California’s economy is the largest in the United States and is the fifth largest in the world. A large part of California’s economy consists of its agricultural and industrial production located in the Central Valley. These high production industries siphon the area’s natural resources, leaving behind ecological damage that directly impact underrepresented communities both human and nonhuman living in the region. The aim of this research project will be focused on 3D world-building and immersive storytelling to explore speculative futures that reimagine a future Central Valley landscape and embraces the symbiotic relations of all species living there (past and future) as a creative practice to reimagine possibilities for large agricultural food systems. SIP interns will develop research assets such as speculative design, and learn how to create digital assets for virtual 3D world-building to be viewed on a computer browser, phone or tablet. Speculative design, sometimes called critical design or design fiction, asks us to zoom out beyond user-centered design and ask what the effects of our designs could be on future societies. Outcomes from this research will be published as a virtual exhibition through the OpenLab Collaborative Research Center. Creating a virtual hub on Mozilla Spoke will allow for active participation in exhibiting their research for a diverse community while investigating virtual spaces that reimagines the cultivation practices both sustainable and not sustainable.
The SIP interns will (1) research the environmental impact of industrial farming on communities in the Central Valley (2) create digital assets for virtual environments (3) investigate storytelling methodologies through images, 3D object and intersecting art and science themes (4) contribute to the publication of a virtual exhibition.