Week 8- Plunging into the Generative Phase

Aashrita Indurti
Designing a vision for the future
5 min readMar 27, 2021

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Documentation for IXD Studio II

Grounding Foresight

We had a session with futurist Stuart Candy and were introduced to the three strategies of Grounding Foresight. The three strategies correspond to the body which is pegged as experiential, the community that is participatory in nature and location which is place-based.

Grounding Foresight by Stuart Candy

The Critical Future Studies Workshop

We began week 8 of the Graduate Design Studio session with a CLA framework introduced to us. The Causal — Layered — Analysis or CLA framework is a technique used in Future Planning and Speculation Studies based on the analysis and reformulation of the way we know the world (epistemology), world view and social construction. The workshop conducted by Adam Cowart gave us a perspective into this method and we analysed the layers of CLA (Litany, System, World View, Myth and Metaphor) based on the context of Portland and the Portland Public Schools.

The CLA Filters, presented by Adam

While half of us looked at the current trends prevalent, the rest of us branched out to speculate a futuristic take on the CLA layers based on the prevailing contemporary trends of the present.

The CLA Mapping for Portland Public Schools (Present to Future — Left to Right)
The CLA Mapping for Portland Public Schools: Present (Left) Future (Right)

Conducting Futuring Workshops

As our area of focus revolves around caregivers we were interested in trying to understand how caregivers, who go beyond just parents be it, leaders, mentors, uncles, aunts, neighbours and so forth are interested in engaging with the community in the future and how they may want to be involved with the school as a hub of these community-oriented activities.

We honed in on two types of caregivers, one that might move to Portland in the future and the other a set of existing Portlanders as part of our archetypes.

As the next step, we conducted futuring workshops with two sets of participants — future caregivers and native residents of Portland to help us understand and paint a picture of the future of education and the needs of future caregivers and community leaders.

Board for a Newcomer to Portland
Board for an Existing Portlander

In order to create the tool kit for the workshop, we initially threw in a set of prompts along with visual aids as a conversation starter, to help participants think about allied subjects and categories to talk about their aspirations and needs for the future. We also wanted to encourage participants to go beyond these prompts and sketch out/summarize their idea of the future as caregivers.

Design Jam with Native Portland Residents

This futuring design jam session was conducted with 7 native Portland residents and we asked them to draft a future persona of themselves along with what they envision the school in the future to look like. Some of the aspects we wanted them to consider and include in their personas were the environment, community engagement, schools be it digital or physical, the role of technology, mobility and the modes of communication with other stakeholders from the school/community.

Painting the Picture of the Future
Snippets from the Workshop

Design Jam with Future Newcomers to Portland

This session played out with 5 participants who were asked to assume that they would be moving to Portland in the year 2035, doning the role of a caregiver. We were curious to learn about how they might break the ice and interact with people in the community of this new city they moved to and what specific aspects (like local businesses, environment, community support, etc) were important considerations.

A Sneak Peek into the Design Jam Boards

Research Synthesis

Affinity Mapping of Insights from the Natives and the Non-Natives

Next Steps

The aim of this workshop was to understand what is important for the next-gen of parents and caregivers and the perspectives we gained would help us narrow our focus by identifying their pain points and aspirations related to the community and thus, the school.

The way ahead for us is to synthesize and pull out insights from these boards and craft out points of intervention.

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Aashrita Indurti
Designing a vision for the future

Interaction and Service Designer | Graduate Student at the School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University