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Once a feature of science fiction, self-driving cars are rapidly becoming reality. Yet there are still many unresolved questions about them, especially ethical ones. This workshop explores the ways in which autonomous driving will not only influence road travel, but could also have a wide-ranging impact on our lives.

19:00 – 21:00
also this evening

16:00-18:00 International Clinic: France

18:00-19:30 Thursday Bite 

19:30-21:00 Monument: Reification met Mabel O. Wilson

The museum is free of charge from 17:00-21:00 


Het Nieuwe Instituut
Museumpark 25
3015 CB Rotterdam


Free entrance, RSVP via ticket link 

During this workshop, participants will explore what kind of futures might await us, based on a speculative resolution of currently open questions on autonomous driving. How does the way autonomous driving is being implemented influence other areas of our lives? In a hands-on ideation session, participants are invited to speculate wildly on this question through the creation of new future artefacts.

Note: This workshop is part of a thesis research project in collaboration with Rijkswaterstaat, and participants will be asked to sign an informed consent form to take part. Discussions will be voice-recorded to enable data analysis. Please contact if you have any questions about this.


Clarissa Schmitt is a design researcher who is currently working on her master’s thesis in Industrial Design at Eindhoven University of Technology. She is fascinated by design’s ability to imagine alternatives and make them tangible, and researches how this can contribute to design and strategic processes. Currently, she is developing an approach which combines speculative design and philosophy in order to explore how we can anticipate the possible future impacts of emerging technologies.

Speculative Futures Rotterdam

The workshop is part of the Speculative Futures Rotterdam series of events, which is steered by the Design Futures Initiative, a global organisation. Speculative Futures is an international community of meet-ups focused on speculative and critical design, design fiction, futurism, strategy and foresight, or any vision or approach which involves using design as a vehicle to speculate about potential or alternative futures.

Thursday Bite

Before the Thursday Night event, why not enjoy a bite to eat with the speakers and staff of Het Nieuwe Instituut? At 18:00 Het Nieuwe Café will serve a light vegetarian meal. Dinner vouchers are available for € 7.70 up to a day before the event via the Tickets link.

Become a Member

Become a Member of Het Nieuwe Instituut and you’ll support our mission to navigate the vast and evolving field of design. You’ll also be inspired by our special programme of Members’ events, meeting up with other like-minded people as we invite you to reflect with us on design’s changing role in technology, economics, culture and society.

Thursday Night at Het Nieuwe Instituut
Luca Napoli

Thursday Night Live! is a weekly programme of lectures, screenings and discussions on architecture, design and digital culture. Developments and critical insights are discussed by thinkers, designers and makers from the Netherlands and abroad.