Critical Futures Talks: a new event and podcast series by the Master in Design for Responsible AI  

30 Jan 24 — 20 Mar 24
Location On site: Elisava (La Rambla, 30-32), Sala Aleix Carrió (planta 1)
Streaming (YouTube)
Schedule 7.30 PM CET
Image credit: Clarote & AI4Media / Better Images of AI / Labour/Resources / CC-BY 4.0

The Master in Design for Responsible AI is organizing Critical Futures Talks, a new series of hybrid events, interviews and a podcast featuring a set of eclectic perspectives from faculty members, current participants in the program and special guests on the intersection of Responsible AI, media and design in a state of climate emergency.

Critical Futures Talks is co-produced by Master in Design for Responsible AI Lab, the creative research collective emerging from the first edition of the program, with the support of IAM and Elisava.

Critical Futures Talks are open to the public, both as free in-person events in Barcelona, at the Aleix Carrió Room in Elisava and also available online via live stream. Learn more about the events below and please register if you want to attend any of the following events (limited places) or to access the livestream.

Critical Futures Talks #1: Xiaowei Wang

Postdoctoral Fellow at UCLA and The Center on Race and Digital Justice.
Tuesday, January 30 starting at 7:30 PM CET.

Xiaowei R. Wang, PhD is a California based artist, writer, organizer and coder. They are the author of the book Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech In China’s Countryside, a selection for the 2023 National Book Foundation Science and Literature Programe.

As of 2023, they are one of the stewards of  Collective Action School (formerly known as Logic School), an organizing community for tech workers. They are also a Senior Civic Media Fellow at University of Southern California Annenberg, a faculty member at Elisava’s Master in Design for Responsible AI and for 2023-2025, a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center on Race and Digital Justice / UCLA Gender Studies. Their multidisciplinary work over the past 15 years sits at the intersection of tech, social and environmental justice. Xiaowei’s work is shaped by their Buddhist spiritual practice, guided by the experiences of their ancestors and the care of the communities they are part of. A big influence in their work and how they see the world is their experience of ongoing vision loss due to their glaucoma diagnosis in 2017.

They are part of Collective Action in Tech’s Embedded Organizers community and serve as an advisor at  Processing Foundation, an organization working at the intersection of open source, art and social justice.

Critical Futures Talks #2: Nadia Piet

Founder of AIxDesign
Tuesday, February 27 starting at 7:30 PM CET

Nadia Piet is an independent designer, researcher, and organizer with a focus on AI/ML, data, tech, [digital] culture and creativity. She’s the founder of AIxDESIGN [a community of practitioners and living lab for AI in pursuit of joy & justice], works as Head of Creative Technology at DEPT [a global digital agency], holds an MA in Data-Driven Design, and continues to explore playful & purposeful tech through freelance projects and self-initiated experiments. Over the past 10 years, she’s worked across roles and continents with organizations such as Hyper Island, Pi Campus, Forbes, UN, AWWWARDS, Bit, DECODED, MOBGEN | Accenture Interactive, Mozilla, and ICO.

Critical Futures Talks #3: Caroline Sinders

Founder of Convocation Design + Research
Monday, March 4 starting at 7:30 PM CET

Caroline Sinders is a machine-learning-design researcher and artist. For the past few years, she has been examining the intersections of technology’s impact in society, interface design, artificial intelligence, abuse, and politics in digital, conversational spaces. Sinders is the founder of Convocation Design + Research, an agency focusing on the intersections of machine learning, user research, designing for public good, and solving difficult communication problems. As a designer and researcher, she has worked with Amnesty International, Intel, IBM Watson, the Wikimedia Foundation, and others.

Sinders has held fellowships with the Harvard Kennedy School, the Mozilla Foundation, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Eyebeam, STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, and the International Center of Photography. Her work has been supported by the Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network, the Open Technology Fund and the Knight Foundation. Her work has been featured in the Tate Exchange in Tate Modern, Victoria and Albert Museum, MoMA PS1, LABoral, Ars Electronica, the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Slate, Quartz, Wired, as well as others. Sinders holds a Masters from New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Critical Futures Talks #4: Simone Rebaudengo

Co-founder and creative director at oio studio
Thursday, March 14 starting at 7:30 PM CET

Simone Rebaudengo is a co-founder and Creative Director at oio – a creative company on a quest to turn emerging technologies into an approachable, everyday and sustainable reality for humans and beyond.

Previously he designed future scenarios and products for The Museum of the Future in Dubai, exhibited future artefacts in major museums around the world with his collective and he was lead designer for future visions at BMW Designworks and frog. He used to collaborate with Usman Haque and Pachube to explore human and machine relationships in the early stages of the Internet of Things.

His works explore the implication of living and collaborating with other, not-so-human, intelligences. He co-designed with an AI a special series of products for Iittala , published a book of fables about more than human futures, created immersive installations about being an appliance with Bruce Sterling and a short movie that won the Most Uncanny award at the Robot Film Festival. Simone is a faculty member of the Master in Design for Responsible AI at ELISAVA in Barcelona and visiting Lecturer at Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design (CIID). His projects have been awarded by Red Dot Design Award, Core77, IXDA Awards and exhibited in galleries and museums such as Vitra Design Museum, Triennial Museum in Milan and MAK Vienna.

Critical Futures Talks #5: Filippo Cuttica

Co-founder of art group IOCOSE
Wednesday, March 20 starting at 7:30 PM CET

Filippo is an artist and designer working between critical speculation and responsible innovation. His work has gained awards and recognition from entities like the Association of Professional Futurists and the Rolex Award for Enterprise. Filippo has explored the future of interactive play. Previously, as the UX Principal for Ethical Experiences at BBC and Head of Service Design at the UK Health Security Agency, he spearheaded initiatives that significantly influenced both companies’ societal and environmental impacts. As a consultant for the European Commission, a public speaker, and a lecturer in experiential futures at various institutions, Filippo extends his influence in shaping forward-thinking strategies. As a co-founder of art group IOCOSE, his art critiques techno-centric future narratives, highlighting their failure points, with exhibitions in renowned galleries and museums globally.

Andrés Colmenares, curator of the Critical Futures Talks

Critical Futures Talks are curated and hosted by Andres Colmenares, director of the Master in Design for Responsible AI.

Andres Colmenares is the co-founder of IAM, the creative research lab helping citizens and organisations to anticipate, understand and address the socioecological challenges and opportunities emerging from the coevolution of digital technologies and internet cultures. He is also co-director of the Billion Seconds Institute, director of a new Master in Design for Responsible Artificial Intelligence systems at ELISAVA, and strategic advisor at WeTransfer’s Supporting Act Foundation. He is also developing slow research on solar-centered designing.

As a strategist and creative foresight consultant he has developed projects and partnerships with organisations as Mobile World Capital Foundation, Open Knowledge Foundation, University of Arts London, Tate, Red Bull, SPACE10 and BBC, using futures as tools to help organisations grow their cultural relevance by designing alternative learning experiences, tools and programs. In 2022 he joined Ars Electronica as a jury member for the STARTS Prize, an award created by the European Commission to honour Innovation in Technology, Industry and Society stimulated by the Arts. He also has contributed opinion articles and short fictions for publications as CRACK Magazine, Branch Magazine, The Site Magazine or LS:N Global and has been invited as guest lecturer and course leader at institutions such as Institute for Advanced Architecture (ES) of Catalonia, Merz Akademie (DE) and Berghs School of Communication (SE).

Interviews and podcast series – Coming soon!

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