Sam Holleran & Dodo Vögler




He is a writer, interdisciplinary artist, and designer, researching and writing on graphic culture, urbanism, and architecture. Sam’s work has appeared in publications like PRINT, Design Observer, Public Books, and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

He has worked with numerous nonprofits, community-based organizations, and educational institutions to create participatory planning projects and public art installations in and around city parks.

Sam has worked at the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) in New York, and was the Chair for Architecture and Urban Design at ETH-Zürich.

dOdo vÖgler

co-founder of ellery studio, a Berlin-based studio for creative strategy.

As a strategic designer and future researcher, she investigates possible and desirable futures, streamlines processes of knowledge generation in participatory formats, and develops innovative communication tools. Her current work focuses on processes within Germany’s energy transition, post-industrial community development, and gender equality.

She teaches at the Design Akademie Berlin.


THURS. June 13 | 3:45 PM — 4:15 PM | ROOM A

The reality of climate change is setting in. We’re incensed but also paralyzed—often moving from moments of extreme outrage to apathy. Dystopian imaginaries reign. It’s clear that we need to take steps to safeguard our future, but it can be difficult to get started, so many choose to revel in humankind’s downfall.

There’s been a vast proliferation of apocalyptic imagery in films, tv shows, and novels. But image-makers have the power not just to suggest dystopian scenarios but to posit a new way of living in the world. It’s clear that when designing for our imagined futures we need to move beyond the utopia/dystopia mindset

This presentation will take the form of a multimedia report from the field, detailing Ellery Studio’s ongoing efforts to break down climate policy and model desirable futures with novel tools: creative symposia, exhibitions, coloring books, and other collaborations across sectors. These programs bring disparate stakeholders out of their comfort zones to form new climate-justice-oriented networks.

In design, we talk about innovation and the dynamism of our processes. However, that’s not necessarily enough to get us through the mess of a steadily-warming earth. We need new ways to put forward a future that isn’t just innovative, but takes a moral stand.

In this session we will examine climate fictions with a particular focus on the emerging model of SolarPunk to understand how the literary and visual movement that originated in Brazil is surging, precisely because it rejects dystopian pessimism and, instead, puts forward images of renewable-powered utopias that challenge us to alter our social habits.

At the heart of this presentation will be an in-depth look at the tools for visualizing nuanced alternatives in climate policy and the techniques for catalyzing a previously-reticent publics.

A particular focus will be on “visual literacy” and the democratization of futures thinking—how can we insure that truly diverse stakeholders are weighing in critical issues? And how do we insure public participation in complex decision making processes?