Create a Preferred Future,
NOT just a possible or probable one
What is this about?
Unlike pure future and foresight methodology which is concerned with speculative ideas and concepts, design futures allows you to materialize the speculative. The designer’s capacity to envision and interpret social, cultural, technological, and economic futures is central to the success of a design led futures approach. As a design futurist, your task is to invent, discover and communicate ways to advance the collective sense making of the about what to do next.
Why does this matter?
Human centred design approaches such as design thinking create efficient, fast and desirable experiences for users of products and services. But in doing so, it ignores the significant role it should play in acting as a change agent and an ‘early warning system’ that is truly centered on human values and the mattering of people instead of, as it does today, greatly contribute to the current woes of a consumerist society by crafting experiences that just help sell products and services.
A leading Australia public servant in the health sector was asked on her last day of work, what advice would she give those just beginning. She replied: “Always do (design) futures thinking first.” There are three reasons for her answer:
First, futures thinking broadens how we see reality, we think in terms of alternatives, in terms of possibilities.
Second, futures thinking goes deeper and asks what are the systemic reasons, the worldviews and narratives that reinforce the problem, and what new narratives need to be created so preferred solutions are possible.
Third, futures thinking focuses not on the electoral cycle but on futures generations, the world fifteen to thirty years forward. It asks to see today from the viewpoint of the desired future, the vision of what is possible.
Harvard Business Review (March 2018) reports that digital transformation efforts at many companies including GE, Lego, Nike, P&G, Sears, Ford failed. As a CEO it can be tempting to think about the early phases of radical technological change as a chance to dominate a new market rather than learning about the market. Investing ahead of the curve makes sense when we know what the curve is. But with digital transformation there’s a lot of exploration and understanding to accomplish before the curve starts to take shape .
Design futures is really a product of war and peace. Systems thinking, operations research from the technocratic war effort creates possible future, probable future, whereas post-war peace building approaches can lead to a preferred future.
Two important questions we are interested in are:
What are the ways, through which contemporary Indians encounter, engage and solve everyday problems?
How to embrace and leverage these understanding in envisioning and conceptualizing novel, innovative preferred solutions that become an integral part of the everyday fabric of the future societies?
The vision of near future can be biased by the incremental changes that societies are seeing in technology, design, business models, culture, and user behavior.
Current issues might be non existent and future societies will be facing entirely new challenges from the radical changes in their context.
To avoid these biases, this landscape research applied Design Futures methods and framework.
Future of Small Retail
Partner with us
The power of this can increase multifold if we can form consortiums of like minded partners in a non-compete environment. We would like to involve partners from diverse but complementary verticals, academia, and industry experts to create a multidisciplinary extended team to further the knowledge and collective insights. IfDE Design Futures initiatives would also augment the program through strategic involvement of interaction designers, artists, sociologists, as well as technology experts. We welcome you to participate in the current initiative and / or start new initiatives.