Design Studio IIB – Ihi & Wehi
until the end of the world – speculative narratives of consumerism


Dream Junky Scene – Until the end of the World, 1999

Shopping is but one stage and moment of consumerism’s ubiquitous presence and impact on our daily lives. This project asks you to critically consider the impact of consumerism on our existence – its presence in shaping our understanding of things and values, our own identities, nature and culture. The project’s explorations will provide starting points for speculation on a future consumer existence. Contemporary and historic imaginings in science, literature, art or film,  ranging from scenarios of ‘a Brave New World’ to the dystopian, can help us think about shopping, consumption, technology and the future. How can these creative visions help you to explore and develop new speculative narratives of a moment in time in the lives of future generations?


The aim of this project is to speculate on the future of shopping and consumption, on  how we ‘shop’, where we ‘shop’, when we ‘shop’ and ultimately, what we ‘shop’. This has to be understood in light of the constant developments in scientific and technological advances, including the virtual, but also in relation to our increasingly contested world, politically and environmentally. This project also examines the themes of ihi and wehi associated with the creative process and as a driver to addresses the intangible resonance within creative practices. It presents an acknowledgment that design is so much more than the sum of its component physical parts.


Ihi and wehi are complementary terms associated with emotional and psychological behaviour. Ihi can be described as an individual’s essential force, charisma, power or charm – which emanates throughout the creative process. Wehi, on the other hand, highlights the internalised feelings that occur in response to ihi.  Sometimes the terms dread or awe are commonly used to describe wehi. In this context, wehi is taken to mean the emotional response on the part of the observer.

How does your work make you feel? How does the work of others make you feel?  What effects, intentional or unintentional, does it provoke or generate? What energy or resonance does your work have for others?


Consumer environments are narrative environments that connect spatial experience with the messages of the brand, the lifestyle, an experience or transformative promise. You need to use light and materiality to create an experience of ihi and wehi. Therefore, it will be pertinent for this project to merge narrative, light and materiality, with a speculative spatial concept and intention. Design a speculative space that communicates and allows for an experience of a narrative about the ultimate – or end – of consumerism.

Read recent review of Until the end of the World – and watch it!



Student work_ ihi and wehi_ 2014 and 2015

 Week 1


What? – kick start the project

  • Introduction to studio and Project 1 brief
  • what is consumerism today – discuss current conditions of consumerism
  • research into key consumerism topics: body, technology, identity, environment
  • explore future, speculative scenarios using one of the key topics –
  • what science or science-fiction/literature/artist precedent can serve as a starting point for your research?
  • Identify a key speculative precedent and research
  • bring it all together – research of key consumerist topic, precedents, scenario

Why? – personal process development

  • To develop creative, speculative design processes
  • To introduce iterative thinking and practices into your design process
  • To combine criticality, research and creative/speculative thinking into your process

How? – research, connect, speculate, articulate

  • Work in groups of three to develop a tumblr/other format website (wordpress?) presentation to report back on your research on consumerism – key topic – researched science/literature/film/art precedents – and speculate on ‘future’ scenarios.

This is just a starting point -this first project is an individual project and following this initial group exercise, you will further develop your ideas, scenario and design using other introduced project ‘drivers’, blog and focused research.


Material Explorations – Concept Model

  • Allocate yourself into one of the five material groups (4-5students max):
  • A Timber
  • B Steel
  • C Plaster
  • D Fabric
  • E Plastic

    Monday Week 2 Workshop Schedule

  • 9.15 to 10.15  (demo for 5 students)

    -plastics (including perspex, sheeting like polypropelene, perhaps latex even? and manipulations through vacuum forming etc, as mentioned

    9.15 to 9.40      Rachael Laser 

    9.40 to 9.50      Uli vacformer, sheetbender 

    9.50 to 10.15    Gus easycast (latex?)  


    10.15 to 11.15  two demos parallel

    -plaster/concrete (casting, etc)

    10.15 to 10.35    Gus concrete Plaster casting, plasterwheel?

