Made Up Panel Discussion September 17 at Art Center College of Design

One week from today I’ll have the pleasure of sharing a panel discussion with my old chum Sascha Pohflepp and the eminent Norman Klien as Art Center rounds out its summer “Made Up” residency studio program. Fun. Come out and check it out!

Join the Media Design Program
Friday, September 17, 2010
3:00 to 5:00 pm
Wind Tunnel Gallery, South Campus, Art Center College of Design
950 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91105


AS IF: alternate realities

This panel discussion, moderated by MADE UP organizer Tim Durfee, will consider the value (or perhaps merely the appeal) of a methodology that could be characterized as: assume a set of conditions (abitrary, absurd, speculative), play it straight. Historically, alternate realities have been the realm of literature and film but what might be the effects of such an approach within a field (design) that is conventionally concerned with the cold, hard facts of the real world, of the here and now. And importantly, why does this work feel uniquely relevant NOW?

Detail from SUPERCALIFORNIA! by Sascha Pohflepp


Sascha Pohflepp, London-based designer and artist, was one of this summer’s researchers-in-residence. As part of the MADE UP theme, he produced the project “SUPERCALIFORNIA!” which turns the phantom futures of Southern California into compelling design fiction.

Julian Bleecker, a designer and technologist, is a researcher at the Design Strategic Projects studio at Nokia Design, and the co-founder of the Near Future Laboratory, a “design-to-think” studio.

Norman Klein is a cultural historian, critic, and novelist, and the author, with Margo Bistis, of the multi-media database/novel/website/art installation titled “The Imaginary Twentieth Century,” a historical science-fiction novel. His forthcoming book is called The Dismantling of the American Psyche: MediaBuzz, Political Branding, and Collective Amnesia: 1968-Present

“For alternative realities, I see many options in work that I have doing recently: from parallel worlds models to ‘wunder-romans’ (archival/media novels), to the misremembering of the future, and ‘the dismantling of the American psyche’…” —Norman Klein

“I have long been interested in how science fiction has influenced science fact. To me, design fiction encourages peculiar design practices in an attempt to create different sorts of near future worlds. The Made Up project promises to illuminate the future-oriented practice of design and help us understand how design probes imaginatively and materializes ideas, oftentimes through stories.” —Julian Bleecker