Imaginaries of Climate Pathways Pittsburgh, united states

PROJECT OVERVIEW:How do we imagine the climate emergency? What futures do we understand, or can we envision, for our own communities or others? It’s easy to be completely overwhelmed with powerlessness, and the complexities and uncertainties of the situations we might have ahead of us. International bodies such as the IPCC and climate science researchers have the idea of plural ‘pathways’ which give insights into possible futures we might experience, but what could they look like in everyday life? How might we actually experience these pathways? How are the SDGs experienced in practice? Students at Carnegie Mellon’s Imaginaries Lab are applying design research methods to this topic: investigating how people think about and understand these complex, massive, systemic issues through building experiences and projects which enable people to explore aspects of possible futures for our everyday lives in relation to climate and sustainable development. Rooted in the context of Pittsburgh, a rustbelt city reviving itself through technology, health, and education, but with a significant history of environmental issues, from air pollution to flash flooding, these projects seek to address local perspectives on climate issues, from how young people can have better conversations with older relatives, to connecting a transient student population better to local sustainable food initiatives.

CATEGORY: Education SETTING: Urban STATUS: On-going

BY: Imaginaries Lab, Carnegie Mellon University

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Our students will be taking their projects out into public spaces in Pittsburgh, from farmers' markets to the Global Climate Strike protests, to engage with local people. We're also running two weekend sessions—open to the public—as part of the Many Tomorrows Festival, an international, distributed sequence of events dedicated to alternative futures, and the role of arts in figuring them out and making them happen. Local stakeholders from government and community organizations will be invited.

PARTNERS: We are working with the Plurality University Network, a global, open organization connecting artists, designers, writers, and activists who use the power of imagination to enable alternative futures. In this project, they bring an international network of members who will participate in person and remotely in advising students on their projects and providing inspiration.