Check out our latest thinking and updates

Upcoming events, commentary, what we are reading, new courses... explore our latest thinking about applied speculative design, critical design, and semiotics for the future here.

Featured Posts
What is Speculative Design?
Speculative Design explores future possibilities and societal impacts of emerging technology and shifting cultural and social trends, diverging from traditional design to provoke new thought, debate, directions, preferences, and strategy.
July 31, 2023
Circa Lunar: A conversation with Ted Hunt and Gemma Jones
School of Critical Design Co-founder and cultural semiotician Gemma Jones sat down for a long-distance chat with Fellow Ted Hunt to talk about his latest project, Circa Lunar
November 27, 2020


Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to play itself out?
McKibben argues that we have failed to recognize how individual actions often operated against our collective interest, and as a result we now face three daunting challenges - to adjust to a new life on a broken planet, to fight the hyper-individualism that now animates government and business; and to reverse the ways that technology is bleaching out the variety of human existence. He asks if we still retain the tools and social capital to fight these larger forces - and if we are willing to make the effort.‍
October 30, 2020
Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming
For the first time ever, an international coalition of leading researchers, scientists and policymakers has come together to offer a set of realistic and bold solutions to climate change. All of the techniques described here - some well-known, some you may have never heard of - are economically viable, and communities throughout the world are already enacting them. From revolutionizing how we produce and consume food to educating girls in lower-income countries, these are all solutions which, if deployed collectively on a global scale over the next thirty years, could not just slow the earth's warming, but reach drawdown: the point when greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere peak and begin todecline. So what are we waiting for?
October 30, 2020
How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy
Nothing is harder to do these days than nothing. We find every last minute captured, optimised, or appropriated as a financial resource for the technologies we use daily. We consume algorithmic versions of ourselves, submit our free time to numerical evaluation, and maintain personal brands in digital space. After the American presidential election of 2016, Jenny Odell felt so overstimulated and disoriented by information, misinformation, and the expressions of others, that reality itself seemed to slip away. How To Do Nothing is her action plan for resistance. Drawing on the ethos of tech culture, a background in the arts, and personal storytelling, Jenny Odell makes a powerful argument for refusal: refusal to believe that our lives are instruments to be optimised.
October 30, 2020
The Shock of the Anthropocene: The Earth History and Us
Dissecting the new theoretical buzzword of the Anthropocene The Earth has entered a new epoch: the Anthropocene. What we are facing is not only an environmental crisis, but a geological revolution of human origin. In two centuries, our planet has tipped into a state unknown for millions of years. How did we get to this point? Refuting the convenient view of a human species that upset the Earth system, unaware of what it was doing, this book proposes the first critical history of the Anthropocene, shaking up many accepted ideas: about our supposedly recent environmental awareness, about previous challenges to industrialism, about the manufacture of ignorance and consumerism, about so-called energy transitions, as well as about the role of the military in environmental destruction. In a dialogue between science and history, "The Shock of the Anthropocene" dissects a new theoretical buzzword and explores paths for living and acting politically in this rapidly developing geological epoch."
October 30, 2020
Utopia or Oblivion: The Prospects for Humanity
A classic of utopian literature, more urgent than ever: Buckminster Fuller's provocative blueprint for the futureComposed of lectures given by Buckminster Fuller throughout the world in the 1960s, Utopia or Oblivion presents the thesis that humanity, for the first time in its history, has the opportunity to create a world where the needs of 100% of humanity are met. Fuller's grandson, in the introduction, refers to this selection as "hardcore Bucky," as these essays display Fuller's investigations into mathematics, geometry and how they intersect with the arts, music and world peace. In Fuller's words, "This is what man tends to call utopia. It's a fairly small word, but inadequate to describe the extraordinary new freedom of man in a new relationship to universe--the alternative of which is oblivion.
October 30, 2020
Choices, Values and Frames
This book presents the definitive exposition of 'prospect theory', a compelling alternative to the classical utility theory of choice.
October 30, 2020
The Decade We Could Have Stopped Climate Change: Losing Earth
In the book Losing Earth, Rich is able to provide more of the context for what did – and didn’t – happen in the 1980s and, more important, is able to carry the story fully into the present day and wrestle with what those past failures mean for us at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It is not just an agonizing revelation of historical missed opportunities, but a clear-eyed and eloquent assessment of how we got to now, and what we can and must do before it's truly too late.
