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Design Fiction workshop with Benoît Renaudin!

poz nation
Image selection of poz nation by Lea, Elena and Natalia

Hello again, last month we had a three-day workshop with the designer Benoît Renaudin who came up all the way from Geneva to help us develop new ideas through Design Fiction.

Two weeks before the three-day session, we received an email with Benoit’s syllabus for the workshop. When I was reading through it, I realized that we had to create a nation! In the beginning it was quite abstract, but Segyo and I managed to get a better grasp of the task by searching through the values that we wished to have in our hypothetical nation. Together, we created Zalucrea.

The Design Fiction workshop took place from February 27 to February 29 of 2020 in PCA. During the first day, we – the MDes students – introduced our nation’s concepts. After that, we had to design a ceremony for our nationals and show it to the group. The second day we developed a lunch concept, the outcomes were impressive, and it also helped us to share a table together. And for the final day, we worked on our creative work to show the conception and development of our nation’s ideas.  The results were as diverse as our little group itself, as you might read in the next paragraphs. Here I present to you the nations created by MDes 2020:

Nation: In1

Creators: Janani Iyer and Man-Hsuan Chen

The In1 nation gives people the freedom to come together and create their own hybrid country. A hybrid country is an amalgamation of two or more countries, schools of thought, values or beliefs that wishes to thrive on their own. There is no geographic location for creating an In1, no fixed rules, no conditions and no obligations.

The only principle is to maintain peace and harmony and respect with your partner or partners in your very own country.

The birth of In1 happened in a small studio in Paris, where two women designers from Taiwan and India shared their country’s stories. They both loved their countries so dearly but were fully aware that a lot could change for the better. This gave rise to an idea of creating their own utopia — A nation where people could come together and to form their own territory. They can give it a name, make their own rules and create a system that can give them happiness, peace and harmony.

In1 was born out of a wish to bring people, cultures, thoughts and beliefs together in a world where everyone wants to be happy but face oppression or unrest in the hands of the system.

We welcome you all to create your hybrid country to start a new practice of making a system, dictating rules, and living your life, your way.

We created a website where you can register your own In1 hybrid nation.

For completing the process, it is very simple. You will need a name that will be the mix of your different countries, information about the creators and three values you wish to promote in your In1 nation.

You can also check other hybrid nations and join them if you feel like it!

Nation: Poz

Creators: Elena Cortina, Lea and Natalia

Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges wrote that a nation was not defined by race or language; that men feel in their hearts as one when they encounter a community of ideas, of shared interests, of affection and memories of hope (1870, author’s translation).

We’ve created a nation for the marginalized, for the distressed and those who just simply need a break. With a world evolving at full speed, we would like to envision that there is always a moment to breathe or take a pause.

poz (/pɔːz/) n. f.

[Late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin pausa , from Greek pausis , from

pausein ]: to pause

In an effort to imagine an alternative nation, our design is a fictional product for its citizens. poz is a drink with a neutral network stimulant targeting the right supramarginal gyrus of the brain, the region in charge of our neurological experience for empathy. This experience is bottled for anyone who is in need of a pause. Made of a hundred percent H 2 O, poz contains an element that only becomes active when subpar activity is detected in the brain, which sets the barriers for poz as a nation. The distribution of this product works with a selective system to avoid excessive consumption.

poz is a nation that has no notion of time continuum, it is experienced through the remembrance of joyful places and can only be accessed by those who are experiencing emotional, psychological, and physical distress, as a form of shelter or safe haven. poz nation sets a number of rules to its temporary inhabitants:

1. To be part of this nation, one would be facing emotional, psychological, or physical difficulties that one needs refuge from.

2. This nation is not a final destination. One is to only stay here until understanding one’s

pain and reaching the comfort that will facilitate going through the situation faced.

3. Only the nation can find you. One cannot search for it.

We’ve chosen to depict a world in which a time pause is plausible and what this world may look like through its mundane still-life’s, without a preference toward a light or dark connotation. For we all, sometimes, just need a pause.

As a result of this project, we created images representative of a world where poz exists and is now normalized. Through these, we illustrate multiple fictional realities where a variety of “users” experience poz in their daily routines, an experience now commodified as any other routinely accepted habit and whose novelty has worn off. At the risk of disturbing the utopian sentiment of this product, we also chose to portray the possibility of a negative adaptation of poz, resembling possible misuse and addictive behaviors. Through this project, we indulged in the invigoration that innovation may bring to designers but did so without missing an opportunity to stress the responsibility this process inevitably brings. To create will never be void of consequence and as designers, we must not ignore our impact.

Nation: Zalucrea

Creators: Segyo Oh and Daniela Monter

As an outcome of the Design Fiction Workshop Nation conducted by Benoit Renaudin, we

created Zalucrea : it is a concept that joined the values of Segyo and Daniela’s ideal environment. The nation of Zalucrea values the relationships among people and how they contribute to the whole society. In Zalucrea, we value individuality as a tool for the greater good. Another important value is the relationship between people and nature. There is a critical need to understand and appreciate the connections amongst the whole ecosystem. Zalucrea’s lifestyle is an opposition to capitalism and the fast life often lived in our societies.  To counteract this contemporary mentality of living, we were inspired to create an ideology that had a different sense of time. The importance of enjoying and being in the present moment. In Zalucrea we plan the future, but we are not driven by it. Zalucrea doesn’t have a specific location, and anyone who has the same values of the nation can reach others to become part of the community as Zalucrea is a state of mind and not a physical space.

One of our tasks during the workshop Nation was to conduct a ceremony. Based on our initial ceremony, we created a manifesto for Zalucrea along with the materials needed to conduct the ceremony, also known as Zalutivi. During Zalutivi, future Zalucreans are initiated as they are given a Zalucard. This Zalucard is a seed paper that has the seed of a plant that represents them symbolically but also through functionality. The plant was specifically chosen and contemplated through the Zalucrean initiating the future Zalucrean. They are given this seed plant paper, in hopes that they will grow the plant but also grow in their role as an individual in the world. In the Zaluativi invitation, there are instructions on how to be a Zalucrean, how to do a Zalutivi, and how to create a Zalucard. The illustrations were done by hand to accentuate the handmade slow life that is essential to the Zalucrean lifestyle. Furthermore, to demonstrate the value of individual skills as Zalucreans, the illustrations done by Segyo were combined with the graphic design skills of Daniela.

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In1 Nation

In1 Nation

In1 website developed by Janani and Man