Testing Hypotheticals, 2018
a project by The Extrapolation Factory

The prototype for Testing Hypotheticals presents the results of a two-day workshop that brought together a diverse group of residents from Queens, New York to imagine and explore alternate futures for their community.  Based on a belief in democratizing stories about futures, the goal of the project is to empower individuals—regardless of their training, position, or knowledge —to think critically about the futures we’re presented with and then to design our own preferable futures. The project itself is the underlying method of imagining and experimenting with futures, which is at the core of The Extrapolation Factory’s ongoing practice.

The Extrapolation Factory organized a new workshop at the Queens Museum, the site of the 1964 World’s Fair. Building off the history of the site as a forum for top-down visions of the future, The Extrapolation Factory worked with community members to explore ways to enhance their own neighborhoods, unconstrained by tradition, budget, or existing technology. Ideas emerging from the group included a reimagined subway system with an onboard community garden, a recycling system that rewards good participants by reallocating recycled raw material back to them based on need, and a community system of outdoor meditation spaces connected to the underground matrix of plant roots.

The project was piloted at the Queens Museum with participants from the New New Yorkers program. The workshop was documented by BRIC TV with a full length documentary about the workshop coming out shortly. The designed outcomes were exhibited at the 2018 Milan Design Week and the project was awarded the grand prize at the Lexus Awards ceremony. 

Curated and mentored by Formafantasma

Produced by Elliott P. Montgomery, Chris Woebken

Participants: Jaime Cho, Sharlene Chou, Chuankui Jiang, Lucas Contino, Chuck Kuan, Susan Lau, Nancy Man, Estella Natal, Linda Rose, Mauricio Ruiz, Francie Scanlon, Dominic Wong, Emily Wu, Jordan Wu, Way Zen

Facilitators: Ignacio Garnham Brandes, Kevin Caldwell, Yuxin Cheng, Jenny Liu, Anh-ton Tran, Jonas Voigt

Actors: John Peery, Alexis Powell, Candace Thompson

Queens Museum’s New New Yorker Program: Judy Yenti Chu, Guido Garaycochea, Nung-Hsin Hu

Video documentation: Emmanuel Alexandre, Mauro Basa, Dan Cangelosi, David Francois, Charlie Hoxie, James Levine, Ilya Shnitser