Chris Woebken is an artist, design futures researcher and educator. He is the co-founder of the Extrapolation Factory, a participatory-futures studio. His work examines the potential of design for discussing new imaginations around complex social, technological and ecologic challenges. Woebken resides in the traditional and un-ceded land of the Lenape also known as Brooklyn, New York.
He frequently teaches courses at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Weitzman School of Design at Penn, Parsons School of Design, and The New School. Woebken earned a master’s in design interactions from the Royal College of Art in London.
He participated in art residencies at Eyebeam, and the Headlands Center for the Arts and his work was supported by grants from the Shed, NYFA, and the Graham Foundation. His work has been exhibited widely including at the MoMA, NCCA National Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow, and the China National Museum in Beijing. He has created special commissions for Z33 in Leuven, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and ZKM in Karlsruhe.
While at MacDowell in 2019, Chris worked on developing an experiment in co-created futures called Metro Test Zones that explores the possibilities of green common spaces in an alternative, future New York City. This research will conclude in a series of events at The Shed, New York in August 2019. He also worked on the Intentional Estates Agency, an institution that adopts and modifies the logic of the real estate agency to engage with issues of degrowth at the 2019 Oslo Architecture Triennale in Norway. Another project developed during his residency is the What if Columbus…? installation for the 2019 Exhibit Columbus, Washington Street Civic Projects. The project invites residents to visualize ideas for modifications of the soft and hard infrastructure in Columbus and submit their visions to city hall.
During his 2023 Fellowship, he interpreted concepts generated in a participatory workshop with youth at the Ali Forney Center. Commissioned by MoMA, Woebken co-created concepts for a salon and sensory room. The immersive spaces will be installed at AFC’s new site in Times Square in the fall of 2023.