Speculative Models for the Present

RAFT is a research and strategy platform founded in 2020 by Tomás Clavijo; innovation manager, architect and creative producer operating globally from Madrid.

01.Nuanced Research

RAFT is a research-driven and format-agnostic practice that maps ecologies, cultures and infrastructures to rethink how they interface with each other.

Output: Inventory / Archive / Taxonomy / Database / Map

02.Curtailed Speculation

RAFT operates at the interplay of the material and the symbolic projecting narratives into the past and future to deal with contingencies of the present.

Output: Scenario / Script / Report / Media / Narrative / Insight

03.Generative Models

RAFT disputes the territory of systems thinking by providing logics and structural frameworks that challenge preconceived meanings, patterns and relationships.

Output: Diagram / Flowchart / Protocol / Supply / Chain / Business / Model / Institutional / Framework

04.Platform Strategy

RAFT pursues systemic effects by acting at a specific scale and position and conceptualises physical and digital interfaces as mediums for the delivery of strategy.

Output: Roadmap / Intervention / Installation / Interface / Building / Space / Event / UX / UI / Article / Lecture

Projects

Description

Client

Bio-Fold
FRAKTA fetish for a biodegradable material culture

SPACE10

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Client

SPACE10

Location

Copenhagen (Denmark)

Year

Ongoing (2019 - present)

Team

Katya Bryskina, Tomás Clavijo

Output

Article, fabrication method, digital Interface, physical prototypes

Bio-Fold stands at the intersection of material technology and cultural strategy. It deals with critical global issues such as plastic waste, soil scarcity and deforestation due to agricultural development.

Playing with cultural heritage, the project uses FRAKTA, IKEA’s iconic totebag as a symbolic device for the introduction of an already existing technology: vacuum bagging, in this case, applied to biocomposite materials.

Plastic and agricultural waste work together in favour of sustainability by re-conceptualising a reusable plastic bag as a fabrication platform for small DIY biodegradable pieces of furniture.

Altogether these elements help to draw the possibility of a fully circular furniture supply chain as close and tangible.

See full article here

Seiche
Automated bureaucracy as a pathway to fluid citizenship

Strelka Institute: The New Normal

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Client

Strelka Institute: The New Normal, Ardeth Magazine, Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, Hong Kong Design Trust

Location

Khorgos (Kazakhstan), Shenzhen (China)

Year

Ongoing (2018 - present)

Team

Mikhail Anisimov, Tomás Clavijo, Yulia Gromova, Katya Sivers, Andrei Zhileikin

Output

Speculative short film, article, interactive installation

Overlapping jurisdictions and supranational infrastructures generate an increasingly complex topology; the design, management and mapping of their interactions is therefore a crucial task.

Seiche proposes a platform that enables the definition and management of techno-legal procedures of information exchange between the institutions that regulate such systems and the organisations that operate within. It acts as an interface between legal and data workflows, fostering system synchronisation and mapping dynamic networks of procedural sovereignties.

The proposal is applied and tested in the form of a speculative narrative set in Khorgos, Kazakhstan; a logistic enclave between two infrastructural and political realities – the cornerstone of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

See full article

Watch full movie

Siren
Audiovisual arctic poem on connective alienation

Strelka Institute: The New Normal

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Client

Strelka Institute: The New Normal

Location

Magadan (Rusia)

Year

2018

Team

Asia Bazdyrieva, Tomás Clavijo, Anna Paukova, Daria Stupina, Solveig Sues, Paul Van Herk

Output

Speculative short film

Siren oscillates between the silence of the now deserted destination node of Magadan and the fullness of the fragmented archives that capture its evolution from a place of extraction to a place of archive. It emerges from statistical and interview-based research into port automation and the global inversion of gender patterns in supply chain employment.

Watch full movie

Æffect
Acid infused journal on innovation management

UAL: Central Saint Martins

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Client

UAL: Central Saint Martins

Location

London (UK)

Year

2017-2018

Team

Concept by Tomás Clavijo, Rowan Wallace, John O’Reilly Content by John O’Reilly, CSM:MAIM cohort 2018 and guests. Design by Rowan Wallace, Claudia Rafael & Sebastian Zimmerhackl (Selam X)

Output

Mentorship scheme, academic journal

Æffect grew as a bottom-up student-led initiative to create a strong and self-perpetuating community connecting innovation management students at CSM with alumni, staff and industry leaders through shared visions.

