IAM x UAL Futures Studio: How to Invent What Happens Next

How does one start such an ambitious task as building utopias or defining a 2030 planetary goals agenda? In 2017-2018 we had the opportunity to worked together in this epic challenges with our learning partners at the University of Arts London (UAL) co-creating a cross-disciplinary series of programmes which brought together UAL students and staff, learning partners as BBC, It's Nice That, Ideo, Protein and the IAM community to prototype post-technological futures led by young people.

The challenge

We’ve been working with UAL already since 2015. We’ve done multiple events in London and they have participated in all 4 editions of IAM Weekend in Barcelona. Most importantly, we created together the UAL Futures Studio initiative. Here you can learn more about the background story and outputs of the 2017 editions.
For 2018, after the key learnings collected from the studios we designed around the The Renaissance of Utopias, feminism & the internet, we had the challenge of scaling up these experimental learning studios, from 2 weeks to 5 months and from a couple dozen to 50+ participants!

The journey

After a successful open call, where hundreds of students from across the six colleges applied, in late October 2017 we launched the IAM x UAL Futures Studio 2030. The first weeks, we gathered and met all the participants, creating collectively a studio manifesto and reaching consensus on a set of principles. We then presented the group with an epic challenge: creating a youth-driven post-technological agenda, an alternative to the one the UN has set for 2030 around the Sustainable Development Goals, along with creative responses, to be presented in a summit in March and then in April at IAM Weekend 18.
We brought in learning partners as the BBC, Its Nice That or The Future Laboratory and celebrated a Critical Xmas Bizarre Bazaar before the winter break. With a few weeks left before showtime, the teams worked on research, prototypes, videos and narratives responding to a post-technological framework connected to ‘The Subversion of Paradoxes’ theme.

The outcomes

Four planetary futures goals. Four post-tech movements. A transformative experience for students, educators and learning partners. A deep understanding of the attitudes, behaviours, and anxieties driving young people, so that the UAL can better design student experience.
Learn more about the outcomes below and watch the final presentation given at IAM Weekend 18

Team Credits

Luke Whitehead

  • Freelance Strategic Researcher

Andres Colmenares

  • Curator / strategist
  • IAM

Georgina Capdevila

  • Creative Manager & Event Producer
  • Codegram, Morphika, FIU Barcelona, Blanc Festival, Aranda, OFFF Festival

Lucy Black-Swan

  • Co-founder & Management at Internet Age Media

Project Tags


  • IAM


    • Education & Research
  • U



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    In Randomness We Trust
    Luke Whitehead
    Freelance Strategic Researcher
    Andres Colmenares
    Curator / strategist