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Using Futures Design

The three projects you are about to explore are built on the Futures Design methodology developed by strategic foresight and design studio Bespoke.

It’s a methodology designed to empower people to design with and for the future.

Futures Design is not a crystal ball or a recipe to predict the future. It is rather a compass to help us navigate landscapes that are constantly changing. A fuel for creative thinking and doing.

In essence a Futures Design process rolls out in four phases:

Situate, Search, Sense and Scale.

See the projects

01

Situate

Defining our subject of exploration

02

Search

Exploring, collecting and harvesting emerging signals of change

03

Sense

Integrate signals, look for patterns and articulate insights

04

Scale

Imagine, designing and sharing and actualizing scenarios for the future

FUTURES
DESIGN
PROCESS

FUTURES
DESIGN
PROCESS

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About Sharing Futures

Sharing Futures is a collaboration between Designmuseum Denmark, Bespoke and The Royal Danish Academy. The project is funded by Statens Kunstfond.

During winter and spring in 2021, graduate students from Graphic Communication Design at The Royal Danish Academy, have used Bespoke’s Futures Design methodology as a backbone for their graduation projects.

Design Museum Denmark and Bespoke have hosted a line of workshops and sparring sessions, where the students have worked with tools and models from Futures Design.

The process is gathered and showcased in this online exhibition.

The museum would like to thank

Statens Kunstfond
The students from the Academy
Ida Engholm, Professor at The Royal Danish Academy
Danish Design Centre DDC
Pil Bredahl, Designer
Abelone Warming, Design denmark

The Graduate Students have the sole and exclusive rights and responsibility for the content in their graduation projects.

Contact info

Anders Eske Laurberg Hansen
Curator, Designmuseum Danmark
alh@designmuseum.dk

Nikolina Olsen-Rule
Head of communications, Designmuseum Danmark
nor@designmuseum.dk

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What is Futures Design?

The future is not a distant, foreign place out of our reach. It is fundamentally defined by our dreams and actions in the present. It is tangible, moldable and open to be designed.

Futures Design is a methodology developed by Strategic Foresight and Design Studio Bespoke. It brings together mindsets and tools from the design world and from strategic foresight in order to identify, harvest and analyse emerging signals of change in the environment, and use that knowledge and new awareness to form speculative scenarios and possible visions of what could be possible in the future.

Daring to imagine a future scenario is, in essence, a declaration of intentions of what is desirable for us, our societies and for the planet. By doing that, we are opening up to alternative realities that don’t exist yet, to a space of exploration that wouldn’t be accessible otherwise, helping us set a collective direction forward. 

Futures Design is not a crystal ball or a recipe to predict the future. It is rather a compass to help us navigate uncertain landscapes that are constantly changing, a fuel for creative thinking and doing, and a powerful tool to intentionally shape the systems, the culture and the world around us for the better. 

Method

The Bespoke Futures Design Framework presents four phases that allow us to expand the design process into a future facing direction. The phases are: situate, search, sense and scale.

Situate

We understand the future and the past through the present, therefore, we need to be aware of the biases and assumptions we hold before embarking on an exploratory journey. 

Situating is understanding the here and now, formulating open research questions and hypotheses that can help us drive our exploration, define the subject(s) that we wish to learn more from and align our team around the practicalities and frames that will guide our journey.

Search

Glimpses of what the future could look like are already here in the form of emergent signals of change in the environments around us. These signals could be new technologies, behavioral changes, emerging cultures and sociopolitical forces, shaping our world today.

The search phase invites us to scan for these signals in their emerging state, and reflect on the potential that may reside within them.

Sense

Making sense of the collection of signals from the search phase is the foundation for designing futures that are rooted in observations and patterns of the present.

Sensing is about mapping and integrating signals with one another and revealing new connections, synergies and relationships that can help us unveil potential for the future.

What emerges are insights, new ideas or a sense of awareness about the relationships between things and the potential that may exist as a result. 

Scale

Scaling is about bringing the future to life by entering an imaginative space where cognition meets the physical world in a creative and speculative manner. The scale phase invites us to use our insights from the previous phases as a foundation to imagine, share and design new scenarios for the future. This is the time to design actions, speculative products or services, conversations and experiences that engage others in exploring a possible, alternative reality.

