Master of Non-Linear Narrative | Royal Academy of Arts

This 4-day workshop probes the role of design / narration in relation to concepts and practices of worldmaking. As a part theoretical, part experimental workshop, our time will be split between reading-group and discussion sessions, informal presentations, as well as material exercises to toy with the consequences of the discussed ideas. How can/do ‘design objects’ (understood as broadly as possible) help make other, unknown worlds intelligible or sensible to us? How can they help us not only reassess familiar worlds, but ones that are unknown? While perhaps appearing as a rather ‘sci-fi like’ proposition, the concept behind such questions is far broader: To speak of better, or more just worlds, we are talking about a world that does not yet exist in the concrete here and now of a current world. How can we come to witness, interact with, and think such worlds that do not provide given conditions to experience them? What is meant by ‘world’ in this context, is a space of inhabitation - one that is underwritten by certain frames of reference in which things, bodies, entities and qualities of relation ‘make sense’ in specific configuration. In this workshop we will be considering design archaeologically, that is as always, already the production of artifacts, yet artifacts from an other there and then of a speculative world (to be invented). Such artifacts can be considered non-adaptive, since they do not conform to the frames of reference of a given concrete world, but belong to ‘what if’ or counterfactual worlds that await collective configuration. We will be considering the consequences of a ‘planetary turn’ in discourses concerning climate change and ubiquitous computation, to speculate on possible worldly (i.e. inhabitable) configurations and transformations. Readings:
  • The Human as Double Bind: Sylvia Wynter and the Genre of “Man”, by Emily Anne Parker, Journal of Speculative Philosophy 32 (3):439-449 (2018)
  • What in the World? Storyworlds, Science Fiction, and Futures Studies, by: Peter von Stackelberg and Alex McDowell in: Journal of Future Studies, 2015, 20(2): 25-46. Read: Abstract and
  • Introduction: The Planetary Condition, by Amy J. Elias and Christian Moraru. From: The Planetary Turn: Relationality and Geoaesthetics in the Twenty-First Century, (Chicago: University of Northwestern Press, 2015), xi-xxxvi.
  • Introduction to “Comparative Planetology” by Lukáš Likavčan (2020)