Norwegian consumers don’t want the future to be a rat race

The magazine A Magasinet from the newspaper Aftenposten (The Evening Post) is asking: – Millions of jobs will soon disappear. What are we going to be doing in the future?
The article references the World Economic Forum’s prediction from this summer that 81 million jobs probably will disappear within the next few years and the list of 100 jobs of the future developed by researchers at Deakin and Griffith University in Australia. The list includes (drone) swarm artist, ethical hacker and genetics coach.

The journalists interviewed several people on the subject, including Imagine project leader Nina Heidenstrøm. For the interview, she delved into the stories collected on to say something about the future of work:

“The cliché has taught us: nobody can predict the future. But it is nevertheless possible to fantasise and imagine. Humans always have.

What do you see then? Food on tubes? Robot take-overs? Flying cars? That we will live on a strange planet? Then you’re not alone.

– These classic future images are strikingly constant. They are reproduced over and over again, says Nina Heidenstrøm, senior researcher at Consumption Research Norway SIFO, OsloMet.

She leads the research project Imagine, where the goal is to engage people in active reflection about how they imagine the future. The project will result in an exhibition next year. According to Heidenstrøm, many people speak of hope and dreams of a slow life. The ambition is not to be part of the rat race. Many people like the thought of both 6-hour work days and four-day work weeks.

– The decidedly most dominating fear is that life will be tougher economically and that one will have to work more.”

Click here to read the full article (


Visit to TU Eindhoven

From 22nd – 24th of May, Marie Hebrok and James Lowley went to Eindhoven University of Technology to visit Dan Lockton. The purpose of the visit was both to share experiences and to work with the students at TU Eindhoven.

The three researchers discussed their experiences with and the outcomes of the design courses that they have been running at OsloMet and Eindhoven as part of the IMAGINE project. They also made plans for the development of the planned IMAGINE exhibition toward the end of 2024.

James and Marie hosted a lecture and workshop on food future imaginaries with MA design students attending the course Researching the Future Everyday.

Together with the students they reflected on and visualized how futures of food and eating are imagined – how imaginaries manifest in the present – and what the role of design is.

They also got the chance to visit the RetroFuture exhibition at The Evoluon – that “explores how we envisioned the future in the past, while reflecting on our understanding of the future today”.

We all dream about the future. Do we dream about the Earth, the Moon, or the universe? About how we can all live together peacefully, or how we might end up living in a nightmare? Or about all of the things that will be made possible thanks to technology and science? And how do past dreams and the here and now affect the way we think about the future?

Text from the RetroFuture Exhibition

News People

Guest researcher from Utrecht at SIFO

We would like to welcome Justyna Jakubiec to SIFO!

She joined the project recently and this is her first visit of two during the IMAGINE project. She is visiting from our partner Utrecht University, where she is currently a Research Assistant, after having finished her RMA thesis on “Science Fiction Film and Becoming Otherwise: Woundedness, Posthuman Performativity, and Reinventing Subjectivity”.

Her visit kicked off with a workshop between WP1 and WP2 on the 29th March and she is working closely with Virginie Amlien and the other SIFO researchers in the project during her stay.

Working on the IMAGINE project since February, together with Rick Dolphijn I am part of WP1, focusing on identifying dominant imaginaries of sustainable futures. This is my first visit and research stay at SIFO: until April 30th I will continue our research on policy documents and business strategy documents, with a special focus on Oslo municipality. I will continue WP1’s role to negotiate how Humanities-based perspectives (esp. Media Studies and Philosophy) are important for IMAGINE.

Justyna Jakubiec


Student Workshop – Provotypes and Mediations

Wednesday 16th November, James Lowley led the student workshop “Provotypes and mediations” for the MA Product Design – Design in Complexity students at OsloMet.

The workshop is both a part of his PhD research and the MAPD5000 Technology and Design subject, a 6-week subject running till mid-December, that kicked off the week before. In the course, the students are tasked with making imaginaries of sustainability tangible to create reflection and discussion.

The goal of the workshop was to work on performative and mediative aspects of speculative design.

For the workshop, the students were asked to bring food items and based on this, to imagine future eating utensils.

Below are some of the outcomes of the workshop.

James is a PhD. Candidate at the Design, Culture and Sustainability Research Group at the Department of Product Design at the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design at OsloMet.
His PhD project is called: Senses of Coherence: Future Perspectives on Design, Technology and Everyday Eating

The aim of the project is to bring together perspectives from Salutogenesis and Philosophy of Technology to explore Engagement in, through, and with Speculative Design. A Postphenomenological lens can position human-food relationships as instances of Technological Mediation; a transactional dynamic occurring through actions and experiences. In this theoretical landscape, designed artefacts are key determinants of sustainability outcomes by shaping ways of being and becoming in the present, and this has implications for the cultural practices they seek to support and replace, as well as the types and conditions of health they participate in creating.

