SpecHub – An Interdisplinary Research Network at Lancaster University, UK

In the past decade, speculation has become an increasingly widespread concept in disciplines across the sciences, arts and humanities. Its applications are as diverse as designing urban futures, studying geological phenomena and imagining future participatory politics. That speculative methods and practices often place importance on unpredictability would seem to make the approach unattractive to planning and design. However, speculation is increasingly deployed in shaping environments, policies, cultures and products in direct ways. As a consequence, there is growing interest in disparate, but often overlapping, conceptual, theoretical and practical elements of speculative research methods. As this cross-disciplinary pool of research about speculation grows, questions emerge about its potential, as well as its concrete ramifications.

SpecHub was established in 2018 at Lancaster University, with the aim of bringing together researchers and practitioners across disciplines and institutions who encounter, use, and engage with speculation in their research practice. Speculation can be used as a concept, a tool, a research method, or combinations of these. SpecHub will be organising events and exhibitions over the next two years, which both share knowledge on the theme of speculation, and facilitate lasting connections and collaborations between researchers and practitioners across disciplines.

‘Staying with Speculation’ Symposium was held 13th & 14th of June.

The outcomes of this symposium will be included in the forthcoming issue of Global Discourse journal ‘Staying with Speculation: Natures, Futures, Politics

To find out more contact Luke Moffat on: l.moffat@lancaster.ac.uk