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Saturday, June 10 • 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Community Resilience Thinking & Speculative Design Workshop

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Based on different case studies using the Resilient Thinking Design tool, the goal of this participative action-research workshop will be a brainstorming session for the Pratt Public Sphere (PPS) communities' vision by capacity building through transdisciplinary and multi-governance processes. This collective participative workshop will focus on the Pratt Public Sphere as a pop-up counter institutional hub of creativity at the Pratt Institute Campus. The goal of this workshop is to facilitate a voice for the PPS community by giving them more tools and resources for building capacities and developing new cooperative visions. This workshop will converge in speculative narratives that will provide a vision to transition into a future PPS desired scenario for social and transformative change. https://www.pratt.edu/news/building-community-beneath-a-geodesic-dome/

Earth's biotic and abiotic systems, such as ecosystems, communities, and social networks (social-technological-ecological systems) evolve as adaptive self-organized complex systems. Consequently, the sustainable development of complexity systems is based on their degree of adaptability and transformability to systemic changes. These capacities are based on resilience thinking processes (Walker and Salt, 2015) that provoke navigating through a societal transition process (Escobar, 2015) in front of the current systemic stresses and crises such as climate change, energy crisis, end of capitalism or other emerging changes that are not still expected by our society.

The workshop will engage the participants in two activities and be achieved by two intersecting processes:
  • First, they will be given tools and resources for mapping the Prat Public Sphere ecosystem environment where they operate, being able to better understand the complexities and potentialities of those contexts, and will engage in a process of situating themselves. 
  • In the second part, participants will be invited to collaborate in creating speculative scenarios (what if?) and defining futures pluriverse (Escobar, 2018) that ‘give form’ to proposed visions to trigger systemic transitions; these short narratives will be made in the preferred media of the group’s participants (ideas, performances, drawings, hagstags, social media, etc.) and using the resilience thinking approach (De Balanzo and Rodriguez, 2018; Saez Ujaque et al, 2021). 

Called the Pratt Public Sphere (PPS), the 20-foot-tall dome was initially built in November 2022 outside Steuben Gallery in Dekalb Hall before being relocated to the Rose Garden. It is part of Mattingly’s framing of her fellowship year through the general themes of “Water Time,” “Earth Time,” and “Plant Time,” with the Pratt Public Sphere connecting with Earth and Plant Time. During its time on campus, it has hosted a range of community-based programming, including a bodega-style mutual-aid depot with a food pantry and free winter clothing, coffee hours, artist talks, and workshops. “The dome in urban space can be seen through the lens of its histories, present iterations, and futures,” Mattingly said. “Indigenous cultures around the world have long worked with dome shapes as forms of housing and ceremonial spaces. In the United States in the 1950s and ’60s, Buckminster Fuller captivated public imagination with what could be seen as his most successful prototype for a deployable housing model. At times, I’ve utilized the form in my artwork, as intentionally provocative urban event spaces that are simple for a small team to build and use, and easily recognizable as either utopic or dystopic nostalgic objects, all the while standing in opposition to the scale and formality of much of New York’s built urban environment.”

Daniel Pravit Fethke, MFA Fine Arts (Integrated Practices) ’23, has been working with the dome as part of his thesis project. This includes the Public Kitchen as well as the bodega-style mutual-aid depot that kicked off the Pratt Public Sphere’s programming. Along with his decade-long filmmaking practice, he has been facilitating workshops, cooking classes, and creative gatherings that center food and recipes as ways to explore identity and culture.

“The Pratt Public Sphere has been an incredible opportunity for us to provide a platform for intentional, interdisciplinary workshops on campus during my thesis year,” Fethke said. “Our goal was to create a space that people can use for all forms of making, and we have had a lot of excited engagement from students, neighbors, and our greater NYC community. For me personally, I was able to assemble a working public kitchen and host free food events that amplified my existing socially engaged art practice.”

“I’m excited about the enthusiasm around art, climate justice, and ecology on campus, and that there are a lot of ways that the arts students can crossover with different disciplines,” Mattingly said. “Students are really eager to bridge the boundaries between different disciplines, particularly with different ecological and sustainability initiatives happening in different ways in different majors.”

avatar for Rafael De Balanzo Joue

Rafael De Balanzo Joue

Visiting Assistant Professor, Pratt Institute
He is currently based in Barcelona and New York and founder of the Urban Resilience Thinking Initiatives. He is a faculty at the Pratt Math & Science Department (SLAS) and the Graduate Center of Planning and Environment (GCPE) at the Pratt School of Architecture (SoA).His research... Read More →

Saturday June 10, 2023 1:30pm - 3:00pm EDT
Rose Garden 207 Ryerson St, Brooklyn, NY 11205