Elliott P. Montgomery is a futures-researcher and strategic designer whose work focuses on speculative alternatives at the confluence of social, technological and environmental impact. He is an Assistant Professor of Strategic Design at Parsons School of Design, and is co-founder of The Extrapolation Factory, a design-futures studio based in Brooklyn. He is a former design research resident at the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, Energy. He holds a Masters Degree in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art in London and a Bachelors in Industrial Design from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh PA.
Tamara Alvarez is PhD Candidate in Anthropology at The New School for Social Research and a Teaching Fellow at Parsons the New School for Design. She does research on space colonization projects, studying the ways in which human-technology-environment relations are reconfigured off Earth. She has taught and given lectures at The New School, University College London, the City University of New York, the European Space Research and Technology Center, and Strelka Institute in Moscow. Since 2017 she is member of the Moon Village Association and the Space Generation Advisory Council to the United Nations.
Power over land territories often relies on division and demarcation, but the z-axis – the air above us and space beyond that – is near-impossible to zone with fences and walls. Our terranean governments have been developing systems of orchestrating and exercising power over parts of the z-axis, though it remains a malleable field. This talk will briefly cover historical attempts to control the sky, and then will introduce a series of speculative design works that examine the politics that takes place above earth and propose alternative power structure dynamics.