October 30, 2020
The emergence of objectivity in the mid-nineteenth-century sciences, as revealed through images in scientific atlases-a story of how lofty epistemic ideals fuse with workaday practices. Objectivity has a history, and it is full of surprises. In Objectivity, Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison chart the emergence of objectivity in the mid-nineteenth-century sciences-and show how the concept differs from its alternatives, truth-to-nature and trained judgment.
October 30, 2020
Lo-Tek: Design by Radical Indigenism
With a foreword by anthropologist Wade Davis and four chapters spanning Mountains, Forests, Deserts, and Wetlands, this book explores thousands of years of human wisdom and ingenuity from 18 countries including Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania, Kenya, Iran, Iraq, India, and Indonesia. We rediscover an ancient mythology in a contemporary context, radicalizing the spirit of human nature.
October 30, 2020
Being Ecological
Don't care about ecology? This book is for you. Timothy Morton, who has been called 'Our most popular guide to the new epoch' (Guardian), sets out to show us that whether we know it or not, we already have the capacity and the will to change the way we understand the place of humans in the world, and our very understanding of the term 'ecology'.
October 30, 2020
The Future We Choose: Surviving The Climate Crisis
We can survive the climate crisis. This book shows us how.We have two choices for our future, which is still unwritten. It will be shaped by who we choose to be right now. So, how can we change the story of the world?
October 30, 2020
Manifestly Haraway: 37 (Posthumanities)
Electrifying, provocative, and controversial when first published thirty years ago, Donna Haraway’s “Cyborg Manifesto” is even more relevant today, when the divisions that she so eloquently challenges—of human and machine but also of gender, class, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and location—are increasingly complex. The subsequent “Companion Species Manifesto,” which further questions the human–nonhuman disjunction, is no less urgently needed in our time of environmental crisis and profound polarization.
October 30, 2020
Are Prisons Obsolete
Since the 1980s prison construction and incarceration rates in the U.S. have been rising exponentially, evoking huge public concern about their proliferation, their recent privatisation and their promise of enormous profits. But these prisons house hugely disproportionate numbers of people of colour, betraying the racism embedded in the system, while studies show that increasing prison sentences has had no effect on crime. Here, esteemed civil rights activist Angela Davis lays bare the situation and argues for a radical rethinking of our rehabilitation programmes.
November 2, 2020
Utopia as a Method
In this major new work by one of the leading writers on Utopian Studies, Ruth Levitas argues that a prospective future of ecological and economic crises poses a challenge to the utopian imaginary, to conceive a better world and alternative future. Utopia as Method does not construe utopia as goal or blueprint, but as a holistic, reflexive method for developing what those possible futures might be
November 2, 2020
Parable of the Sower
We are coming apart. We're a rope, breaking, a single strand at a time.America is a place of chaos, where violence rules and only the rich and powerful are safe. Lauren Olamina, a young woman with the extraordinary power to feel the pain of others as her own, records everything she sees of this broken world in her journal.Then, one terrible night, everything alters beyond recognition, and Lauren must make her voice heard for the sake of those she loves.Soon, her vision becomes reality and her dreams of a better way to live gain the power to change humanity forever.
November 2, 2020
Semiotics of Disaster
Evening Lecture/ 28 April 2020
November 14, 2020
Futures, Power & Privilege
Evening lecture/ 6 August 2020
November 14, 2020
Introducing our Institutional Partnerships
We have created an institutional partnership package for organisations looking to engage in next design and business practice as a part of their strategy and culture.
November 2, 2020
Optimizing Happiness: Me
Evening Lecture/ 22 August 2019
November 14, 2020
Reimagining Time
Evening Lecture/ 17 September 2019
November 14, 2020
Quantum Computing Futures
Evening Lecture/ 26 May 2020
November 14, 2020
In Exhalation, Ted Chiang wrestles with the oldest questions on earth – What is the nature of the universe? What does it mean to be human? – and ones that no one else has even imagined. And, each in its own way, the stories prove that complex and thoughtful science fiction can rise to new heights of beauty, meaning, and compassion.
October 30, 2020
Thinking in Systems: A Primer
Thinking in Systems is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem-solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. This essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life.
October 30, 2020

About Us

The School of Critical Design explores next design & business for critical global issues affecting the future of humanity

Read the full Story



"Deep understanding of the realities of our complex and computationally irreducible world leads to new kinds of design and business practice that gives us a chance to create new kinds of meaningful impact."
J. Paul Neeley - Co-founder, School of Critical Design