The Terraforming Summer: Upstream Speculation

Can a speculative methodology investigate and design the definition of a problem in research practices?

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Speculative research workshop aims to bring the speculative approach "upstream" the design process: instead of jumping to solutions to misunderstood problems it proposes “staying with the trouble” and exploring the problem-space to frame the field for the further interventions or their inhibition. 

Participants will be invited to reflect on a number of the Terraforming topics (e.g. planetarity, automation, artificial, anthropoforming, metabolism, etc.)  through the lens of the various specific contexts (e.g. city, body, food, energy, waste, etc.) This way they will learn the methodology of applied speculative research to think creatively through complicated ideas and deliver their more pragmatic interpretation in a form of a media-project. 

Two-days activity will consist of introduction to the topics through the outcomes of the first theory-based workshop, basics of the design research methodology and hands-on work in groups to practice this approach. 


Yulya Besplemennova is a service designer, system thinker, researcher and teacher, currently working with service design and research studio oblo in Milan. She holds a Master’s degree in Product-Service System Design from Politecnico of Milano and focuses her work on design of complex systems which put together human and technological components both for the private and public sector clients. Yulya is in a constant search for new approaches to design practice and expanding it beyond human-centered design which results in the development of Systems Thinking for Service Design tools and her role as a scientific coordinator of Service Design Tools platform. This has also led her to The Terraforming program during which she developed The Anatomy of a Trojan Horse and Backcasting Kardashev One projects. 

The Terraforming is an interdisciplinary design-research program at Strelka Institute. It combines theoretical insights and practical experience to consider the past and future role of cities as a planetary network by which humans occupy the Earth’s surface. This year’s project outcomes investigated a range of topics to propose both pragmatic scenarios and speculative fictions addressing the terraforming that has brought us to this moment and the terraforming that now must urgently be planned and conducted within the coming decades.

The Terraforming Summer is a series of workshops serving as a window into the program’s unique design-research process, spanning theoretical readings, editorial framing, and speculative design synthesis. Individually each 2-day workshop offers an accelerated deep-dive into one core area of expertise and aspect of the program, and in sequence all three provide an opportunity to experience the workflow which informs the design-research methodology put forward by the program. Participants will learn how to interpret and incorporate key theoretical concepts in their practice, storyboard their ideas to give them narrative structure, and prototype speculative design-research projects addressing the key terms and problematics of contemporary urban design.

Application deadline is on the 13th of August, 23:59 (GMT+3). We will contact the successful applicants by the 14th of August. Participation fee in one workshop is 2500rub, participants of three workshops will have a discount price of 6000rub for all. For the discount and any further inquiries please contact the workshop producer Yulia via

The workshop will be held at Strelka Institute, Bersenevskaya Naberezhnaya, 14/5, Moscow. The room will be disinfected and equipped with sanitizers, all measures to maintain social distance will be provided. At the entrance we will measure your temperature and provide personal protective equipment if you don’t have your own.


679 дней назад
15 августа 12:00 — 16 августа 2020 20:00

14, bldg.5A, Bersenevskaya emb., Moscow 119072, Russian Federation +7 905 764 34 94
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