Souvenirs from Paradise - ADS4 Publication







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Royal College of Art, 2012-13
Nicola Koller, Tom Greenall & Rosy Head

"While utopians cannot make what they imagine, we cannot imagine what we make"
- Gunther Anders

Today we see a paradox in design thinking. As new technologies enable us to achieve almost anything we want to design our ability to imagine a new future has become idle. With retro-trends determining today's design utopias, our conception of 'paradise' seems lodged in the past. 

Using scientific models - idealised versions of reality in themselves - ADS4 has set out to investigate the implications of technological, political and economic forces, in order to question the possibilities for paradise now. 


ADS4 is a critical design studio, specialising in speculative near-futures and alternative nows. We explore the complex and often contradictory world around us, analysing key shifts in thinking and emerging trends, technological breakthroughs and the new behaviours they bring with them. ADS4 weave these developments into alternative future scenarios, exploring a world where the design outcomes are very different from ones indicated by existing surprise-free masterplans. We accept no givens; everything must be questioned, dissected and examined, with design as our critical tool. 

Driven by social fiction and real people, not scientific fiction or broad-dash demographics, our projects make possible futures familiar and, in doing so, become powerful tools that enable us, and others, to question our design values. 

© Thomas Greenall