briefly present three speculative approaches for next week's discussion.

11 May 2021 / Week 5
Project Roundtable I

Assignment: For next week, please distill your semester project concept into a one-page written abstract, which you will further develop in next week's proposal workshop.

Special Programming Note: As part of the Interface Design Guest Lecture Series this semester, Sebastian Trujillo Torres and Kruti Shah of Chaal Chaal Agency (CO/IN) will be giving a talk this evening at 18:30 (11.05.2021) in Pablo Silva Saray's Fachmodul Architectural Interventions for Smart Citizen Agency. Access can be requested by email.

18 May 2021 / Week 6
Concept Development Lab I
Proposal Workshop with Matthew Lloyd (UK/DE)

Assignment: TBA

25 May 2021 / Week 7
Concept Development Lab II
Independent Research
Individual Consultations by Appointment

Assignment: TBA

1 June 2021 / Week 8
Generative and Algorithmic Forms
Cybernetic Agency, Autonomy and Expressivity

Assignment: TBA

8 June 2021 / Week 9
Midterm Presentations

Assignment: TBA

15 June 2021 / Week 10
Cybernetic Organisms and Platform Environments
Post-Physical Interactions after Human-Machine Singularity

Assignment: TBA

22 June 2021 / Week 11
Synthetic and Mixed Realities
The Real, The Rendered and the Irrelevant

Assignment: TBA

29 June 2021 / Week 12
3D/4D Form & Process Lab

Assignment: TBA

6 July 2021 / Week 13
Project Roundtable II

Assignment: TBA

13 July 2021 / Week 14
Final Presentations