Fictitious islands - Kingston University, London

21 & 22 November 2011

A workshop on 21st and 22nd November with MA Design Products and Space, MA Fashion Design, MA Design for Teaching and Learning, MA Health and Well being.

Fictitious Islands ( Extract from brief)

An Island is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. An artificial island or man-made
island is an island or archipelago that has been constructed by people rather than formed by natural means. They
are created by expanding existing islets, construction on existing reefs, or amalgamating several natural islets into a
bigger island.
"I would sum up my fear about the future in one word: boring. And that's my one fear: that everything has happened; nothing exciting or
new or interesting is ever going to happen again ... the future is just going to be a vast, conforming suburb of the soul" JG Ballard.
Shall we be as dystopian as JG Ballard? Shall we: say that what will merge, grow from the future will be “boring”,
shall we: look for signs of determinism or look into the geological stratum in order to rebuild civilization with new
rules and addictions?
You are asked to reassess the limit between the air and the void, tourism in the air or on a land, and to speculate on
future territories. You are to create a fictitious Island.
What could be the Inhabitants like? Are they recluse ? Where is their island? In the past, in the future, or in the
present? Under water? On mars?....


This workshop will be the occasion for you to observe your environment considering ‘its full’ and ‘its emptyness’.
-The city is often only seen in its verticality but what about the blocs of air that surrounds it, inhabits it?
-Can you propose us ways to own the airspace? To define it?
-Can you build your own island in the air and define its characters such as in Barthes in the Mythology of the ring?
-What are the dynamics that will be predominant in your fictive city?
-How would you mark boundaries?
-How much Hybrid will it be?
-What could be its money?
-Would it be digital?
-Would it be attached to pigeons and other birds?
- Is it alive, is it in motion like the nautilus of Jules Verne?
-What could be the passions which animate it?
-How would we tell the story of its inhabitants?
-How would they communicate?
-How people and digital/virtual interact together (island has a living membrane – organic island)?
-What are the private and public spaces?
-Can this fictitious island influence our privacy and can it generate new paranoia?
-What is the everyday on the fictitious island made of?
-What are the urban/hybrid myth[s] on the fictitious island?


To assist you in the process of building your fictitious city:
* You are to observe your everyday and define the visible and the invisible, the allowed and the not allowed.
* You are to design and build your own island with its hybrid boundaries, its rules, its money, its manifesto….
* You are to inhabit this island, who is leading in it and how?
* You have to define its ‘hybricity’ and its links to reality
* You have to create your own fiction within the everyday.
* You have to consider communication modes and tools:
* How can we access you island? In a spacecraft? In a bubble? On a ladder?..