FLYOVER SUMMIT and the Worldbuilding Pop-up will bring together research about rural-urban systems design and environmental futures. 

From a base in Lincoln, Nebraska, FLYOVER’s inquiries extend nationally, globally, and into outer space. The FLYOVER SUMMIT will incorporate perspectives of science, technology, art, and design to consider the production, allocation, and distribution of resources beyond cities and towns.

These lecture shorts will cover such themes as outer space law + governance, Outer Space , Rural + Indigenous AI, Virtual Labor, Automation as Ecology, Extremophiles, Speculative Platform Agriculture,  Rural Mobility, Automated Agriculture: Robotics and machine Automation, Growbots, and Blockchain Chicken Farms.

FLYOVER is a creative think tank developing research about rural design and environmental futures as part of THE STORY LABORATORY for Design Fiction, Futures + Worldbuilding at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln. directed by Professor Ash Eliza Smith from the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, with lab fellow, Professor Stephanie Sherman from Central Saint Martins, London, UK. 

DAY 1: Oct. 21st


Feel free to drop in throughout the day.

Register here for link:


Talks and Q + A: 

8:00-8:15 CDT: Coffee

8:15-8:30 CDT: Welcome/Introduction

8:30-9:00 CDT: James Westcott – architect, material flows,  editor of the Rem Koolhaas/AMO books Countryside: A Report (London)

9:00-9:30 CDT: Paulo Tavares – architect and urbanist (Quito/London)

9:30-10:00 CDT: Flyover Fictions: Andrea González Garrán, spatial politics, and infrastructure (Madrid)

                                                          and  Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, environmental engineer (Lincoln)

10:00-10:30 CDT: Thandi Loewenson – architectural designer/researcher, Royal College of Art (Harare/London)

10:30-11:00 CDT: Frans von der Dunk internationally distinguished professor of space law (Lincoln/Netherlands)

11:00-11:30 CDT: Flyover Fictions: Parrr Geng – artist, interspecies communication (China/Berlin) 

                                                            and Santosh Pitla – agricultural robotics (Lincoln)

11:30-12:00 CDT: Benedikt Gross – anti-disciplinary designer (Schwäbisch Gmünd)

12:00-12:30 CDT: Karim Giscombe/ Plant4  – food system revolutionary, founder and CEO, Plant-Ag (Fort Lauderdale)

12:30-1:00 CDT: Tuda Syuda w/ T. Gogian + L. Savelieva, applied AI, agriculture, parametric urbanism, and food design (UK/Russia)

1:00-2:00 CDT:  Xiaowei Wang, author of Blockchain Chicken Farm: And Other Stories of Tech in China's Countryside 

2:00-2:30 CDT: Amelia Winger-Bearskin, Associate Professor of Artificial Intelligence and the Arts, Digital Worlds Institute and Innovator at U.S. Department of Art and Culture: Honor Native Land

 2:30-3:00 CDT: Carl Di Salvo, experimental designer, author of Adversarial Design (Atlanta) 

3:00-3:30 CDT: Alex Rivera – filmmaker (Sleep Dealer, The Infiltrators) and digital media artist (New York)

3:30-4:00 CDT: Flyover Fictions: Yasaman Sheri – senior director of design, Magic Leap (Los Angeles/Iran/Toronto) 

                                                         and Joshua Herr – plant pathologist, microbial interactions (Lincoln)

4:00-4:30 CDT: Benjamin Bratton – artist, author, program director at the Strelka Institute (Moscow/San Diego)

4:30-4:45 CDT: Closing

4:45-until: join us for a Happy Hour


*Featuring work by ARTIFICIAL RURAL IMAGINATION, live machine-generated reflections on the contents of Flyover Summit through an Artificial Rural Imagination. By Professor Robert Twomey, with Ash Eliza Smith and a cadre of Carson Center undergraduates.

Find us on the Carson Center Twitter feed @carsoncenterunl throughout the day.

*live drawings by Brenda Lee*


DAY 2: Oct. 22nd, 10-4 PM (CDT) with a lunch break 1-2PM CDT

JUNK PLANET: Worldbuilding Workshop with Alex McDowell, (Worldbuilding Institute)

Apply for the workshop here:


What is Flyover Fictions?

Flyover Fictions is being launched at the FLYOVER SUMMIT 2021

Flyover Fictions pairs designer-storytellers with scientists and engineers at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln to develop design fictions that push existing investigations into speculative and projective domains. Each designer-researcher will develop a design fiction to be published as a short digital book. The project creates a bridge between speculative futures and rural-urban innovation.


Funding and Support provided by: The Office of Research and Economic Development, Global Experiences Innovation Fund, Hixson-Lied Faculty Research/Creative and Development Grant, Nebraska Governance and Technology Fellowship 

Special Thanks to the Environmental Futures Platform: Stacey Asher, Katie Anania, Julia McQuillian, Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, Liz Van Wormer and Judy Diamond.