Artefacts from the Future

Learn how to evaluate technology and engage in future casting. Gain practical skills in idea generation, storytelling and critical thinking methods.

Workshop Dates: July 24 – 28, 2017

Keywords: futurecasting, concept generation, storytelling, visual design, user-centered design, scenario building

We live in a dramatic time. Technology is moving at an ever increasing pace and things we could only dream of are becoming real in a short timeframe.
In our lifetimes we’ve seen the mass adoption of the internet and smart phones. What will happen in the next 50 years? Autonomous drones, self-driving cars, robotic dogs, lab-grown meat are now real and in the process of being commercialized and adapted into our everyday life. What kind of impact will they have? What factors influence broad adoption of new technologies?
This course aims to help people to make sense of technologies and the impact of their maturation over time. We will give people practical skills to help them appropriately consider this future world. How do we look at these technologies and user needs in order to extrapolate the likely future and how can we learn from the past?

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – Alan Kay

A series of mini exercises will introduce students to future-casting and idea generation methods. We will then apply user-centric methods to help us evaluate ideas and understand how underlying human needs can help us predict the future.
The output of the workshop will result in a series of artefacts, which could come from the future. The creation of ‘concrete’ artefacts will help the students not only express intangible concepts but also force them to create distinct outputs when considering the cross-over of technology and user-experience.
Artefact examples include, but are not limited to: Magazine advertisements, posters, product packaging, shop receipts and photographs.

Learning expectations:

  • Develop an approach to presenting complicated ideas succinctly
  • Learn how to assess and critique design work that covers abstract concepts
  • Learn how to evaluate technology and engage in future casting
  • Learn practical idea generation and critical thinking methods
  • Understand the role of context and other factors as it pertains to developing design solutions

Basic skills in photography and Photoshop are required.

Kevin Cannon
Ulrik Hogrebe