Future Aberdreams

Master of European Design Thesis Project

The landscape of work in North East Scotland has changed entirely and rapidly over the last few months and continues to change in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated commodity price crash.

Future Aberdreams is an ongoing project that aims to work collaboratively with stakeholders to co-create positive future visions of work in the Aberdeen region. 

Future Aberdreams Documentary Trailer
Aberdeen is changing. This project questions not just how this will impact people and how people will adapt, but what peoples’ dreams and aspirations are for their future of working in the Aberdeen region. The project aim is to co-create positive future visions of work in the Aberdeen region to focus and inform future investment and innovation.
The documentary trailer features the voices of Lord Provost Barney Crockett and Maggie McGinlay, Deputy Chief Executive at Opportunity North East.
 

The project started before the Russia- Saudi Arabia Oil Price War, COVID-19 pandemic and the associated commodity price crash, looking to empower citizens and stakeholders to respond positively to the changing Oil and Gas industry that will continue to affect work in North East Scotland moving towards 2030. 

This project began considering a “black swan” event that would lead to a dramatic change in the work lives of people in North East Scotland. With this black swan event happening right now, there is a huge opportunity to investigate how we might kick-start the region with a sustainable future strategy. The COVID-19 pandemic, alongside other emergent phenomena such as the goal of Net Zero 2050 could tigger a post-oil Aberdeen. We have been presented not just with a unique opportunity to step back and reflect, but also an urgent need to do so. 

Our way of life has changed dramatically in such a short space of time and has had massive impacts on the way we work. Positive future visions of work in the Aberdeen region will be desperately needed to help us to create a more sustainable future as we will begin to move forward through this new global landscape. 

Through producing a set of physical and experiential tools to make emergent phenomena, citizens ambitions and the future work landscape of Aberdeen tangible, we can facilitate debate between decision-makers and citizens and begin to discuss our preferred future scenarios for the region, and roadmap how we might get there.

A collaborative evidence-based design futures approach has the ability to transform civic strategy into a collaborative working roadmap to deliver a positive future scenario, that reflects, anticipates and delivers on the future needs of citizens. 

Mapping Aberdeen
Renowned for the entrepreneurial mindset and international outlook of the local people, the Aberdeen region is rich in both human and natural resources, that are supported by investment in infrastructural resources for the region in sectors such as education, transport, tourism and culture.

Expert Stakeholder Engagement 
Engaging with expert stakeholders is a key part of the project’s design research methodology. Pictured is the Lord Provost of Aberdeen, Barney Crockett whose cultural insights have informed the project. 

Future Aberdreams Landscape
Co-creation workshops were designed with alongside a set of physical and experiential tools to make the emergent phenomena and future work landscape of Aberdeen tangible. The workshops aim to engage citizens and stakeholders in the question of future economic opportunities in Aberdeen and allow citizens to explore their future career ambitions within the region’s future landscape of work. Using these tools, and workshop insights, we can facilitate debate between decision-makers and citizens and begin to discuss our preferred future scenarios for the region, and ultimately roadmap how we might get there.

My Future CV, 2030
The Future CV artefact is a designed tool to allow workshop participants to begin to consider their future careers in a changed Aberdeen, and what kind of skills they may need to develop.

Co-Creating Futures
The value of co-creating futures is that diverse viewpoints, opinions and dreams can be shared between citizens and stakeholders and we can begin to see a picture of what we’d like our collective future to be like.

Please get in touch if you’d like to hear more or get involved in the project

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