Formats Overview

Version 0.5

Collaboration is at the core of how we are working to discover a better design standard. We have two gathering formats that we run to enable people with a wide variety of expertise to work together. Their joint goal is to contribute to this living document that acts as a design or operations manual, supplementing other practices to address interconnected crises.

The Planetary Studios are subject-focused while the Planetary Retreats are practice-focused.

Planetary Studios

Planetary Studios (originally called Planetary Object Studios) begin with an area of planetary concern or a vexing problem that crosses typical disciplinary boundaries. Modeled on the Helsinki Design Lab’s Recipes for Systemic Change, we invite a mix of domain experts and imaginative thinkers to join for an intensive week-long experience. A team of facilitators supports the collaboration, documenting conversations and helping the participants shape outcomes.

Here is how we explain the idea to invitees: Planetary Object Studios are intensive, transdisciplinary design workshops aimed at addressing the urgent need of the 21st century for design and decision-making practices that can operate at the speed, scope, and scale demanded by today's interconnected crises. Led by the Center for Complexity at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), in collaboration with the H2045 collective and the 10x100 network, these studios are part of a broader effort to describe the properties of a planetary design practice. The studios focus on facilitated collaboration to develop new insights about reshaping human institutions to meet the demands of the Anthropocene.

Ocean Studio

Providence, USA. May 2023.

The first of these studios, known as the Ocean Studio, was held at Rhode Island School of Design. It brought together experts in ocean policy, governance, engineering, advocacy, design, and the arts to explore the future of ocean governance and planetary stewardship. The ocean, as a "provided commons," served as a concrete test case for applying and discovering frames and principles for planetary design. Its vastness, ecological importance, and “undergoverned” space offered opportunities to think about regenerative agreements and governance experimentation.

Participants: Aditi Juneja, Curtis Bell, Elizabeth Mendenhall, Jan Stockbruegger, Jon Soske, Lafayette Cruise, Liam Van Vleet, and Pupul Bisht.

Briefing and Facilitation team: Justin W. Cook, Tim Maly, Dara Benno, Prateek Shankar, Toban Shadlyn, Charlene Sequeira, and Marisa Brown.

Future Studios

We are envisioning more planetary object studios in the future to focus on different facets of planetary governance, such as rivers, satellites, and critical minerals, each offering unique opportunities to explore regenerative agreements, governance experimentation, and planetary relationships.

Planetary Retreats

Planetary Retreats begin with the idea that many people working in these domains know what they need to be working on but struggle to make time to do essential work. By creating time and space and putting them in collision with other practitioners in a similar situation, we offer them a chance to step back, compare notes, and discover their next projects.

Here is how we explain the idea to invitees: Planetary Retreats are multi-day design getaways that provide a space for reflection and collaboration in times of immense uncertainty and change. Organized by the Center for Complexity, in collaboration with Politics for Tomorrow and Dark Matter Labs and unlike traditional policy conferences, these retreats emphasize facilitated collaboration and are supported by 10x100, a learning-centered coordination framework.

Designing for Planetarity

Berlin, Germany. June 2023.

Held at Diversity Lab after the Creative Bureaucracy Festival, the Designing for Planetarity Retreat was the first such retreat. It aimed to further vet and gather feedback on manual contents and use, exploring how to better steward planetary commons and coordinate for regenerative futures. Motivated by the question, "How can we design for a planet that is more than human?" and inspired by Donna Haraway's call to "stay with the trouble,” the retreat was envisioned as an exercise in holding space in a time of extreme complexity with an emphasis collective action and agency, and gathered thinkers and practitioners to transition from a paradigm of exploitation to one of constrained abundance.

Participants: Aditi Juneja, Caroline Paulick-Thiel, Cassie Robinson, Céline Semaan, Eleanor Saitta, Falk Zientz, Hartmut Graßl, Indy Johar, Jan-Christoph Zoels, Jon Soske, Marco Steinberg, and Rowan Conway.

Briefing and Facilitation team: Justin W. Cook, Tim Maly, Dara Benno, Prateek Shankar, Toban Shadlyn, Charlene Sequeira, Caroline Paulick-Thiel, Blasius Walch, Jörg Petzold, Philip Hector, and Jacob Hühn.