Speculative Models for the Present

X:

Y:

RAFT is a research and strategy platform mapping ecologies, cultures and infrastructures to rethink how they interface with each other.

RAFT is a research and strategy platform mapping ecologies, cultures and infrastructures to rethink how they interface with each other.

By providing models and logics that challenge preconceived meanings, patterns and relationships, we help organisations and institutions evaluate their position within broader ecosystems and create multidisciplinary design concepts that enable material and symbolic transition towards new strategic roles.

Speculative models for the present are not far-fetched fantasies, but eminently practical arrangements of objects and ideas that hold the potential to create new courses of action.

To produce them, RAFT does not accidentally exchange, but deliberately combines:

X[01]Thinking

[+]

RAFT engages in theory and abstraction to return with specific proposals that are useful and understandable while embodying concepts that matter.

  • AbstractionThe quality of dealing with ideas rather than events.
  • ActionThe process of doing something to achieve an aim.

X[02]Tenses

[+]

RAFT acknowledges the present as the only space of action, and projects into the past and future to deal with its contingencies.

  • PastFacts, knowledge and assumptions that establish orders.
  • PresentThe space of sensing, processing and acting.
  • FutureMaterial possibilities yet to be organised

X[03]Realms

[+]

RAFT is concerned with what is said, what is done and the effects they have on each other, therefore pursuing symbolic value to achieve operational significance.

  • MaterialEmbodied.
  • Symbolic:Significant.
  • FactsProven stories.
  • NarrativesStories.
  • KnowledgeBased on theoretical or practical understanding.
  • ConjunctureBased on incomplete information.

X[04]Operational modes

[+]

RAFT puts care and value on each one of the steps that precede and follow the projective core of its practice.

  • Descriptive: Establishing, objective and non-judgemental.
  • Prospective: Possible or expected to be in the future.
  • Projective: Planned and intentional to achieve a particular aim.
  • Prescriptive: Imposing a rule or method.
  • Executive: Putting into effect.

In a not so automated, yet orchestrated process sustained in five pillars:

F[01]Nuanced Research

RAFT is a research-driven and format-agnostic practice. In collaboration with clients and experts, we use structural thinking and diagrammatic representation to establish a shared understanding of systems and disciplines beyond the traditional boundaries of design.

Output

Descriptive Model
[ Inventory | Archive | Taxonomy | Database | Map | ... ]

F[02]Curtailed Speculation

RAFT practises speculation within constraints. Operating at the interplay of the material and the symbolic, we use technical and environmental insights to define possibilities and culturally grounded narratives to establish orders.

Output

Prospective Model
[ Insight | Report | Script | Scenario | ... ]

F[03]Adversarial Mindsets

RAFT challenges preconceived meanings, patterns and relationships. In every project, we aim for that extra piece of thinking that allows for reframing what we thought we knew in a way that enables a new understanding, and as an extension, a new course of action.

Output

Projective Model
[ Statement | Question | Logic | White Paper | ... ]

F[04]Platform Strategy

RAFT disputes the territory of systems thinking from a design perspective. Using platform logics to leverage already existing affordances, we pursue systemic effect by acting at a specific scale and position.

Output

Prescriptive Model
[ Framework | Protocol | Standard | Supply Chain | ... ]

F[05]Medium Design

RAFT explores new mediums for the delivery of strategy. Rather than finished products, we design arrangements of physical and digital interventions that create the conditions for the proposed models to grow and develop.

Output

Executive Model
[Space | Interface | Movie | Article | Lecture | ... ]

RAFT Archive collects previous long-form collaborations expanding through art, academia, architecture, speculative design, platform urbanism, business and innovation strategy.

Projects

Description

Client

P[09]Bio-Fold
FRAKTA fetish for a biodegradable material culture

IKEA: SPACE10

[+]

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...

[ ]See Full Project

Location

Copenhagen [Denmark]

Year

2019 - Present

Output

Fabrication method | Digital interface

P[08]Seiche
Automated bureaucracy as a pathway to fluid citizenship

Strelka Institute: The New Normal

[+]

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...

[ ]See Full Project

Location

Khorgos [Kazakhstan]

Year

2018 - Present

Output

Speculative short film | Article | Interactive installation

P[07]Siren
Audiovisual arctic poem on connective alienation

Strelka Institute: The New Normal

[+]

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...

[ ]See Full Project

Location

Kolyma [Russia]

Year

2018

Output

Speculative short film

P[06]Æffect
Acid infused journal on innovation management

UAL: Central Saint Martins

[+]

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 a mentorship scheme, an academic journal and web platform...

[ ]See Full Project

Location

London [UK]

Year

2017 - 2018

Output

Mentorship scheme | Academic journal | Web platform

P[05]Electric Cloud
Decentralised networks of energy exchange

EDF: Électricité de France

[+]

The combined disruption of smart home devices and decentralised energy production and storage systems favour a progressive switch to ‘prosumerism’ in the energy market. Electric Cloud provided a strategy for EDF to adopt an ambivalent position as managers and traders in energy exchange networks, a role that would help them thrive in both a centralised or decentralised scenario...

[ ]See Full Project

Location

London [UK]

Year

2016 - 2017

Output

Business model | Strategic road map

P[04]Critical Firm
Political conflict as a business strategy in the age of purpose

Self-directed

[+]

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...

[ ]See Full Project

Location

London [UK]

Year

2016 - 2017

Output

Strategic report | System map

P[03]Discourse on Trends
Assembly toolkit for authenticity in the digital fluid

Self-directed

[+]

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 on authenticity and identity around fluidity between physical and digital environments will follow...

[ ]See Full Project

Location

London [UK]

Year

2016 - 2017

Output

Strategic report | System map

P[02]Radical Swissness
An architectural framework for the Swiss vernacular

group8

[+]

Define and perfection a framework and methodology for the development of architectural competitions within the Swiss context (a.k.a. domesticating the creative willpower of multidisciplinar international teams to fit the swiss vernacular...

[ ]See Full Project

Location:

Genève [Switzerland]

Year:

2014-2015

Output:

Architectural competition [with several awards]

P[01]UNOG
Energetic renovation of the United Nations Palace

group8

[+]

In a demonstration of its commitment to the Strategic Heritage Plan, the Swiss Federal Council participated in the renovation of the “Palais des Nations” through a voluntary contribution of CHF 50 million. The aim of the renovation project was to bring The United Nations Palace into line with the concept of a "green building"...

[ ]See Full Project

Location

Genève [Switzerland]

Year

2012 - 2014

Output

Restored building | Automated energy management system

RAFT Research Log delivers a curated selection of external thought across formats, media and categories including readings, frameworks, tools and other miscelanea.

[ ]Open

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

RAFT [?] was founded in 2020 by Tomás Clavijo [?]; innovation manager,
architect and creative director operating globally from Madrid.