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Place Futures

46 Online Lessons / At your own pace
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An exploration in applying futures methods to place-making strategies
£ 250 
£ 250 

Around the world, places are in shock. Many cities and landscapes that were recently thriving suddenly find themselves in crises. Their policies, buildings, systems and funding models are designed for a world that is fast falling away. The people creating, using and shaping places are in need of radically different approaches in order to flourish in the future. Our buildings will need to be refurbished and reprogrammed. Our workplaces will need to flow across virtual and physical realms. Our commercial spaces will need to be more than globalised nodes for consumption. And as the foundation for all life on the planet, our landscapes need to be respected and nourished in ways that have fallen away in many parts of the world. This opens up opportunities for much wider groups of people to be involved to turn crises of place into powerful futures. This Place Futures Masterclass is designed to equip people and teams involved and invested in shaping the future of places with critical, future-focused, and participatory methods. The approaches and tools we offer are the result of our collective years of work in place-making, urbanism, futuring, design, and brand strategy in the commercial, public and academic sectors. This course is perfect for a wide range of practitioners including urbanists, architects, policy makers, researchers, strategists, designers, technologists, educators citizens and community organisers. You'll leave with a deep understanding of how to bring futures practise into place design as well as a toolkit of frameworks and approaches.

46 Online Lessons / At your own pace
Enroll Now

You will leave with:

- Ways of thinking about Place Futures and further questions to ask

- Tools and frameworks for capturing and mapping insights

- Ways of bringing Place Futures to life with deep imagination

- Frameworks and considerations for making and evaluating impacts

- Interactive live seminar sessions and contact with your tutors via our platform

- Lifetime access to a network of fellow futurists and placemakers

This course is for:

- Urbanists and place-makers who need to establish new, participatory ways of making places that are resilient to cultural, ecological and socio-economic future-shocks

- Brands, creators, and institutions who need to understand and invest in communities and cultural change at a local level.

- Technologists who are integrating sense of place into their work as digital and physical realities blend.

- Citizens, users, and communities who need to shape places in which they can thrive in the future.

Course Outline:

- Welcome_ You'll meet your instructors and understand why we're all here! (5 Chapters)

- Principals + Process _ You'll understand the process of the Place Futures course, and explore some core principles of Place and Futures practice. (4 Chapters)

- Insight _ You'll learn the details of the Insight generation process and methods, across different scales from mapping your Place Protagonists to global macro drivers to eye-level place semiotics. You'll have everything you need to start doing the work. (10 Chapters)

- Imagination _ You'll learn about envisioning Place Futures using scenarios and prototypes, all while understanding how to use your insights to draw meaningfully on the roots of place. (10 Chapters)

- Impact _ You'll learn techniques for assessing the impact of your Place Futures and strategies that you can apply to diverse place projects today. (8 Chapters)

- Case Studies _ Here we'll share a number of Place Futures case studies - something we'll keep building over time.

- Additional Resources _ You'll also get a list of additional resources to further your study of Place Futures beyond the course.

Course Format:

- We've designed the course to be as concise and accessible as possible, rendering the material in primarily text and images, with some supporting video. Q&A with the instructor, and virtual office hours are also available to support and clarify any material. Forum access is available for conversations with other students and the instructor.

Your Teachers:

Gemma Jones - Co-founder of School of Critical Design / Gemma Jones Culture & Strategy

Gemma is an interdisciplinary researcher and strategist specialising in ethnography, semiotics, and futuring.  She is fascinated by the relationships we have with our bodies, habitats, and communities, and how these endure and evolve over time.  She spent her career working with brands and organisations on strategies for branding, design and innovation and more recently venturing into place-making and community research.  Highlights have included decoding the cultural surroundings of Waterloo Station, mapping out the changing nature of messaging behaviours, and platforms and understanding how elders in a rural community view the climate crisis. Gemma sees Place as a powerful matrix for change as we face complex futures together. She is thrilled to be bringing methods for insight and futuring together with place-making in this curriculum.

Rosanna Vitiello - Founder of The Place Bureau

Rosanna is an urban researcher, creative director, and cultural strategist. She is fascinated by how places speak to us and how we speak back. She is the Founder of The Place Bureau and seeing placemaking as meaning-making, the studio’s work aims to shine new light on overlooked places and stories. This fascination has taken the Place Bureau all over the world working with people to unlock the power of their place by reframing spaces of cultural importance. Over the last 20 years, Rosanna has partnered with museums and artists in Liverpool, UK; urban greenways in Austin, Texas; rural communities in Snafellesness, Iceland, and coastal destinations in the Isle of Wight UK. She draws these experiences, narrative and design tools into Place Futures, to guide stakeholders to together shape visions of tomorrow for the places that they wish existed.

Accessible Pricing:

We are finding ways to make School of Critical Design a more inclusive and representative forum as we address the critical challenges facing our planet, people, and organisations.

We understand that income and means and time is unequal across personal, regional, and global contexts. To accommodate these differences we've created this virtual self completed course that is more accessible than our in-person and live virtual workshops.

While top university design masters programs like the Royal College of Art (Where we also teach) will cost students tens of thousands of pounds a year, We hope this version of the our teaching material and experience can allow participation and world class development without financial anxiety.

With this said, if there are particular situations where this pricing is still difficult, please reach out and we'll look to work with your individual context.

For Companies:

For more information on discounts for multiple spots on a program or to discuss a bespoke version of this course for your team please contact hello@critical.design for details.

If you would like to be invoiced for spots on the course as some companies require, please contact us before purchase at hello@critical.design for details.


Interested in bringing speculative design or other emerging innovation approaches into your wider organization?

Skill up your team

We can run any of our open enrollment courses or lectures as a dedicated session for your organization or in-house teams.

Custom Experience

We can develop custom topic and futures explorations for your organization.

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