30 June 2007

The vision deficit

Be the first to share

StonesThe shape of things to come has never been so inadequately imagined. Peter Lunenfeld suggests that designers can overcome the vision deficit by taking on the future as a client, in an article published on Adobe Design Center’s Think Tank, a series of in-depth articles that examines the sometimes tense but always intimate relationship between design and technology.

“In a global economy, when the nationalist impulse is either outmoded or suspect, I propose a new mode of design education, one that can in fact be carried over into designers’ professionals practices. Why not posit the future itself as one of the designer’s chief clients? More than that, why not pick a better future as that client?

Let’s think of the future as either a pro-bono client or a partner in an entrepreneurial enterprise. Both of these strategies take payment, or even profit, off the table at least for the time being. Taking the future as a client also gives the designer a certain space to breathe. The future is one client that can legitimately claim the right to all of the designer’s time and creativity.

All well and good you might say, but how can we adopt the future as a client, what methods are available to us? One that I have been exploring is scenario planning, or, as I’ll explain later, the development of bespoke futures. […]

I’m interested in taking this corporate scenario planning and subverting its methodologies, audiences, and outcomes, creating what I call bespoke future.”

A professor in the graduate Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design, Peter Lunenfeld writes about design, art, film, and the broader culture in an era of computational ubiquity, studies that fall under the emerging rubric of Digital Humanities. His books include The Digital Dialectic, Snap to Grid, and USER: InfoTechnoDemo. His forthcoming book is The War Between Downloading and Uploading: How the Computer Became Our Culture Machine. He is the editorial director of the award-winning Mediawork series for the MIT Press.

Read full story

Be the first to share
2 July 2015
Interview with HTC’s head designer on experience design
Drew Bamford is the person responsible for making the ITC's experience design – how the company's devices feel and work like 'HTC phones' rather than just another Android handset. HTC's head designer's purvue is focused on …
13 June 2015
Examining the proliferation of magical narratives in technology
There has been a lot of talk about magic lately in critical, cultural and technological spaces; what it does, who it is for, and who are the ones to control or enact it. As a …
9 June 2015
Alice Rawsthorn on the pros and cons of new digital interface design
Alice Rawsthorn asks why the aesthetics of something so pervasive [as digital user interfaces], the design of which is deeply sophisticated in other respects, are often underwhelming. Developing a definitive design aesthetic as Braun once did …
1 June 2015
Exploring the ‘next nature’ that people and technology are creating
The Next Nature website sets out to radically shift our notion of nature: Our image of nature as static, balanced and harmonic is naive and up for reconsideration. Where technology and nature are traditionally seen as …
17 May 2015
We are ignoring the new machine age at our peril
In 2009, W Brian Arthur published a remarkable book, The Nature of Technology, in which he formulated a coherent theory of what technology is, how it evolves and how it spurs innovation and industry. Technology, …
17 May 2015
Policy paper: Making Good our Future
Making Good our Future: Exploring the New Boundaries of Open & Social Innovation in Manufacturing Policy Paper prepared for the European Commission May 2015, 49 pages As part of the Social Innovation Europe initiative, the European Commission has …
5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster
Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to …
30 April 2015
Human+Machine Futures forecast map
This year, the research focus of the Institute for the Future (IFTF) is on Human+Machine Futures, the blurring lines between human and machine, natural and artificial. What happens when technology allows us to automate just …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

See all articles