View More

Oneiric Lab

Hi! I'm Alija
Foresight Strategist/Artist,
Researcher & Dreamer
alija@oneiriclab.com
I
Afrofuturismo

Alija Blackwell is an award-winning innovator and the founder of Oneiric Lab, a strategic foresight and immersive design consultancy. By using speculative design and scenario building, Alija brings to life pathways to desirable futures through engaging the public imagination. Alija's work in the social impact sector has spanned across arts institutions, academia, policy think tanks, foundations, governments, nonprofits, and NGOs.

10
awards & fellowships
6 hours
of playlists for Digital & Climate Movements
Thousands
of doodles illustrated
7
certifications in planning, digital media, foresight, & data science
#Systems Design
#Immersive Storytelling
#Policy Innovation
#Impact Research
#Inclusive Futures

My Offerings.

Strategic Planning

Through needs assessments and data-driven systems evaluations, Oneiric Lab builds the capacity for strategic decision-making over long-term time horizons. By determining organizational objectives and alignment on shared visions, Oneiric Lab has guided governing boards, community leaders, and directors with resource planning, development, and communications campaigns to achieve their goals. Using the power of strategic storytelling, Oneiric Lab has helped bolster support towards desirable futures.

80%
Immersive Design

Emerging technologies and traditional creative mediums drive Oneiric Lab's immersive design practice. Through projection mapping, augmented reality, and game design Oneiric Lab engages with innovative technology to create experiential futures. Speculative writing and zines also provide pathways to construct new possibilities for communities to bring to life their vision and potential for social impact.

85%
Futures Prototyping

Art, science, technology, and psychology are infused in the design of artefacts from the futures. Art can expand the capacity for public imagination and provoke change through providing a vision to work towards in the present. By helping organizations and communities acknowledge that the future is something that we are constantly constructing in the present, Oneiric Lab co-creates a vehicle to achieve ideal realities.

75%
Scenario Building

After a landscape analysis to understand the state of the field and influential factors across sectors, Oneiric Lab develops scenarios using archetypes of change to drive futures storytelling. These scenarios are rooted in emerging trends and data driven forecasts to chart pathways to possible futures and understand the cost of present day actions or inactions.

50%
Participatory Research

By centering the lived expertise of directly impacted communities alongside the domain knowledge of subject matter experts, Oneiric Lab leads groundbreaking research rooted in multilateral analyses. Through ethnographic methodologies including interviews, focus groups, and workshops, Oneiric Lab develops an inclusive process to ensure communities and stakeholders closest to the subject matter have their visions reflected in the outcome. From ideation to implementation, evaluation, and collective sense-making frontline communities are centered.

90%

Tech.

The Aspen Institute
Policy Innovation

Advancing Students' Digital Rights is a multimedia policy toolkit fostering inclusive data sovereignty across school communities, edtech developers, and education departments.

Year
2021
Team Members

Alija Blackwell

Deliverables

Web Design

Policy Toolkit

Capacity Building Materials

Music Curation

view projects
Policy Innovation
The Aspen Institute
Digital Literacy Accelerator
Game Design

Enchantedland is an augmented reality game that teaches students how to use foresight strategies to stay safe online and combat misinformation through data protection and self-sovereign identity frameworks.

Year
2022
Team Members

Alija Blackwell

Jessica Yoo

Deliverables

Game Design

Augmented Reality

Prototyping

Logic Model

view projects
Immersive Design
U.S. Department of Education
Build Early Ed
Mobile App Development

Build Early Ed is an award-winning mobile application that connects New Mexicans to opportunities in early childhood education through Head Start enrollment, workforce development, and wrap-around family support services.

Year
2021
Team Members

Alija Blackwell

Gabriel Fosse

Deliverables

Mobile App

Wireframe

Machine Learning

Data Science

view projects
Mobile App Development
Early Childhood Department
Algorithms of Late Capitalism
Speculative Design

Algorithms of Late Capitalism is a zine co-created with the Internet Teapot and Mozilla Festival in March 2021 to explore possible futures of artificial intelligence.

Year
2021
Team Members

Alija Blackwell

Internet Teapot

Mozilla Festival

Deliverables

Strategic Foresight

Graphic Design

view projects
Speculative Design
Internet Teapot

Art.

As a lucid dreamer and worldbuilder, each night I explore the long-term consequences of our current systems, pathways to desirable futures, and ancestral stories.

“The artist cannot and must not take anything for granted, but must drive to the heart of every answer and expose the question the answer hides.”

James Baldwin

Smithsonian American Art Museum Arcade Jam
2022

For the SAAM Arcade 2022, Alija developed the Catastrophic Dream game to create an interactive experience for players, relying on color, line, and form to tell complex narratives and engage broad audiences.

view projects
School of International Futures
2023

Astralnauts is a flash speculative fiction piece imagining a global paradigm shift towards healing justice infrastructure in 2075. Alija was commissioned as a foresight practitioner to bring their expertise in the peacebuilding ecosystem to illustrate pathways to peaceful futures by the School of International Futures, Global Education Futures, and VZOR Lab.

view projects
Santa Fe Art Institute
2023

As a 2023 Changing Climate Artist in Residence, Alija designed speculative prototypes using holograms, olfactory arts, charcoal, and fiction to bring to life future tools for climate migrants forcibly displaced by natural disasters, geopolitical upheaval, and colonization.

view projects
School of International Futures
2023

Astralnauts is a flash speculative fiction piece imagining a global paradigm shift towards healing justice infrastructure in 2075. Alija was commissioned as a foresight practitioner to bring their expertise in the peacebuilding ecosystem to illustrate pathways to peaceful futures by the School of International Futures, Global Education Futures, and VZOR Lab.

view projects
WOMAN'S DAY
Carnegie Hall

2022 Afrofuturism Festival Artist

ISOMETRIC
The Hungry Data Caterpillar

Virtual reality installation exploring youth digital rights and the extractive data practices children are exposed to on big tech platforms.

ABSTRACT
100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics 2021

AI for Intergenerational Healing was a speculative design workshop exploring restorative use cases of artificial intelligence using generative interactive art and foresight strategies.

transparent shapES
BLCK UNICRN 2022

Live immersive experience developer using projection mapping and augmented reality to bring to life emerging music artists' episodic visual albums.

Expertise
Within.

The technical and creative tools Alija specializes in to bring to life experiential futures are listed below. Spanning extended reality, game design, graphic design, and speculative fiction prototyping.

Dreams of the Futures.

Peaceful Futures 2075
Speculative fiction anthology and action research project in partnership with Global Education Futures, VZOR Lab, and the School of International Futures

February 2023

Solarpunk Fiction
coming soon to a hybrid shelf near you

Spring 2023