City Sci-fi Fall '23: Student Projects

Final projects created in  MAS.S66 City Sci-Fi: Speculative Movie Making Towards the Design of Ecology Futures, taught in Fall 2023. 

Inspired by indigenous sciences and TEK, students were prompted to imagine how human settlements could evolve in the future, creating new ecologies.

This is a story about movement. In Nomad's world, people are in constant migration. Monumental structures, built by indigenous people, carefully move entire tribes from one place to another, following nature's flow. When the forest signals it needs time to rest and recover, these intricate marvelous structures go search for new settling areas using its multi-dimensional sensors.

Escalating environmental challenges, and unusual astronomical events. Stuck in halted scientific progress, scientists study various resilient species, looking for new insights. On a cactus island, researchers conduct experiments to enhance human body by having participants consume all sorts of cactus products.  The cactus  embodies our human search for communion, identity, divinity, and higher forms of consciousness.

Sea levels rose and swallowed substantial portions of coastal land. On top what were once shoreline cities as we knew them, people began constructing curious floating settlements. Crafted from a single locally sourced material, the floating cities harmonize with the rhythms of water, swelling and drying with the weather. The world is now a patchwork of the sturdy old cities and the malleable floating towns. We are invited to glimpse into the daily lives of Adam and Sevana, two people who live on opposite sides of these two cities. 

This piece explores new forms of sensing and sense-making. It advocates for the reconciliation of scientific and spiritual worldviews, urging the dissolution of silos.

The docu-fiction follows the fictional journey of the young scientist Ragini, intertwined with documentary interviews of scientists at the MIT Microfluidics Laboratory, as well as the owner of a spiritual bookstore in Cambridge. Ragini, a mechanical engineer researching ice nucleation and crystallization of water droplets, finds herself on the verge of a significant scientific breakthrough. In the process, she explores her ancestral roots in the Himalayan region.

In 2080, people live in small, scattered, communal villages, using local resources sustainably and in sync with nature. 

But how did we get there?  Meet Toto: a brave squirrel who discovers a letter from a future scientist, Sophie, urging action to save a world on the brink of destruction. In a daring journey through time, Toto navigates a bustling city to deliver the message and alter the course of humanity's fate.

In this world, everyone has become indigenous to their place again. We are invited into the memoirs of a young woman, a descendant of the Quilombolas people in Brazil, as she weaves stories of her coming-of-age ritual.  Born and raised on the highlands of the cloud-harvesting city, we follow her first venture beyond her territory. Other teenagers, much like herself, wander in nature and discover new territories as they access ancestral knowledge and gain a glimpse into the global sphere of modern indigeneity.

What if we could re-write our universe and make an entirely new myth of creation?  

The world system's natural flow is out of balance; the song whales of Tidal Lock has changed the tune of Noepe. Moshup is awakened to restore balance and save the song of the Wampanoag. We need to take turns. 

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