Speculative Design

Projects, whether physically or digitally produced, designed for the purpose of cultural commentary, intervention, or exploration, or created as speculative design for a client or educational institution. Examples include: future scenarios, social critique

2024 Speculative Design Jury

  • Jury Captain

    Monika Bielskyte

    Futures Researcher/Futurist Designer PROTOPIA

    As the Founder of Protopia Futures, Monika Bielskyte is the architect of a platform and a community to proactively prototype inspiring and actually livable future visions. Her journey as a nomadic explorer in over 100 countries has given her first-person experience of the interconnectedness between human cultural priorities and the unfolding future.

    Monika was born in the Soviet Union, and grew up in the newly liberated Lithuania, before leaving the country at age 17. Her perspectives as a futurist have been shaped by the collapse of the physical boundaries of a totalitarian regime, and the opening up of the digital world – its opportunities and its harms. She currently resides in Johannesburg, South Africa – which gives her deeper insights into broader futures perspectives, beyond the imaginations of the Global North.

    Monika started her career as a creative – working on movie sets in her late teens and progressively moving towards the bleeding edge of technological innovation and scientific research by her mid-20s. Her multicultural and multidisciplinary background, as well as an uncompromising focus on the intricate relationship between future fictions and real-life, have guided her on a journey that makes her voice clearly distinct in today’s foresight industry.

    Monika has worked not only with established global media, tech and lifestyle companies such as Universal, Google, Nike, BBC and the WEF, but also various governments and cities. Her contributions have resonated across both industry corridors and academia, from The Royal
    Society to CERN.

  • Jury Member

    Angela Bains

    Acting Associate Dean OCAD University

    Angela Bains currently serves as the Acting Associate Dean within the Faculty of Design at the OCAD University (OCAD U), Toronto, Canada. Her previous role involved serving as the Graduate Program Director for the Strategic Foresight & Innovation (SFI) program. Notably, a member of the Solid Black Collective research group at OCAD U. She is the co-creator of the SFI’s Decolonising Futures BIPOC Speakers Series, and Black SFI (Strategic Foresight & Innovation). In addition to her academic roles, Angela holds the position of Co-Founder and Strategic Director at TransformExp, an esteemed commercial and social change strategy and design firm located in Vancouver, Canada.

    Originating from the United Kingdom, Angela brings with her more than three decades of extensive experience in the creative industry. Her professional achievements extend to being a sought-after speaker and host, notably participating in events such as The State of Black Design, Design Management Institute - Diversity in Design Conference, Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) – International DesignThinkers Conference and Black Design, Past, Present & Future. Furthermore, Angela has dedicated her expertise to part-time teaching in Strategic Design at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). This multifaceted professional background underscores Angela Bains' substantial contributions to the fields of design, strategic foresight, and innovation.

  • Jury Member

    Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay

    PI and Lead CoFutures, University of Oslo

    Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay leads the international research group CoFUTURES, and is the principal investigator of “CoFutures: Pathways to Possible Presents” (European Research Council), and “Science Fictionality” (Norwegian Research Council) which explore contemporary global futurisms movements. He is manager and co-founder of Theory from the Margins, a research collective with over 16,000 followers worldwide. Chattopadhyay is an Associate Professor of Global Culture Studies at the University of Oslo. He is also an Imaginary College Fellow at the Center for Science and the Imagination, Arizona State University. He has served as an innovations consultant with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and has been a visiting researcher at the Department of Informatics at the University of California at Irvine and the Evoke Lab/Calit2, as well as the Department of English, University of Liverpool. Chattopadhyay has written or edited ten books, published numerous articles, exhibited in six transnational art projects, and produced the award-winning lm Kalpavigyan: A Speculative Journey, the rst documentary on science ction from India and Bengal. Other than his research and artistic research grants, he is also the recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including the prestigious World Fantasy Award (2020), the Johannes H Berg Memorial Prize (2019), the Foundation Essay Prize (2017), and the Strange Horizons Readers’ Poll Award (2013).

  • Jury Member

    Gem Barton

    Ms Experimental Realism / Office for Speculative Spatial Design

    Gem is an author and senior academic specialising in the interrelations between human behaviour, speculation, and spatial design. Currently teaching at the Royal College of Art, she was awarded a coveted National Teaching Fellowship in 2019, is Senior Fellow of AdvanceHE, and founding chair of QuEAN - Queer Educators in Architecture Network. Gem’s work in the future(s) space comes to life through her advisory, research, teaching and leadership of superFUTURES at the RCA, her directorship of the Experimental Realism platform and consultation services offered through her Office for Speculative Spatial Design (O-SSD).

  • Jury Member

    Kevin Bethune

    Founder and Chief Creative Officer dreams • design + life

    Kevin Bethune is the Founder & Chief Creative Officer of dreams • design + life, a "think tank" that delivers design & innovation services using a human-centered approach. Kevin's background spans engineering, business and design in equal proportion over his 25+ year career, positioning him to help brands deliver meaningful innovations to enrich people's lives.

