A new initiative by Superflux*
King's Culture, King's College London
Anab Jain and Jon Ardern
Research and writing by
*Superflux imagine and build plural futures we can experience in the present.
With 15 years of experience pioneering the fields of speculative design and experiential futures, the award-winning studio works with numerous communities and commissioning organisations to empower and catalyse transformative futures.
CASCADE INQUIRY is an ambitious initiative by Superflux that imagines future worlds where positive climate action has been taken.
From July 2022, Superflux began collecting and collating the work of climate researchers across fields; mapping entanglements between climate and war, wildfires, policy, economy, philosophy, strategy, literature and neuroscience. Drawing on a wealth of knowledge at King's College London, and building on our experiential design approach, this first phase of work is a collaborative inquiry, supported by King's Culture.
This foundational work has located sites of power that have the potential to enact positive change in the face of crisis. The next steps of CASCADE INQUIRY will invite communities to imagine, enact and experience just, equitable and regenerative futures. If people can tangibly feel this future, how might this experience inform their actions in the present?
CASCADE INQUIRY is the connective tissue that enables multiple societal actors to come together and engage in collective imagining, deep listening, storytelling and actionable decision making to surface the unheard, unknown and the possible. We intend to create multiple, experiential projects that will occupy town-halls, culture-centres, corporate offices, spaces of worship, fields, forests and more.
These experiential spaces will become immersive climate-positive futures that hold plural visions of change. They will become sites of active hope, agency and action; constant reminders that other worlds are possible.
This website runs on a solar powered server located on the roof of King's College London just above our spatial activation.
To power the server at night or on overcast days, Superflux built a battery pack from 3.7v 550mAh 13400 lithium ion batteries salvaged from disposable e-cigarettes. The pack is charged by a consumer PWM solar charge controller with 5v outputs.
During periods of sustained bad weather this website may go offline.
Superflux began CASCADE INQUIRY with a period of intensive research from July 2022. Titled 'Activation', this first phase of CASCADE INQUIRY is a research residency—supported and brokered by King's College Culture—a live experiential space housing a sprawling web of questions, provocations and case-studies.
Collecting and collating the work of climate researchers across fields we have mapped entanglements between climate and war, wildfires, policy, economy, philosophy, strategy, literature and neuroscience.
We spoke with researchers and professors at King's: Kris DeMeyer, Helen Adams, Mark Pelling, Duraid Jalili, Megan Bowman, Maud Borie, Suzanne Hall, Mark Mulligan, Rowan Gard, Adriana Ford and Frans Berkhout, as well as domain experts in policy, urban risk, marine biology, philosophy, sociology and deep listening: Tia Harrop, Anne Watson, Stephen Bennett, Elisa Sevilla, Karina Barragan, Shona Koren, Sarah Fine, Karen O'Brien and Emily Kasriel. These conversations inquired into the location of power, who can access it, how we can act on that power and what change we can create.
Our questions unearthed productive overlaps, echoes and connections, including a reassuring (and unanimous) call for ambitious and embodied modes of knowledge production and sharing.
CASCADE INQUIRY operates in those in-between spaces to form bridges between actors and ideas that are often kept apart and gated. A holding of difference, CASCADE INQUIRY facilitates unlikely alliances between data and emotion, experts and unheard, local and global action to nurture collective response-ability and empower means of thinking otherwise.
How then can we activate future worlds that do not reinforce siloed domains that accelerate poverty and climate collapse but share resources and nurture reparative relations? Those worlds are not abstract distant musings, they are already possible, in superposition with today's world.
Those actions required for a climate positive world needn't be grand, nor costly, they certainly won't all look the same and they will likely have different motivations. Today one action might just be to listen deeply, prompting an imperceptible yet impactful internal shift in both self and other.
The climate crisis is something we need to act on together, there is no singular approach, no single agent of change but a plethora of emergent relations in chorus with their specific situational context. CASCADE INQUIRY seeks to seed the imaginative capacity that primes and makes possible such novel and mutually supportive responses.
CASCADE INQUIRY has the potential to significantly impact the ways we can work together to create meaningful and lasting change. We are seeking your investment for the continued development of our project. Your support will enable us to foster sustained dialogues with plural communities and empower collective imagining.
If you are an investor, community lead, cultural foundation interested in supporting transformative climate action work then please get in touch at email@example.com