Interakcije 2016: Speculative NOW!



This year workshop, as an extension of the “Speculative – Post-Design Practice or New Utopia?” exhibition and accompanied booklet, is dealing with the speculative design role in the “real world”.



Speculative design is a critical design practice that comprises or is in relation to a number of similar practices, such as critical design, design fiction, design futures, anti-design, radical design, interrogative design, discursive design, adversarial design and so on. It is a discursive practice, based on critical thinking and dialogue, which questions the practice of design. However, the speculative design approach takes the critical practice one step further, towards imagination and visions of possible scenarios.

Through its imagination and radical approach, by using design as a medium, speculative design forces one to think – raises awareness, questions, provokes action, initiates discussions and perhaps even offers some alternatives that are essential for the today’s world. However, it remains to be seen whether the speculative practice has the potential to become the new, post-design practice, “the design after the design” or yet another utopia and historical reference.

Those who criticize the currently dominant approach to the speculative practice, characterised as “Eurocentric”, highlight its excessively focus on aesthetics (on the visual and narrative level), tendency to escape to dystopian scenarios, vanity and separation from the real world. The critics of this “Eurocentric” approach point out the privileged “Western” position stating that criticism is only possible outside of this comfort zone, by taking a position and organizing activities in the “real world”.

In order to try to answer this open questions, this year workshop, as an extension of the “Speculative – Post-Design Practice or New Utopia?” exhibition and accompanied booklet, is dealing with the speculative design role in the “real world”.


Speculative design workshop will take place at the Arts Academy in Split, Croatia, from 17th till 22th October 2016. Workshop will be led by trans-disciplinary designers Demitrios Kargotis (from the DashnDem design practice, London and Goldsmiths, University of London and Birmingham City University) and Pedro Oliveira & Luiza Prado (from A Parede research platform, based around PhD study at Universität der Künste Berlin) with assistance by Oleg Šuran (Department of Visual Communication Design, Arts Academy, Split).

Students (bachelor and master) from variety of different fields (design, arts, psychology, sociology, architecture, engineering, urbanism, etc.) will take part in the multidisciplinary teams aiming to go beyond the limits of design definitions and re-thinking what design is today.

Application process is ongoing by direct communications with partner departments from the region. However, there are still a few open places for interested applicants (

Department of Visual Communications Design (Arts Academy, University of Split) initiated a series of workshops as an introduction to the interaction design in the region. The workshops promote a multidisciplinary educational approach started with the successful Convivio summer school in 2004, which continued with UrbanIxD summer school in 2014.

So far, more then 200 students of design attended workshops – students of visual communications, new media design, interaction and product design, fine arts, architecture, computer science, ICT, film and video, and sociology, all from the major Croatian Universities and other Universities in the region – University of Ljubljana and Schools of Design in Belgrade and Cetinje.

Public Discussion

In the context of the workshop, in order to discuss, critically reflect and re-think today speculative design practice, public discussion is scheduled for the Wednesday 19th of October. Invited guests will discuss the role of the speculative design in the real world. James Auger (former member of the legendary Designing Interactions department at RCA, now at the Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute, co-founder of the Crap Futures blog), one of the pionners of this design practice will give short introductory talk.

Together with the workshop leaders (Demitrios Kargotis, Pedro Oliveira and Luiza Prado) discussion will also host Regine Debatty (founder of the cult blog we-make-money-not-art), Matt Ward (Head of the Design Department at Goldsmiths, University of London) and Mirko Balducci (co-founder of the italian multidisciplinary lab / network Nefula). Discussion will be moderated by the workshop coordinator assistant professor Ivica Mitrović (Department of Visual Communications Design, Interakcije).

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A few days before the workshop, on the 6th of October, in the Museum of Fine Arts in Split, the exhibition “Speculative – Post-Design Practice or New Utopia?”, which represented the Republic of Croatia at the XXI. Milan Triennale, will be opened.

The objective of the exhibition is to showcase and to contextualize in one place relevant contemporary speculative works in Croatia that, although often named differently, fall under the category of the speculative design. A common characteristic to all those works is the fact that there is no specific or distinctive approach to the speculative practice in Croatia but rather, the speculative practice reflects global influences. Thus, this (although) Croatian selection may be perceived primarily as an overview of various global speculative practices (through various disciplines, schools, methods, topics and so on).


All events are supported by The City of Split and Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia and will be held in collaboration with the association Platforma 9.81.