Matt Ward runs the MA in Design – Critical Theory and Practice at Goldsmiths College, London. As part of their Fictional Futures project (about the design of “imagined, science fiction inspired, future artefacts”—read the original brief for more), Matt asked Jack and I, as Schulze & Webb, to run a teaching day. We led the students through a number of drawing exercises, talks and discussions on stories, belief and the aesthetics of artefacts in science fiction, and finally a look at their work.

As part of all of this, I took some time to discuss my own favourite concepts from science fiction. There’s no argument or narrative arc to what I show—just a bunch of pictures and quotations. Maybe there are some themes. And a lot of the ideas aren’t science fiction at all, but they’re all intended as provocations. Naturally there’s a lot of great sci-fi left out. These were the ones that struck me as interesting on the day.

I spoke without notes, so I’ll attempt to reconstruct some of what I rambled about in the notes here. Most of the images are stolen from other places, and I link to the sources in each case. Since most of what I present is text, the images are intended to provide another perspective on the story.

I want to reiterate: This presentation isn’t about telling. Just read and look at the pictures, and maybe new ideas will come. That’s all it’s about.

Matt Webb, S&W, posted 2006-04-06 (talk on 2006-02-23)