WORKSHOP: Speculative Design for Transurban Futures (TransUrban)

CHItaly conference, Sunday, July 11, 2021.

This workshop aims at expanding the existent research and perspectives on the future of urban spaces by making use of creative, emergent, and participative approaches. The concept of transurbanism [1] emerges from the realisation that the future of humanity and the future of urban spaces cannot be understood is not by tackling them both at the same time. Future cities will be articulated around future citizens, and future citizens will be shaped by their urban environments. In order to investigate a far away transurban future, we will use the tools of speculative design, a well-established practice that uses design as a form of critique and speculation. The participative approach of the workshop will ensure that the different skills, backgrounds and perspectives of the participants will work in synergy to refresh and deepen the way we imagine future cities.

The workshop will challenge the participants to reflect on the following topics:

  • The technological, social, and cultural events which will shape the future of the urban spaces.
  • Citizenship in face of posthuman and transhuman shifts.
  • Objects, spaces, infrastructures, and scenarios of transurban cities.
  • Strategies to map and visualise future cities.


The aim of the workshop is to co-design a transurban city from 2121. After a short introduction, participants will engage in several activities of brainstorming and participatory design devoted to design a future city and some of the spaces, objects and citizens that can be found in it. In particular, the workshop will focus on outlining a Future City, imagining its future citizens by creating fictional personas, designing some spaces, events and scenarios for the Future City and testing them with role-play.

Date and place

The workshop is part of the CHItaly conference, and will take place on Sunday, July 11, 2021. The workshop will take place online. Registered participants will receive a link in the days prior to the event.



This workshop is organised around a hands-on speculative and participatory design activity, and therefore will not require paper submissions. After the workshop, however, we will ask the willing participants to participate in a joint publication based, for example on  Speculative Abstracts from the Future (see, for example [2]) or similar, where they will elaborate the ideas and designs emerged in the workshop. The abstracts will then become part of a conference paper co-authored by the organisers and all the participants (which will be submitted to altCHI, DIS, Mindtrek or similar).

How to apply

The workshop is open to all CHItaly participants. No previous experience with participatory or speculative design is needed. Diversity of background and expertise among the participants is encouraged.

We are expecting 16-20 participants with 24 being the maximum number we can accommodate. If you want to attend the workshop, please express your interest here.


Mattia Thibault, Tampere University, Finland (contact person: mattia.thibault[at]
Nikoletta Zampeta Legaki, Tampere University, Finland
Oğuz “Oz” Buruk, Tampere University, Finland
Seda Suman Buruk, independent urban designer, Tampere, Finland
Daniel Fernández Galeote, Tampere University, Finland



[1] Thibault, M., Buruk, O., Suman Buruk, S., & J. Hamari (2020). Transurbanism: Smart Cities for Transhumans. In Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference (pp. 1915-1928).

[2] Buruk, O.  et al. (2020, April). Children in 2077: Designing children’s technologies in the age of transhumanism. In Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-14).

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