Shaping shared futures as climates for change
Recent writings on climate, futures and scenarios suggest we pay more attention to narrative in scenario building and enactment to address matters of communication and culture. I take up this claim by focusing on story-discourse relations in placing a design view on scenarios, climate and community at the the centre of engaging productively in potential and actual transformation practices in an arctic town in Norway. Vardø, a small island once famous for its fishing, is in recovery from the depletion of stocks and bans in the 1980s. With its population halved, the town has gone about a reinvigoration of its historical properties and values via the project Vardø Restored. Through invitation by that project, and as part of the Future North research one into arctic landscapes, I will provide a narratively, ethnographically inflected account of working with a project into developing concepts, scenarios and means for repurposing the use of the once vibrant Vardø Grand Hotel. A four story concrete building in a town of many wooden structures, we are in the process of realising the Vardø HUB. It’s a site for the self-directed shaping and theorising of alternative and open community culturally formed spaces for addressing climate change and design futures. This contrasts with the entrepreneurial logic of funders of other ‘maker spaces’. Our approach draws on four years of work merging developments in social media, crowdsourcing and participatory design in building situated and shared means for shaping resilient and sustainable futures in and as climate change.