    His work represents creative problem-solving that brings multidisciplinary teams together to see the future through an open aperture, and a deep industrial design approach to inform and influence desirable, feasible and business-viable design outcomes.

    Kevin began his career as a mechanical engineer in the nuclear power industry. This chapter gave him deep product experience working with high performing teams across 14 nuclear reactor upgrade campaigns. After his MBA, Kevin joined Nike, Inc. in a business capacity, but quickly navigated to the Global Footwear product engine to drive advanced digital product creation capabilities, discovering the world of design in the process. After solidifying his creative foundation through further studies at ArtCenter College of Design, Kevin co-founded distinct design & innovation capabilities at two Tier 1 management consulting firms in Booz & Co. and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). As Vice President of Strategic Design at BCG Digital Ventures, he led a large cohort of designers that would influence and shape every corporate venture spun out from the incubator. Kevin left BCG Digital Ventures to carve his own path under the banner of dreams • design + life, focusing on unlocking human potential through strategic design, industrial design and the building of new ecologies.

    Kevin also serves as a Board Trustee for ArtCenter College of Design and a Board Director for the Design Management Institute (DMI).

  • Jury Member

    Malina Dabrowska

    Foresight Design lead Arup

    Malina is a multidisciplinary Design Lead in Arup’s Foresight team. They design experiences and strategies that reimagine our relationship with the built environment.

  • Jury Member

    Nkhensani Mkhari

    Director See Fair Technologies

    Visionary designer adept at bridging ancestral wisdom with cutting-edge innovation. Expertise in graphic and experience design, specializing in colorimetric research, exhibition curation, and speculative design for post-planetary futures. Proven track record of success in luxury brands, architectural studios, and art institutions. Passionate about sustainability, minimalism, and community-driven design

  • Jury Member

    Phoenix Perry

    Design Researcher University of the Arts, London

    Phoenix Perry specializes in developing accessible machine learning tools, founds value-driven creative coding organizations, and creates games that explore our collective interconnectivity. As the founding Course Leader for the MSc in Creative Computing at the University of the Arts London, Phoenix Perry blends embodied gaming, inclusive design, and advanced machine learning in interactive systems. She holds a PhD in Computing from Goldsmiths where she focused on Disability Led Game Design. Founder of the Code Liberation Foundation, Perry has empowered over 6000 women to explore computational creativity with games. She also creates tools and open-source resources for game designers and artists, most notably InteractML. Her installations and games work has shown at museums and festivals such as Wellcome Collection, Somerset House, A Maze, Indie Cade, and GDC

  • Jury Member

    Pierce Otlhogile-Gordon, Ph.D.

    Equity Innovation Studio Director Think Rubix

    Dr. Pierce Otlhogile-Gordon is an innovation catalyst, researcher, facilitator, and evaluator, impassioned by the space between transformation and liberation.

    As the Director of the Equity Innovation studio at Think Rubix, a Black-led social innovation consultancy. Dr. Gordon serves as a shepherd for Equity Innovation to shape our collective future.

    He’s taught courses in design, evaluation, international development, and equity across four continents, co-designed partnerships, products, and services with local and international changemakers to support social change, and researched the complexity, evaluation, and emergence of design and innovation across the world.

    What can we build together?

  • Jury Member

    Pumla Maswanganyi

    Founding Director by lue.

    My practice is multi-disciplinary.
    Using my background as an artist and development practitioner by training, I design experiences, products and futures that center often overlooked narratives.

    I am a director and partner at by lue. and MM+co, two visionary African woman founded design agencies that use art and design as tools to elevate experience building in the Global South.
    At by lue. we use our creative approach to advance arts and culture with a focus on honouring heritage; and at MM+co we are leaders in African Life Centered Design and infuse our principles of indigenous knowledge into the design process.

    Through my work as a creator, speaker and advisor; I have partnered with African Union, Soho House, MTN, the Clinton Foundation, Roddenberry Foundation, and Roche to name a few.

    Overall, my TL;DR is that I am driven to ensure that the aesthetic realm is recognised for its importance in shaping socio-economic outcomes in a tangible way.

  • Jury Member

    Sal Agosta

    Vice President of Architecture and Design SimEx Iwerks

    With over 25 years of experience at SimEx-Iwerks, Sal has honed his expertise in architecture and design to perfection. He is Vice President of Architecture and Design, Responsible for crafting captivating attractions found in top theme parks, museums, zoos, and aquariums globally, Sal’s drive for innovation and commitment to quality has positioned them as a respected leader in the industry. Based in Toronto, Sal finds inspiration in the city's vibrant atmosphere and thriving creative community.

    "Design aficionado who finds inspiration in every corner of the globe. Whether it's a unique architecture or a simple piece of street art, I am always seeking new ways to incorporate creativity into my work. When not immersed in design, you can find me hitting the pavement on my bike or going for a run."