Airin Farahmand received the Study Award for her thesis entitled "Bodies Reimagined: The Representation of the Body in Speculative Design". The abstract can be found below.
We live in an age of permanent crisis, where the need for finding alternatives is ever more pressing. How can art shift narratives to create change and generate new social and cultural possibilities? Bodies Reimagined explores the power of stories, fiction, and speculation in creating new worlds and imagining alternatives. It argues that new narratives can build new worlds and different stories can lead to different social realities. Taking “speculative design” as its starting point, it aims to understand the role of art and design in fabulating new worlds. Speculative design is a relatively new design approach that uses hypothetical situations, what-if questions, and fictional products to explore possible technological futures. It is a creative response to emerging technologies that aims to provide an imaginative space for thinking about their socio-cultural implications. By probing into stories about bodies and technologies in speculative design, this thesis sheds light on the potential of the medium for creating alternative forms of knowledge that challenge the axiomatic certitudes of Humanism’s imagination. In so doing, it argues for the importance of recognizing art, theory, philosophy, and science as intersecting platforms within which new ethical, social, cultural, and political frameworks can emerge.
PhD project on plastic
In her current PhD project, Farahmand investigates the ways in which plastic informs the aesthetic function of art in the Anthropocene. Read more about her project Capturing Plastic on the project page.