Pune Futures
Telling the story of
penny pinching bureaucrats
aiming to
seek comfort
in a Pune where
planets collide

What can online tools (maps, games, websites) tell us about the world we live in and the assumptions it is built upon?

This workshop was inspired by observing how digital tools we use, regularly inform us about the world in ways other than they were intended to. Google Maps is a great example of this, and the workshop starts by opening this application. Google Maps not only helps us view our world, but also we helps us infer how the inhabitants of the space perceive it, through the images and 360• panoramas attached to the locations.


The students of L'École de design Nantes Atlantique | India Studio at MIT Institute of Design took a four day journey to explore the future of Pune remotely, facilitated by Quicksand Design Studio

Introductory slides from the workshop co-created with participants


The participants were split up into groups, and each was asked to choose a location in Pune they wanted to work with. The locations were picked for their relative importance to the city and its citizens. The locations chosen were:

Group 1: Poolgate Vegetable Market

Group 2: Kumbar Wada

Group 3: Maratha War Memorial

Group 4: Victory Theatre

After choosing the location, the groups first conducted an in depth study of their areas, before embarking on a journey of speculation 30 years into the future of those spaces. Over the four days, they not only conducted research and speculation, but they also created visualisations of these speculative futures.

Map of Pune showing the locations chosen by the groups

Workshop Tools


Google Slides

Co-Creating and working remotely


Google Meet

Conferencing across time zones


Miro Board

Speculating on a virtual white board



Prototyping speculative spaces within a game engine

Workshop Schedule


Day 1

Introduction & Speculation


Day 2

Prototyping in Fortnite


Day 3

Consolidating the Vision


Day 4

Finalise and Broadcast


Poolgate Vegetable Market

Telling the story of a self sufficient agricultural farm aiming to feed millions in a 2050 Pune where the outdoor conditions for farming are not so ideal anymore.

The Poolgate Vegetable Market is located in a central part of the city, at the entrance of MG Road. It is an important market which opens at 8AM, with fish and vegetables being sold until 1PM. The team followed the journey of a farmer, and how the pool gate vegetable market would evolve in a future where water is scarce and the soil is polluted. By 2050, traditional farming methods are long forgotten, and all farms are housed in vertical buildings which take on the role of markets. The Poolgate Vegetable Market is demolished in 2030 to make way for one such building in which farmers can grow their produce and sell them fresh.

Team members: Amélie Wehrung, Manon Leverrier, Ruchi Chaunal, Sarah Santran

Kumbar Wada

Telling the story of potters working with engineers & designers as they replace plastic with pottery in Pune 2050 where the river has been rejuvenated.

The Kumbar Wada district of Pune is well known for its pottery and is located at Kasba Peth, along the banks of the Mutha River in the old city of Pune. The craftspeople of Kumbar Wada are well versed in the art of pottery and working with clay. The group imagined a future where there is a worldwide ban on plastics and there is a revival of traditional crafts such as pottery. There are plans for the rejuvenation of the Mutha River which ensures a steady source of clay for the potters. A Pottery Research Lab is created in 2050, which uses state of the art machines to not only collect clay but also produces eco-friendly alternatives to plastic products. The Lab helps people from other professions work with the potters to create new innovations and products.

Team members: Charlotte Kaplan, Jules Manoury, Marine Bigot, Théodore Guellier--Di Giulio, Vasundhara Dhar

Maratha War Memorial

Telling the story of the Maratha War Memorial aiming to be a place of gathering and link to past history in a Pune which needs peaceful places.

The Maratha War Memorial is a stone war memorial built in 1921 to commemorate the Maratha soldiers who died in World War 1. More than 70,000 Indian soldiers died in WW1, with 5000 of them from Maharashtra. Located in an area largely occupied by military forces, the memorial is mostly forgotten and is only remembered on a few special occasions. There are cannons at each of the corners of the memorial. The group imagined a future where the monument is slowly forgotten over time and its relevance diminishes. Eventually there comes a time where war testimonies are gathered through personal stories to bring people closer to the the soldiers and their sacrifice. There is a transformation of the memorial, and the space serves as a place of quiet and serenity where people can come and pay their respects peacefully. The place is revitalised and people come visiting often to pay homage to the sacrifices made by the soldiers so that they could live in harmony.

Team members: Cassandre Richomme, Charles Laffitte, Elsa Sadiez, Émeline Rouxel, Théophile Nogrix

Victory Theatre

Telling the story of an haunted theatre aiming to become an attractive place in a Pune where the weather is very hot and the atmosphere polluted.

Victory Theatre is one of Pune's oldest remaining single-screen cinemas, located on East Street in Camp. The theatre has been witness to some momentous happenings in Pune, including that of the killing of Narayan Dabhade by the police in 1942 for hoisting the Indian flag. The was one the events that contributed to the revolt that led to the British leaving India. There was also a bomb blast that happened in 1943. The group imagined an equally tumultuous future of the theatre, with the theatre being abandoned and falling to ruin in 2026 as the owners son had no interest in the upkeep of the cinema hall due to competition from multi-plexus. However, the owner’s daughter took a keen interest, and reopened the now haunted theatre as “Victory Land”, with urbex tours and hunt games being organised in the abandoned environment. The theatre now played a new role, as a safe, green, and healthy space away from the pollution of the main Pune city due to the amount of greenery in the environment.

Team members: Capucine Brossier, Jade Garcia, Marianne Guillot, Pauline Lassouque


The final display was held remotely on a Google Meet conference, with the participants presenting to the professors of the L'École Design Studio, and various other invited guests. The groups presented their work and reflected on their experience of the workshop, offering feedback on remote workshop facilitation, speculating on the future of Pune, and the use of Fortnite as a prototyping tool.


This four day workshop was a part of the Innovation Seminar series as a part of the 2-year Transcultural Design (Mdes) programme at the L'École de design Nantes Atlantique | India Studio at MIT Institute of Design, Pune. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students were remotely participated in this workshop from India and France.

This workshop is the latest in a series which explores the use of video games and game engines as tools to tell stories through speculative spaces. For this iteration, Fortnite's Creative Mode was used a digital playground to create speculative spaces of Pune.


The programme is led by Hélène Thébault, and the workshop was facilitated by Hugo Pilate and Salil Parekh. We'd like to especially thank Anokhi Shah and Praveen Singh for their valuable guidance and feedback during the workshop.

Lots of love to all those who took out time to attend the the final exhibition presentation and for their valuable feedback!


If you'd like to know more about the workshop, feel free to drop a mail at: h.thebault@lecolededesign.com