Speculative Futures | Johanna Hoffman


Urbanist, researcher and writer Johanna Hoffman joins us to talk about speculative futures — a set of design tools that can reorient urban development to help us dream and build more resilient, equitable cities.

Navigating modern change depends on imagining futures we’ve never seen. Urban planning and design should be well positioned to spearhead that work, but calculated rationale often results in urban spaces crafted to mitigate threats rather than navigate the unexpected, leaving cities increasingly vulnerable to the uncertainties of 21st century change. Long used in art, film, fiction, architecture, and industrial design, speculative futures offers powerful ways to counter this trend by moving us beyond what currently exists into the realms of what could be. Far from an indulgent creative exercise, speculative futures is a means of creating the resilient cities we urgently need.

Johanna Hoffman is an urbanist, researcher, and writer working in the space between design, planning, fiction, and futures. Hoffman holds an MLA in landscape architecture and environmental planning from UC Berkeley and has worked for urban design firms on award-winning projects around the world. Her first book, Speculative Futures: Design Approaches to Navigate Change, Foster Resilience, and Co-Create the Cities We Need (02022), is distributed by Penguin Random House.

“Speculative Futures: Design Approaches to Foster Resilience and Co-create the Cities We Need” was given on October 12, 02022 as part of The Long Now Foundation’s Seminar series. The series was started in 02003 to build a compelling body of ideas about long-term thinking from some of the world’s leading thinkers. The Seminars take place in San Francisco and are curated and hosted by Stewart Brand. To follow the talks, you can:

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