Polyphonic Futures is a platform for testing and developing a novel method for meaningful design/science engagement that benefits all participating parties. This involves specifically developed tools and methods for involvement, as well as rethinking the structure, dynamic, and quality of participation. What's unique about polyphonic design/science is that we're beginning the discourse face-to-face in workshops, talks and conversations, ask interested participants to contribute a Silken Future which unlocks the membership, to then continue the exchanges gradually online.
For example, workshop contributions usually have a short shelf-life: either valuable ideas are lost straight after or solely archived. On our platform we translate them, make them palpable, to then take them as a starting point for further conversation. Thus, we can push the quality of engagement and create reference points for informed dialogue.
By signing up to a Polyphonic Futures membership you will gain access to inspirational in-depth information on the biomaterial reverse engineered silk and how it relates to design. As a non-scientist member you will have the possibility to engage on specific ideas almost real-time with the world-leading scientists in biomaterials from SilkLab through a conversational format. The SilkLab scientists can contribute their own speculations and access and exchange on seemingly impossible and unconventional ideas from the non-expert members.
But it doesn't only benefit the individual in exchanging perspectives you could help to actively shape, humanise and diversify a biotechnology discourse straight from the world-leading laboratory that has barely interfaced with society. In addition you can become a fully accredited member of an experimental design-science project and create new relations based on mutual respect.
The final goal with this platform is to create silken technology speculations that are as tangible as possible to a wider audience, but that stem from a viewpoint that isn't just artist-mediated. These widely and collectively sourced speculations are intended to instigate debate on the multiplicity of thinkable futures and perspectives, while also tracing how they were brought into life and who contributed to their configuration.
You have either attended a previous workshop, a talk, or another real-world event concerning bio-digital silk and design. During this event we have asked you to submit a Silken Future — an application of silk imagined through your own body.
This will unlock your membership, and your Silken Future will be added to the evolving body map to start a discussion. During the course of these exchanges your contributions, critiques, responses and suggestions will be actively taken on board and gradually visualised by designer Veronica Ranner through several stages on this platform.
Being a member of our collective means we're trying to stay connected in the physical world and encourage meetups and networking beyond the online world. It's a starting point for us.