It consists of two elements:

An alumni mentorship scheme that redesigns work-based learning by connecting students with industry through a research-based placement with alumni mentors.

An academic journal and web platform materialising the networked nature of the discipline that gives students an opportunity to position their work in relation to the broader landscape of theory and practice on innovation and sister disciplines.

T.E.N.S.E
Temporary environment for navigating scenarios of emergence

UAL: Central Saint Martins

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Supporting Institutions

University of the Arts London: Central Saint Martins

Location

London (UK)

Year

2017-2018

Team

Project management by Tomás Clavijo, Charlotte Hutton, Anni Korkman. Content by CSM: MAIM cohort 2017

Output Format

Event series, magazine

We live in a divisive world, balancing paradoxes in political, economic, social and environmental spheres, which is not an easy feat.

This event series and academic journal on innovation management explains how tensions and frictions that organisations and individuals experience in their daily lives act as drivers of innovation.

Order & Chaos
Profit & Preservation
Present & Future
Digital & Physical

Intentionally false dichotomies that help to link and articulate the diverse work of 30 students.

Electric Cloud
Decentralised networks of energy exchange

EDF (Électricité de France)

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Location

London (UK)

Year

2016-2017

Team

Tomás Clavijo, Jose do Nascimento Neto, Anna Ance Rusova, Clementine Song, Tida Urramporn

Output

Business model, strategic road map

The combined disruption of data technologies and decentralised sustainable energy production and storage systems favour a progressive switch to ‘prosumerism’ in the energy market.

For this to happen, a semiotic switch from energy as a commodity to energy as value, must occur. This implies the perception of energy, not as a perishable good but as a strategic personal asset, and the conceptualisation of a world where prosumers can buy, sell, share, save, store, invest in and generate social and capital value from energy.

Under this new semiotic regime, energy companies would develop a parallel role, not necessarily as producer/provider, but as managers and traders in energy exchange networks.

Electric Cloud provided a strategy for EDF to adopt an ambivalent strategic position that would help them thrive in both a centralised or decentralised scenario.

Critical Firm
Political conflict as business strategy in the age of purpose

UAL: Central Saint Martins

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Client

University of the Arts London: Central Saint Martins

Location

London (UK)

Year

2017-2018

Team

Tomás Clavijo

Output

Academic paper, article, strategic report, system map

The critical firm argues how:

With ongoing, deep, systemic trust crises across western societies, the rise of populist politics can be understood as a failure of corporate social responsibility – the hegemonic identity of the corporate establishment during the last two decades – to engage extensive sectors of a highly polarised population.

To reinstate trust among those sectors, the corporate world needs to perform a parallelism that offers symbolic resolutions to the ongoing societal tensions. As a matter of fact, corporate social responsibility and its subcultures are not enough; a variety of alternative corporate identities should be at play.

In this context and in opposition to popular belief, the purposeful generation and management of conflict and the use of transparent political action can be combined as a strategy to generate trust and legitimacy among citizens, and a position of leadership for businesses, which unapologetically embrace their political nature.

Discourse on Trends
Assembly toolkit for authenticity in the digital fluid

UAL: Central Saint Martins

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Client

University of the Arts London: Central Saint Martins

Location

London (UK)

Year

2017-2018

Team

Tomás Clavijo

Output

Academic paper, article, strategic report, system map

This project entailed an engagement with, analysis of, and critical reflection upon, key contemporary discourses on authenticity as they manifest in culture, to map future scenarios and trends on identity.

Assembly toolkit for authenticity argues for:

A shift towards fluidity in the discourse of authenticity in gender, sexual and racial identity has already established the generating of a new structure of power and knowledge.

As technology continues to dilute the lines between physical and digital space and persona, a new regime of truth, authenticity and identity around fluidity between physical and digital environments will follow.

Different levels of acceptance, refusal, celebration or fetishisation of this shift and the technologies that bring it will generate new archetypal identities, each one offering specific market opportunities.

RAFT articulates teams around concepts and seeks fruitful collaboration on shared agenda with organisations, institutions and independent conspirators around the globe.