World Building and the Future of Media: A Case Study-Makoko 2036

Laura Cechanowicz, Brian Cantrell, Alex McDowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


World building exists at the intersection of design, technology, and storytelling. In its ability to enable and conjure deeply considered holistic worlds, it represents the foundational narrative and design practice for transmedia, spherical storytelling, and the post-cinematic. World building takes a lateral anthropological stance, borrowing specifically from ethnographic practice to contextualize speculative designs in real world research. World builders as designers then use this ethnographic groundwork as a place from which to begin imagining future possibilities [5, pp. 2-3]. This process allows designers to intelligently project plausible scenarios and outcomes through the creation of diegetic prototypes and models [3, p. 190] backed by rigorous research, envisioning desirable futures and the steps we may take to realize them-or the parallel universes we may be grateful to prevent. This essay is a case study that illustrates the use of world building as a technology of the imagination-entering a tradition of many other technologies of the imagination as elaborated by Sneath et al. and Halse-that envisions the future of media and technology [3, p. 182].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7790997
Pages (from-to)28-38
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Technology and Society Magazine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Social Sciences


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