    10.35 to 10.55    Uli masonry drill and anglegrinder

    10.55 to 11.15    Ken Waterjet


    -timber (incl reconstituted boards, plywood, etc)

    10.15 to 10.35    Uli Band saw

    10.35 to 10.55    Rachael woodturning

    10.55 to 11.15    Gus Sanders


    11.30 to 12.30

    -metal (easily manipulable such as light gauge sheeting, perhaps rods for welding, mesh?, etc)

    11.30 to 11.50   Uli Spotwelder

    11.50 to 12.10   Gus Waterjet

    12.10 to 12.30   Ken English wheel, jinny, guillotine


    -textiles (may include forms of plastics…)

    11.30 to 11.50   Ken sew machine

    11.50 to 12.10   Rachael cutting

    12.10 to 12.30   Gus ultrasonic welding


  • Familiarise yourself with the properties of the material through the workshop Monday Week 2 and through precedent studies of designers, artists, architects that have creatively explored and applied this material.
  • Construct a model using the workshop tools and techniques introduced during the Monday Week 2 introductions that expresses the material properties and that begins to explore a conceptual spatial idea on consumerism. This is a starting point only. Remember that you have the research driver in addition to this material driver to develop a creative spatial design process and outcome. Bring the beginnings of your model to Thursday week 2 tutorial. Your final concept model is due Monday Week 3.

    Research and Concept Development

  • After the group presentation you now need to individually continue your research into consumerism – and speculations of its future. Use your blog to do visual research and precedent case studies. Find at least 4 good, appropriate precedents that you can thoroughly analyse (case study). Begin to identify literature/reading that you can begin to quote and use to create script of a moment in that scenario of the future.


  • Group presentations (3 per group) of topic, scenario and precedent – for discussion (one allocated topic out of the four: body; technology; identity; environment)
  • Understand the relationship between the key topic, consumerism and society
  • Research wide – then deep; don’t make assumptions – know it!
  • Identify examples/precedents from each of the four ‘vision’ and creative practices: science; literature; film; art
  • Begin to speculate on scenarios (speculation of a consumer moment in the future)
  • 5 minute presentation at Thu tutorial – 5 minute feedback/ discussion
  • Start a new blog (you can use this blog as part of your Thu presentation)
  • All work to be posted on your blog
  • Students that did not attend Monday briefing to independently form an additional group, allocate one key topic and prepare a presentation for Thu tutorial
  • Allocate into Material Groups
  • Attend Monday (Week 2) morning material workshop – but meet at 9am in studio first!
  • Continue your research and concept development individually
  • Research allocated material properties and precedents.
Ernesto Neto Installation

Ernesto Neto Installation

The afterlife of Buildings - Kobe Laksa

The afterlife of Buildings – Kobe Laksa

Week 2


3D Workshop

Today is the Workshop techniques and materials introduction as per the specified times indicated on spatialdesign webpage.

Make sure to meet up with your group at the specified times also in studio to check in with us and discuss your progress on your scenario and material precedent research.


For Thursday create an initial model using your introduced techniques – At 9am we will be in the lighting studio (Ground Floor of Block 12)  to take pictures of your model. We will also provide an introduction to architectural lighting design.

In addition begin to research imagery of future projections – look at examples by designers such as , artists like – Koba Laksa ‘The afterlife of buildings’, or Factory Fifteen’s various projects and visualisations, many speculating on a near distant science-fiction environment: .  For Monday Week 3 bring an A3 designed collage/drawing of a landscape or urban context (sites will be given on Thursday) set in a dystopian or utopian future. Use these precedents, and others, as well as your scenario development as a starting point to generate your image. Also, continue your research and model making/exploration.

We will be holding a compulsory clinic this Thursday afternoon from 1pm -2:30pm in the spatial studio, Block 11. Oli will provide a refresher on how to import data sets and build a terrain and urban model – these will be the sites you are working with. Tips on how to use photoshop in conjunction with digital modelling and physical modelling will also be provided.


  • For Thursday 9am Lighting Workshop (in Lighting Studio, Ground Floor Block 11) bring an initial model for discussion and testing with light
  • Continue your research into the speculative consumerist scenario – find literature that you can base your narrative on – you will need to write a paragraph (200w) with quotes or references to that literature and which will be the basis for your speculative event and visualisation
  • For Monday Week 3 create an A3 collage of a future vision, dystopian or utopian –  base it on precedents shown or that you have identified yourself.
Jonah Art by Factory Fifteen

Jonah Art by Factory Fifteen

Last modified: July 24, 2017