Term: Fall 2024
Section: 4
Class Number: 20903
Credits: 3
Required: No
Elective: Yes
Course Brief

/ ARCH 509

Liberating Speculations

This seminar explores practices, theories and expressions of speculation as they relate to power.
From real estate to financial markets, speculation has become the purview of those who command
enough capital or political power to make new worlds appear out of ruins or thin air. How might we
liberate speculation—interpreted broadly—from its embedment with neoliberalism? How might
speculation be leveraged in service of liberatory future-making? Together we will examine the ways
in which speculation shapes and manifests futures; who is afforded and denied the power to
speculate; and the various ways in which speculative imaginaries shape our real world(s). In the
process, we will contend with a range of frameworks for understanding oppression, liberation, power
and resistance; trouble the thin line between fiction and reality; and interrogate theories
concerning speculation and future-making. Along the way, we will examine the tools at our disposal
as designers for crafting speculations. Through readings, analyzing media and visual culture,
discussions, creative projects and research, this course asks us to contemplate our role and our
power—as designers with the capacity to render speculations believable, tangible, and real—in
shaping and being shaped by speculation.


Wed  1:00-4:00pm  3146 A&AB


Lauren Williams