Imaginaries of Climate Pathways: 5/6 October and 2/3 November

The Imaginaries Lab course Research Through Design is running two weekend sessions as part of the Plurality University Network’s 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.


How do we imagine climate change? 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?

Students on Carnegie Mellon’s Imaginaries Lab Research Through Design course are applying design research methods to this topic: investigating how people think about and understand this complex, massive, systemic issue through building models and experiences which enable people to explore aspects of climate pathways and possible futures for our everyday lives. We are doing this via a more intensive weekend ‘design jam’ format than a traditional studio course.

As part of the Many Tomorrows Festival, the students will be sharing their ideas and projects in development, paired with presentations and discussion. You can follow online—we’ll be streaming parts of each weekend. The 5/6 October session is very much work in progress, while the 2/3 November weekend will be closer to the culmination of the project and be more of an event.

The events are hosted by Dan Lockton, Stef La Vattiata, Matt Geiger, and Michelle Chou from Carnegie Mellon School of Design’s  Imaginaries Lab.

For the 5/6 October event, here are links to four parts of the weekend in case you’d like to join remotely. Please note, the times are approximate as it’s a ‘working’ session, and we may have to compress or expand some phases of what we’re doing! If you have any questions or if things aren’t working, please email

Saturday, 5 October 09:00 – 10:30 EDT (GMT -4): Intro and Project Updates

Saturday 5 October 16:00 – 16:30 EDT (GMT -4): Answering the Many Tomorrows ‘Torch’ Questions

Sunday 6 October 09:00 – 10:30 EDT (GMT -4): Katja Budinger, guest speaker

Sunday 6 October 14:30 – 16:30 EDT (GMT -4): Project Videos + passing on the Many Tomorrows Torch

For the 2/3 November event, please email if you’d like to join at any time during the days (09:00 – 16:30 Eastern Time (GMT -5).

Many thanks to the Plurality University Network’s Chloé Luchs Tassé for all her help in organizing the collaborations.