Skip to main content
Near Future Laboratory Podcast

Near Future Laboratory Podcast

By Julian Bleecker
The Near Future Laboratory Podcast is a series of conversations with leading makers and thinkers who are passionate about creating more habitable near futures, hosted by Julian Bleecker — founder of the Near Future Laboratory.

Support this podcast at
Listen on
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Breaker Logo


Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo


Spotify Logo


N°18 — General Seminar N°10 CRYPTO GAMING (Something unsettling happened.)
This is a special episode of the Near Future Laboratory Podcast — an annotated highlight reel from our General Seminar N°10 — a discussion on CRYPTO GAMES. You can find out more about this General Seminar here: Yeah. CRYPTO GAMING. That’s and blockchains, right? Or pay-to-play-to-earn, as I’ve heard it referred to? Or is it, like..being able to take your broadsword from Fortnite into Call of Duty or something?  Listen along to General Seminar N°10 with hosts Julian Bleecker, Katie Dreke, and Ian Bogost and our 16 participants. Please consider supporting this podcast! You can do so at or you can buy me a Coffee here:! You can also send $ETH to https://bleecker.eth. (Oh, also— I mention in my introduction that something really unsettling happened when I was producing this episode and I refer to a tweet — it's this one here —
October 21, 2021
N°17 — Blockchain Artist Sarah Friend
Sarah Friend studied painting as a fine artist and is now one of the more audacious media artists. Her art projects probe the contours of possible kinds of social relations built on top of blockchain mechanics, inspired and shaped by her interest in science-fiction and futures. Sarah's medium is software, her canvas is the blockchain, and her paintbrushes non-fungible tokens and Solidity contracts. He project Lifeforms and Off are especially evocative, pushing into the near future of how cryptodynamics and blockchain architecture can operate as instruments and expressive media.  Please consider supporting this podcast. You can do so at or by buying me a coffee at You can also send crypto here to me directly at bleecker.eth ====== Some links to Sarah Friend's work Extracting Computerized Desires — A Review of Clickmine Near Future Laboratory Discord: Design Fiction Newsletter:
October 18, 2021
N°16 — General Seminar N°9 — Synthetic Brands / Synthetic Media
This is a special episode of the Near Future Laboratory Podcast — a highlight reel from our General Seminar N°9 — a discussion on Synthetic Brands / Synthetic Media. We are now nudging into a world in which algorithmically synthetic and computer-generated artificial entities will likely be participating, collaborating, and fully assuming roles up and down the culture stack  — from customer care bots to pop-stars and politicians. How do we make sense of all this? General Seminar is a platform for sense-making through discussion.    One-to-many “expert” platforms like podcasts, TED Talks, and Masterclasses serve a role in the dissemination of ideas and opinions of a small group of experts. By their nature these are largely one-way, where ideas flow to a mostly passive audience who still must make sense of the topic on their own. General Seminar provides an alternative. Sign up to be notified of future General Seminar sessions. This podcast is supported by the good graces of my patron's on Patreon. Please consider supporting this podcast and my Design Fiction Newsletter! Or, you can buy me a coffee to show your thanks!
October 11, 2021
N°15 — What is it to be a Generalist? with Patrick Tanguay
Patrick Tanguay is a Generalist, Synthesist, and Curator. He explores tech in society, signals of change, & prospective futures in his fantastic weekly newsletter Sentiers, which I recommend you subscribe to. Every Sunday I get a host of fantastic insights and pointers, one of the most interesting is his mentioning the most clicked story a year ago. This morning it was a great piece from last year — the somewhat manifesto-y article on Squad Wealth, some themes we discuss in this podcast. You can also find Patrick on Twitter at @inevernu  Please consider supporting this podcast on Patreon — doing so helps cover the costs of maintaining the various nozzles and nodes necessary to produce the podcast, plus maybe more than that — it shows that you support the effort that goes into this work. You can also buy me a "coffee" as a kind of tip for the effort. If you like the topics in and around this discussion, please consider signing up for General Seminar — it's my new experimental platform for conversations using the seminar framework to have several-to-several conversations in which everyone has a voice. Patrick has been a web developer for 15 plus years, and co-founded the first coworking space in Montréal, Station C, and co-initiated the critically acclaimed print magazine The Alpine Review. Over the years he also helped start a number of groups bringing people and ideas together: The Awesome Foundation Montréal, Webcamp, Creative Mornings Montréal, and Hacks/Hackers Montréal. Back in the day he was steward of the oldest and longest running blogger meetup, Yulblog.
August 29, 2021
Speculative Design, IOT & Cultures of Innovation with Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino
Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino is an author, consultant, public speaker, entrepreneur and designer living in London. She is the author of Creating a Culture of Innovation and Smarter Homes She is the founder of the Low Carbon Design Institute, a residency for creative people focused on climate change. She was named 1st in a list of 100 Internet of Things Influencers (Postscapes, 2016), 2nd in Top 100 Internet of Things Thought Leaders (Onalytica, 2014) and in the Top 100 Influential Tech Women on Twitter (Business Insider, 2014). She’s been included in the long-list of Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Women in Tech in the UK in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. She studied industrial design at the University of Montreal and interaction design at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea. You can find her work at designswarm Please support this podcast, which you can do at You can also buy me a coffee! You may also be interested in the Design Fiction newsletter, a somewhat weekly newsletter on topics related to design, innovation, culture and technology. As well, we have a new platform for sense-making called General Seminar. New sessions are in the planning phase. Sign up there to be notified of upcoming seminars on Augmented Reality, the Metaverse, and Design Fiction.
