2022_2 | Futures Studios

F3. In Other Worlds

Nicola Hardy


Studio Inquiry

Have you ever wondered how we got to this point? How we all somehow agreed that we go to places where we purchase animal and plant products packaged in plastic so we can eat or use them? How there is an implicit agreement of what red looks like or how birds function? How most people cannot explain how television works?

You might already be familiar with world building in the context of films or fiction but it’s also an essential component of video games, branding and fashion and many other areas of design. We will examine why consistency in world building is essential to believability. We will also examine the subtle art of convincing audiences through visual storytelling and designing artefacts.

What role can you play in creating an alternative world? Join me on this fun adventure and we will try our best not to have an existential crisis along the way!


We will look towards film and literature but also to the visual and craft aspects of set and prop design for inspiration in this studio. This studio will analyse and synthesise research about world building itself.

Communication of knowledge

This Studio has 3  assessment tasks:

World building by using your writing skills and imagination. 

Developing your world's inhabitants, language, environment, social rules, histories… 

Communicating your world through a look book showing visual ideas and inspiration. 

Create your own rich portfolio of visual material to communicate your world to others.

Create an artefact from that world.

These could be an illustrated book of wildlife, a set of postage stamps, packaging for products, posters, a portrait of a ruler, a traditional pattern, a movie, a piece of music… You can use your favourite medium to create something from your world. These might be digital or hand constructed or hand generated items. You can decide what to create and how to create it.

Students are encouraged to document each week's findings in preparation for the final SKO assessment.



You will explore and develop the parameters of your world through workshops and activities in the studio. Testing ideas, failing, collaborating and giving and receiving creative direction will be essential in this process.

Studio sessions will be a mix of quiet concentrated effort and talkative collaborative workshopping with your studio mates. You can expect to participate in creative writing, research, drawing, and making. If you like geeking out about movies and books, using your imagination, collaboration, making things and sharing and developing ideas, then this studio is for you. This is a space for big and wild ideas.

There will be some writing but the main thing you need to bring to this studio is your imagination. 


Brief 01: World building 35%
Brief 02: Artefact 35%

Brief 03: SKO 30%


Atkins, Annie, Fake Love Letters, Forged Telegrams, and Prison Escape Maps: Designing Graphic Props for Filmmaking


Elborough, Travis and Horsfield, Alan, Atlas of Improbable Places A Journey to the World's Most Unusual Corners

Communities of Practice
Designing Experiences, Designing Identity, Designing through Image, Designing Disobedience

About Nicola Hardy

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