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 Affect and effect. How do we understand change, feel change, make change happen? What kinds of strategy, foresight and organisation will we need to manage the complexities of innovation? What kinds of co-operations and encounters will be needed for innovation to emerge? This first issue of Æffect, on the theme of ‘Futureality’, is an exploration and expression of this.  Our exclusive extract from Helga Nowotny’s book The Cunning of Uncertainty, examines how we might address fear and anxiety in order to open up the future. At a moment when society and politics has rarely felt more fragile, but also seeded with potential, Christopher Le Dantec’s work Designing Publicslooks at the intersection of design practices and the emergence of ‘publics’, as communities address social concerns to create a future beyond the given. While Bruce Sterling’s analytically sharp, deeply learned and drily witty ‘Pace Layers’, highlights how we need to understand different rhythms of change.

Æffect itself is an expression of change. It emerged initially from a proposal by graduating researchers of MA Innovation Management at Central Saint Martins for a digital platform bringing together current and past researchers with wider communities of practice, from business, design, and people in general engaged in innovation. Æffect also expresses the work being done by our graduate researchers in the field – whether it’s modeling a new affective circular economy for sportswear, or reframing approaches to crisis and refugees, to understanding the possibilities of Service Design Activism and data, to designing strategy maps for AI and ethical innovation. When you have read this journal you might like to follow up some of these current caseworks on our companion digital channel (, featuring issue briefings, trend analysis, interviews with well-known and not so well-known change-makers and case studies, developed by our team of researchers mapping the changing terrain of innovation.

This issue’s theme and structure of Digital/ Experience/ Ethics/ Resilience was created by the group of graduating researchers highlighting the people and issues remapping the space of innovation: Kelly Gallagher and Tiffany Lee explore the multi-scale analyses of Patternity and their cosmic-cultural patterning; Kath Simpson talks with Sophie Howe, the world’s first Future Generations Commissioner; Joanna Brassett and Felicitas Olschewski on the critical issue of gender and innovation; Megumi Koyama’s interview with the art-sci-pop-gendernaut Sputniko!.

Æffect will emerge in different ways into the future, being taken over by different graduating researchers, or any number of communities that may form with or through us. Philosopher and mathematician Alfred North Whitehead said that universities provided those who work in them (in all ways) a zest for life. With Æffect, and this issue in particular, we offer also a zest for the future.


Jamie Brassett
John O’Reilly