Dr. Kristin Alford
DR. KRISTIN ALFORD
Futurist / Director / Museum of Discovery (MOD) at The University of South Australia
Dr Kristin Alford is a Futurist and the Director of MOD at the University of South Australia. She leads a team dedicated to creating dynamic exhibitions that showcase research and emerging technologies to young adults.
Prior to this role, Kristin was the founding director of foresight agency Bridge8, a Top 50 Cool Company facilitating futures and engagement on water sustainability, nanotechnology, health, advanced manufacturing, clean technologies and climate futures. She was also an Adjunct Lecturer in Foresight and Social Change at the University of Adelaide and Facilitator for the Australian Academy of Sciences’ project on Australia 2050. She was the inaugural licensee and host of TEDxAdelaide and is currently on the board of Radio Adelaide.
Kristin holds a PhD in Process Engineering and has worked as a Metallurgist for BHP. Following careers in human resources, product development and marketing, she completed a Masters of Management in Strategic Foresight from Swinburne University as well as qualifications from the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Governor’s Leadership Foundation.
Peace Machines: Speculative design by young adults at MOD
Can you aggressively fight for peace?
This is the provocation we asked in WAGING PEACE, a recent exhibition at MOD, the Museum of Discovery in South Australia. To answer this question, we engaged our target audience of young adults in two Speculative Design projects - building peace machines and rebranding peace.
Our schools program asked “How do you design a machine for peace?”. This resulted in a selection of 15 future-orientated designs for peace machines proposing applications of technology and new systems to deal with issues of resource scarcity, immigration, mental health, and relationships in surprising ways.
Our tertiary program asked students to respond to a study by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute in Marketing Science to see whether the peace needed a brand makeover. Students in visual communications, animation and illustration created campaign materials for a new brand of peace.
This approach enabled us to make our exhibitions participatory. It provided an opportunity for students engage with our new museum as part of their existing formal learning experiences. Most importantly, this type of interaction encourages a future-literacy to lay the foundations for a broader platform for social change.