Public Program

  • Metro Test Zones
    The Shed, New York
    Aug 17, 2019
    The Extrapolation Factory:
    Elliott P. Montgomery &
    Chris Woebken

The Extrapolation Factory (Elliott P. Montgomery and Chris Woebken, coorganizers), installation view of “Alternative Unknowns: an exhibition of potential emergency,” November 5–December 19, 2015, apexart, New York. Courtesy of the artists.

The Extrapolation Factory, a practice founded by Elliott P. Montgomery and Chris Woebken, primarily focuses on experiments in cocreated futures. This work is often understood as something coming out of research institutions, think-tanks, and design consultancies. What is missing are forums for constructing alternative visions. Metro Test Zones, a new initiative from The Extrapolation Factory, proposes studying the way think-tanks work and distilling those approaches to make them accessible to communities and individuals. Providing tools for visualizing dreams from all sorts of cultural perspectives opens up new rhetorical spaces for questioning the world with greater potential for change. The participatory design process offers opportunities for diverse expression to question what is, and what could be, within complex sociotechnological and political scenarios; interdisciplinary engagement with scientists, stakeholders, and the public; and partnerships and new experiments in cocreated futures.

The Extrapolation Factory is a design-based research studio for participatory futures studies, founded by Chris Woebken and Elliott P. Montgomery. The studio develops experimental methods for collaboratively prototyping, experiencing and impacting future scenarios. Central to these methods is the creation of hypothetical future props and their deployment in familiar contexts such as 99-cent stores, science museums, vending machines and city sidewalks. With this work, the studio is exploring new territories for democratized futures by rapidly imagining, prototyping, deploying and evaluating visions of possible futures on an extended time scale.