The research project Future Practices: Spaces of Digital Creation and Social Innovation (D-FUTURE) focuses on the study of social innovation processes rooted in creative, artistic and technological experimentation with and through digital media.
Our starting point is that the notions of the future have a decisive influence in the processes of digital creation. Additionally, these notions of the future have an important role in the narratives that accompany the development and implementation of digital media. The future matters. We take a great part of our decisions thinking about how we want our life in the future; we want to know and we want to anticipate the future: preventing risks, weighting the possible difficulties, imagining different ends…. At the same time, we project into the future our hope, fears and dreams. Moreover, the future is an increasingly prominent factor in our life together. In a context of crisis, being able to imagine a future is the first step out of it. In a moment of confusion and uncertainty, the future appears as a driving force to build up new collectives.
It is not by chance that most of current public policies of the European Union as well as the research program Horizon 2020 emphasize the necessity to involve citizens in the creation of their own future, while at the same time we place our hope in digital technologies as facilitators for a more democratic society. The appeal to the future is particularly evident in the processes of creation and in the so-called innovation for the improvement of society, the economy, the health milieu or the environmental discourses. Our project departs from the necessity to analyze the imaginaries and practices that go together with digital creation from the standpoint of the Humanities and the Social Sciences. We assume an empirical perspective to address the study of the imbrication of the future in the material practices of creation and design of technologies, and the related narratives and imaginaries.