Introducing Collective Dreaming

Welcome to the publication. This article sketches the ideology behind the immersive design and insight experience ‘Collective Dreaming: Reimagining design, money and cultures’ starting on July 22nd.

It is a series of deep meaningful conversations, research outputs, collaborative spaces, and co-designed rituals shaped by next-gen voices of the Class of 2020 BA (Hons) Design Management & Cultures at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London and the InsightOS research collective.

We invite you to join our deep, meaningful conversation.

Our ambition is far-reaching.

We intend to build a plurality of new worlds. We will deprivilege technology. We will expand the concept of the human in an age of datafication.

And we know how to do it. Hack an immersive, inclusive and educative experience using digital tools and collectivism.

Powerful people cannot afford to educate the people that they oppress, because once you are truly educated, you will not ask for power. You will take it.

John Henrik Clark

Our aim:

  • Kick off new projects by inventing new forms of collaboration, writing and visualisation
  • Explore the affordances of social forms like the salon, festival and workshop
  • List resonant keywords, collect them together, and map new conceptual domains

But first, let’s define each word of our event:

Collective

A collective refers to a group of people. But it implies more. It is a shared common purpose and a sense of co-created meaning. It requires us to sacrifice and share.

Dreaming

A dream is the liminal space between oblivion and the world. Our dreams draw data from the well of memory. They oil our intellect in unknown ways.

And they are more than vision. They pass through us as rhythms and spaces: as poetry. We meditate on their meaning. They deliver more than insight. We hear dreams. We hearken to them.

Reimagining

To ‘imagine’ is to project a future image.

But, in this conjuncture, our imagination has been stunted by neoliberal capitalism. The privileging of competition, opportunism and greed have retarded and stagnated culture.

The internet, our supposed collective imagination, is a corporate fantasy. One that is controlled by an agglomeration and conglomeration of for-profit companies based in Silicon Valley.

So, to reimagine is to start anew; aware of the insidious creep of market logic.

Design

Design is a guiding metanarrative for our times. Through it we can rethink: capitalism, education, luxury, play, fashion, cosmopolitanism, celebrity, value, work, management, success, and economic growth.

Our partner: DMC

Our provocation: Will design save the world?

Money

Money is a dream: the American Dream.

Max Weber, the sociologist, defined capitalism as ‘the pursuit of profit, and forever renewed profit, by means of continuous, rational, capitalistic enterprise’. Joseph Schumpeter, the economist, called it ‘creative destruction’. David Harvey, the Marxist geographer, mapped its destructive ‘laws-of-motion’.

We’ve protested. We’ve occupied Wall Street. We’ve camped with Extinction Rebellion. Now, we, the recession generation, have come of age: and, armed with copies of Yuval Noah Harari’s ‘Sapiens’, we’re battling greed and narcissism by taking the anthropological long view.

We are determined to make money useful. Use it as a tool to build social relationships. To exchange as-yet-unimagined forms of value. And to entangle art, society, and communication in healthy new ways.

Our partner: Eden Money

Our provocation: How can we create a caring economy?

Cultures

‘Cultures’ is our most complex word.

In the past few months, amidst lockdown havoc and future-shock, freethinking conversations have been sparking across the world. Racism, discrimination and inequality are coming under new attack on a systemic level.

It seems ‘cultures’ is set to become even more complexified. We embrace this.

Is this the start of collective change to a new post-Covid global world order? A shift in power to grassroots communities?

Our partner: ADV Forum

Our provocation: How can we use the concepts ‘hyper-local’ and ‘hyper-global’ to save the concept of ‘cultures’?

Ultimately, this event marks a liminal event: it is the end of the academic year, with graduating students entering into new cycles and pathway. They will have to decide ‘who’ to work for; and who to allow into their life. They must prepare for their next stage, their next transmogrification.

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