You can see some of James’ previous work, called E.A.T (Edited Aesthetics of Taste), here (


Student Course Kick-Off at OsloMet

On the 7th-8th of November, WP3 DESIGN, led by  Dr. Dan Lockton & Dr. Nenad Pavel, organised a 2-day kick-off seminar for the student course designed by IMAGINE researchers for OsloMet students.

The course, MAPD5000 Technology and Design is a six-week subject part of the Master’s Degree Programme in Product Design – Design in Complexity

Day 1 included information and introductory sessions about the IMAGINE project and speculative design and was held at the OsloMet Kjeller Campus.

Day 2 included a morning session where the students were introduced to the theoretical underpinnings of imaginaries and some of the findings so far in the project, and an afternoon workshop where they got to start playing with the materiality of futures through objects. This day was held at the central Oslo Pilestredet Campus and was open also to students from the Department of Art, Design and Drama, where the IMAGINE themes are being integrated into their course-specific subjects.

We will be following the student work and are excited to see what they come up with.

The course will also be repeated next academic year at OsloMet and a parallel version, DCM100 Constructive Design Research runs at TU Eindhoven this autumn (

About the course

Various forms of technology are intrinsically woven into the fabric of our everyday lives. Technology also holds a central place in how we imagine and anticipate the future. Particularly in how we imagine more sustainable futures to be and come about. Processes of developing, introducing, and using technologies, as well as of imagining future ones, are often filled with ethical dilemmas, assumptions, and power struggles. This course explores how to use speculative design approaches to critically engage with current technological developments and imaginaries of sustainable futures, in order to shed light on and provoke critical reflection on present trajectories of change.

The course is taking place within the frame and scope of the research project IMAGINE– contested futures of sustainability ( Candidates will be included in the network of project participants and encouraged to find their own role and perspective. The learning outcome of the course includes participating in interdisciplinary research by applying prototyping and visualization skills to make imaginaries of sustainable futures tangible and therefore more accessible for critical reflection. These materializations of imaginaries we call provotypes. A number of projects will be exhibited at the IMAGINE exhibition at DogA. The course gives students the opportunity to develop anticipatory skills and to conduct research through design in the context of an international research project.


DAY 1:

09:00-11:30 am:

Nenad Pavel: Presentation of the course

Marie Hebrok: Presentation of the IMAGINE research project

12:30 – 15:00 pm:

Marie Hebrok and James Lowley: Lecture on critical speculative design approaches

DAY 2:

09:00-11:30 am:

Dan Welch: What are imaginaries and why are they important

Rick Dolphijn and Tamalone van den Eijnden: Imaginaries of sustainable futures – findings from IMAGINE

12:30 – 15:00 pm:

Dan Lockton: Engaging with imaginaries through design – Workshop


Project update

New IMAGINE researcher and project coordinator

Sociologist Atle Wehn Hegnes will join the IMAGINE team from the 15th of August 2022. Atle will be responsible for coordinating the project in the coming year.

WP1 – Mine – Identify dominant imaginaries in documents, media and essays

•An initial list of what the team members suggested as useful objects to study

•Narrowed down the movies for the analysis to those who deal with space travel. Work in progress to systematize findings from the movies

•The WP1 team has gathered and read different theories of imagination and sorted them into categories

•Emphasis on Ricoeur’s theory through a feminist Marxist perspective has been initially developed and will be presented to the team in the workshop on the 9th June

WP2 – Explore

•Developed questionnaire for the data collection of everyday stories about the future – inspired by a similar data collection at the Nordic Museum in Stockholm (January-February)

•Finalisation of the collection site at

•Application to and ethical approval from the Norwegian Centre for Research Data (NSD) (April-May)

•Pilot testing of the questionnaire (April)

•Public dissemination about the data collection (May)

•Launch date 19th May

•Collection period: May 2022 and until we get 100 stories

WP3 – Design

•New WP3 team member: James Lowley, PhD Candidate at OsloMet.

•Masters course MAPD5000, Technology and Design at OsloMet will start in November and includes 15 students. A pilot has been conducted

•10 Master students at TU/e are working on representations of futures of “moving”

•4 Bachelor students at TU7e are working on representations of “dressing” and several more on “eating”.

•Master and Bachelor students working on how we relate to time and how that affects our thoughts about the future

WP5 – Exchange

•Present workshop is the first of three during the project period

•Second half of the workshop will be arranged on the 30th August

ESA conference roundtable discussion

Anticipation conference in November

WP6 – Disseminate

•Established and updated this website

•Established and updated social media profiles:

Imaginesustainability on Instagram

@ImagineSustain1 on Twitter

Contact: /


Imagine your future life

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

The future is unknown – but how we imagine it, affects the choices we make in our daily lives. In collaboration with Norsk Folkemuseum, we invite you to share some of your thoughts:  

When you think about the future, what do you imagine? How do you think people will live 30 years from now? How will they travel, eat, dress and work? Which future do you fear? And which future would you aim for?  

We welcome you to participate with your own views in an ongoing conversation about our possible futures. Submitted texts and images are stored in the museum’s collections and will be available to researchers today – and in the future.  

Click here to submit your story (