August 6, 2021
Tina He on DAOs, Calvino and Blockchain Social Mechanics
Tina He is a writer, designer, and investor dedicated to creating technology that fosters creativity, growth, and knowledge. Her essay "The New Frontier of Belonging" caught my attention as it navigated through a number of disparate terrains while describing the peculiar kinds of social formations arising out of blockchain mechanics — and it leads with a reference to Italo Calvino, which I found to be unexpected and beautiful. Please support my podcast: Or buy me a small coffee: Here are some links related to this episode:
July 28, 2021
NFTs, Blockchain, Social Tokens with Sean Bonner
A discussion about the social futures and social dynamics inherent in NFTs and Blockchain, with Sean Bonner. See his which compares various NFT platforms. And his blog: He also publishes a semi-weekly email newsletter that I can highly recommend, called The Crowd
June 28, 2021
PizzaDAO with Daniel van de Ghinste & Jed Berk
A long, ranging, technically challenged conversation with two participants in PizzaDAO which formed spontaneously on Clubhouse based on the idea to have a global pizza party. On March 15th, 2021 they opened Rare Pizzas Box NFT reservations to the public and raised $1.3 Million for real, cheese-y pizza. What is a DAO anyway, and what's it got to do with the future, let alone pizza?
May 28, 2021
Julian Bleecker: Q&A by Jonas Schmidt
In this episode I move to the otherside of the Q&A table. Jonas Schmidt had contacted me to do a Q&A for his master's program research, specifically on the Near Future Laboratory and our own approach to design and creative work. It was good fun — so I asked Jonas if he wouldn't mind if we made it into a mirrorworld podcast episode and he happily agreed. Please support this podcast on Patreon - — Thank you!
May 5, 2021
Devon Powers: The Trend of Trends
Devon Powers is an Associate Professor of Advertising at the Department of Advertising and PR in the Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University. Devon studies consumer culture, cultural history, and cultural circulation/intermediation, with a focus on trends, branding, and popular music. We discuss her book "On Trend: The Business of Forecasting the Future".
April 20, 2021
Alexis Lloyd: Futurist Not Futurist
Alexis Lloyd is a product design and innovation leader who has spent her career designing experiences for how we read, write, and share information on the internet. She is currently the VP of Product Design at Medium and has previously led design and innovation work at The New York Times R&D Lab, Axios, and Automattic. She co-leads the Ethical Futures Lab and has a deep curiosity about how humans and machines co-evolve with one another.
April 11, 2021
Madeline Ashby: Futurism, Foresight, and Science Fiction Part 2
This is Part 2 of my conversation with Madeline Ashby who is an American-Canadian science fiction writer and futurist, best known for her 2016 novel Company Town. She is a graduate of OCAD University's Master of Design in Strategic Foresight & Innovation. If you found this episode a worthy use of your time and is helping your futures brain bulk up, consider become a patron over at our Patreon — or you can offer a tip which is easy to do nowadays over at
March 29, 2021
Madeline Ashby: Futurism, Foresight, and Science Fiction Part 1
Madeline Ashby is an American-Canadian science fiction writer and futurist, best known for her 2016 novel Company Town. She is a graduate of OCAD University's Master of Design in Strategic Foresight & Innovation. If you found this episode a worthy use of your time and is helping your futures brain bulk up, consider become a patron over at our Patreon — or you can offer a tip which is easy to do nowadays over at
March 29, 2021
Anab Jain
Anab Jain is co-founder, along with Jon Arden, of Superflux which is a design studio based in London that create worlds, stories, and tools that provoke and inspire us to engage with the precarity of our rapidly changing world. If you found this episode a worthy use of your time and attention consider become a patron. You can do that at — or you can offer a tip which is easy to do nowadays over at
March 8, 2021
David Kirby
This episode is with Professor David Kirby. David coined the term ‘diegetic prototype’ to describe an important component of Design Fiction. He describes this and much more in his important book "Lab Coats in Hollywood: Science, Scientists and Cinema”.
February 2, 2021
Liam Young
This episode is a discussion with Liam Young. Liam is an Australian born archtect and film maker who uses design fiction and film in a really provocative and thoughtful and entertaining fashion. He also runs the MA in Fiction and Entertainment at the Southern California Institute of Archtecture (or SCI-ARC). Help support the Podcast by becoming a Patron at The Near Future Laboratory podcast is a series of discussions on Design Fiction.
January 12, 2021
Scott Smith
This episode is a conversation with Scott Smtih, also known as Changeist on the social medias. In this chat with Scott, we cover most all of that territory. We talk about what makes Design Fiction Design Fiction and not Science Fiction or Literary Fiction. We discuss David Kirby, who will be featured in a forthcoming episode, and the diegetic prototype. And a big discussion about ‘what Design Fiction is good for.’
January 4, 2021
Fabien Girardin and Nicolas Nova
We discuss the role of the generalist in discovery-based creative, design, future-oriented explorations.
December 25, 2020