How can worldbuilding and speculative design illuminate pathways for solving issues that disproportionately affect Black people today?


In October, I had the opportunity to address this question by participating in the 2019

Black in Design conference at Harvard GSD.

In its third iteration, the theme was “Black Futurism: Creating a More Equitable Future”.

BlackSpace, an organization I am part of, was invited to facilitate a two-day workshop.
In preparation of this, we had several internal phone calls and it was clear that heritage preservation needed to be a central theme.


BlackSpace provides the following definition:
“Heritage conservation references intentional actions that protect and elevate culturally significant markers, both non-physical and physical, in an effort to understand a place and the past, present, and future of its people.”

In creating this workshop, I was eager to apply my learnings from SpeculativeEdu. How could we evoke the same sort of radical creativity I’ve experienced in these week-long workshops into just a few hours? We came up with the following “Fill-in-the-Future” worldbuilding activity:

Groups chose two random cards to help complete the statements provided. The yellow card represents an issue that disproportionately affects Black people today. The green card represents an element of Black culture or heritage.



See the full article for more of my insights and reflections from this project.

Black Future Heritage Spaces Workshop

October 2019

Black in Design: Black Futurism Conference

w/ BlackSpace New York, BlackSpace Chicago

     and BlackSpace Oklahoma

Cambridge, MA

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