Feb 26


  • Gray Area Theatre

PRIMER, a Speculative Futures conference, will be hosted at Gray Area Theatre in the heart of the Mission District just minutes away from downtown. We’ll be hosting a range of speakers and workshops by leading designers, strategists, and educators who are using speculative and futures design thinking as a tool to create strategies for addressing the evolving world and the emerging technologies and issues that are unfolding within it.

The theme for PRIMER is “Emergent Pathways.”
Emergent pathways can extend their tendrils through time, forge connections between fields, signal new approaches, or offer new conceptual frameworks that expand our thinking about the possible.

Emergent pathways form from incipient footsteps to suggest a potential-but-not-yet realized path. They invite us to encounter a familiar landscape anew. As vehicles for speculating about the future, such pathways can represent traces in the brush, weak signals that point us in unexpected directions. They provoke by entering our consciousness obliquely as tentative threads of unlikely connection. But they also suggest a scaffolding for us to imagine denser networks in their wake, like tributaries along which future cities may one day flourish.

*Speakers & Workshop tickets will be released throughout December/January.

6:30 pm18:30

ATX: Jake Dunagan: The Future as a Cognitive Prosthetic

  • Urban Co-Lab

Sorry for the silence folks...we've been quite busy. We're happy to announce that our next meetup will feature SF/ATX native Jake Dunagan. This is a real treat and honor to host Jake, a futurist and designer who's been working in this field for over a decade.

The Future as a Cognitive Prosthetic

It is better to be surprised by a simulation, than blindsided by reality. The future is always an abstract projection from the present, and is often hard to conceive. In order for new futures to be made thinkable, they must first be made feel-able. Experiential futures is a recent methodological development that attempts to create fully embodied engagements with possible futures. Bringing the future into the present allows a deeper relationship to be created with tomorrow, With this cognitive bridge in place, we can then begin to take actions to design and build better futures, together. 

Jake Dunagan is an experiential futurist, governance designer, and teacher. He is Director of Design Futures for verynice—a design, strategy, and foresight social enterprise that gives half of its work away for free. He is adjunct professor of Strategic Foresight in the Design Strategy MBA program at the California College of the Arts.  

Jake’s work centers around the concept of social invention. He has developed concepts and participatory platforms to help individuals, organizations, and institutions re-imagine and re-design their futures. He has worked with groups around the world on topics including social enterprise, embodied cognition, judicial foresight, kid’s technologies, intellectual property law, service innovation, and the future of work. He has helped create tools to increase citizen participation in political system design, and he also creates visual media, interactive experiences, and public engagement projects that inject alternative visions of the future into the present. 

*A suggested donation of $10 will be requested at the door to cover space rental and food.