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10 January 2023

Experimental research project CASCADE INQUIRY will explore hopeful climate futures

CASCADE INQUIRY is an ambitious initiative of experiential projects by Superflux that imagine future worlds where positive climate action has been taken.

Image with words: CASCADE INQUIRY, in the centre and at the bottom the words: A Superflux initiative supported by King's Culture, King's College London. The left side shows an instalation of plants in a box with purple UV light hanging overhead. The right hand side of the image shows two people round a desk with light yellow light coming through the windows behind them.

The Climate Crisis is real and urgent. Yet, it often feels too complex to comprehend, too amorphous to know what to act on, or how. What if there was a way to make the size and complexity of climate change tangible, relatable and specific? If we recognise that what we do matters, could we mobilise our collective capacity for necessary change?

This autumn, futurists and speculative designers Superflux, in residence at the Inigo Rooms at King's Culture, began collecting and collating the work of climate researchers across fields; mapping entanglements between climate and war, wildfires, policy, economy, philosophy, strategy, literature and neuroscience. Drawing on a wealth of knowledge at King’s and building on Superflux’s distinctive speculative and experiential design approach, this first phase of work is a collaborative inquiry, brokered and supported by King’s Culture.

The climate emergency and our collective responses to it require us to imagine quite different futures, about our climate and how we live our lives and what we value. Superflux helps us to consider and shape climate-positive futures, which is the first step to achieving just and fair climate futures for all.

Frans Berkhout, Professor of Environment, Society, and Climate, Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy, King's College London

CASCADE INQUIRY is the connective tissue that enables multiple societal actors to come together and engage in collective imagining, deep listening, storytelling and actionable decision making to surface the unheard, unknown and the possible. We intend to create multiple, experiential projects that will occupy town-halls, culture-centres, corporate offices, spaces of worship, fields, forests and more.

The next steps of CASCADE INQUIRY will invite communities to imagine, enact and experience just, equitable and regenerative futures. If people can tangibly feel this future, how might this experience inform their actions in the present?

The interrelations between internal and external, human and more-than-human, belief and action, micro and macro, present and future, are the empowering and encouraging forces that catalyse CASCADE INQUIRY’s ecological movement building


Superflux is a boundary-defying, award-winning design and experiential futures company, as well as a research and art practice. From climate change to algorithmic autonomy, future of work to more-than-human politics, their work aims to confront diverse audiences with the complex and deeply interconnected nature of the challenges faced today. They are recipients of the 2022 Royal Designers for Industry (RDI) title, recognised for innovation in speculative design.

CASCADE INQUIRY is an ambitious and collaborative research project that aims to investigate new possibilities for action in the face of crisis. Building on their powerful experiential practice, we are excited to connect Superflux to a range of academic expertise at King’s and to work with diverse communities to imagine how we might live in more equitable and climate positive futures.

Beatrice Pembroke, Executive Director, Culture, King's College London

Join us for a generative discussion

To celebrate the public launch of CASCADE INQUIRY, supported by King’s Culture, please join us from 6pm on Wednesday, 8 February, for a generative discussion held at The Exchange, King’s College London. The evening will be an opportunity for Superflux to share their internal research and the initiative’s future ambitions. There will follow a generative discussion to advance opportunities for positive collective action. We are delighted to share a line up of experts from the social sciences, public policy and speculative design including:

  • Emily Kasriel (Chair), Head of Special Projects at the BBC World Service and Deep Listening pioneer.
  • Frans Berkhout, Professor of Environment, Society and Climate at King’s College London.
  • Suzanne Hall, Qualitative researcher and Director of Engagement at the Policy Institute, King’s College London.
  • Mark Pelling, Professor of Risk and Disaster Reduction; Research Impact Lead; Programme Leader - MRes Risk and Disaster Reduction at University College London.
  • Anab Jain, Co-founder and Director of Superflux; Professor of Design Investigations at the dieAngewandte, University of Applied Arts, Vienna.

Book your place here

In this story

Beatrice Pembroke

Executive Director, Culture

Frans Berkhout

Assistant Principal (King’s Climate & Sustainability)