Project title
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Project

Nature Room

Scenario year
2030
SCENARIO THEMES
Lockdown
Mental Health
Nature
136 SIGNALS
4 insights
Designer(s)
Yuna Hong

& Shu-Yi Huang

With ‘Nature Room’ ShuYi and Yuna explore how the healing factor of nature can contribute positively to well-being and mental health in situations, where we are isolated for longer periods of time, for instance during future lockdowns. With the proposal that artificial nature can be utilized as a therapeutic source, they have designed various digital versions of nature scenarios that can be brought into domestic spaces. They have imagined and designed a prototype for a 4D-projector that is able to project visuals, sounds and even smells from nature.

Explore
Project

Decolonizing Museums

Scenario year
2033
SCENARIO THEMES
History,
Decolonization,
Activism
49 SIGNALS
10 insights
Designer(s)
Rotem Cohen-Soaye

What could future museums look like if they are turned into inclusive spaces that compensate for their colonialist past? In ‘Decolonizing Museums – the Museum as a Crime Scene in 2033’, Rotem explores a future scenario in which a museum has undergone a process of decolonization. The museum space and exhibitions have been reimagining, alongside, traditional museum media, such as maps, posters, catalogues and brochures. 

Explore
Project

Remote Futures

Scenario year
2030
SCENARIO THEMES
Remote work
51 SIGNALS
8 insights
Designer(s)
Elena Bauer
& Lunia D'Ambrosio

In their project ‘Remote Futures’, Lunia and Elena explore how we will work in 2030, if the trend of working remotely will become more and more common. In order to make future scenarios about work culture more tangible and imaginable, they have created four narratives in which personas from 2030 give an account of their work life. The narratives are visually accompanied by speculative artefacts of the future, that connect to the personas’ life and show us how anything from furniture to technology will develop according to our changing work-life needs.

Explore

Nature Room

Scenario year
2030
SCENARIO THEMES
Lockdown Mental Health Nature
Designer(s)
Yuna Hong

& Shu-Yi Huang
Based on 136 signals and 4 insights
Nature Room
Research Question

How can we contribute to preventing people from getting mental issues during a lockdown in the future from a design perspective?

Project description

With ‘Nature Room’ ShuYi and Yuna explore how the healing factor of nature can contribute positively to well-being and mental health in situations, where we are isolated for longer periods of time, for instance during future lockdowns. With the proposal that artificial nature can be utilized as a therapeutic source, they have designed various digital versions of nature scenarios that can be brought into domestic spaces. They have imagined and designed a prototype for a 4D-projector that is able to project visuals, sounds and even smells from nature.

The research of Nature Room
is based on a total of 4 insights.
Here you can explore a selection.

Explore Yuna & Shu-Yi's creative process →
Nature Room

With ‘Nature Room’ ShuYi and Yuna explore how the healing factor of nature can contribute positively to well-being and mental health in situations, where we are isolated for longer periods of time, for instance during future lockdowns. With the proposal that artificial nature can be utilized as a therapeutic source, they have designed various digital versions of nature scenarios that can be brought into domestic spaces. They have imagined and designed a prototype for a 4D-projector that is able to project visuals, sounds and even smells from nature.

The Futures Design methodology is different from how we normally work. We were surprised to find that there were more diverse and interesting paths we could go down than we had thought. It helped us structure, organise and build our scenario and concept, while speculating about the future.

Decolonizing Museums

Scenario year
2033
SCENARIO THEMES
History, Decolonization, Activism
Designer(s)
Rotem Cohen-Soaye
Based on 49 signals and 10 insights
Decolonizing Museums
Research Question

How can museums be turned into inclusive spaces that compensate for their colonialist past? What will a museum experience look like in the future museum and how can new narratives be created?

Project description

What could future museums look like if they are turned into inclusive spaces that compensate for their colonialist past? In ‘Decolonizing Museums – the Museum as a Crime Scene in 2033’, Rotem explores a future scenario in which a museum has undergone a process of decolonization. The museum space and exhibitions have been reimagining, alongside, traditional museum media, such as maps, posters, catalogues and brochures. 

The research of Decolonizing Museums
is based on a total of 10 insights.
Here you can explore a selection.

Explore Rotem's creative process →
Decolonizing Museums

What could future museums look like if they are turned into inclusive spaces that compensate for their colonialist past? In ‘Decolonizing Museums – the Museum as a Crime Scene in 2033’, Rotem explores a future scenario in which a museum has undergone a process of decolonization. The museum space and exhibitions have been reimagining, alongside, traditional museum media, such as maps, posters, catalogues and brochures. 

The Search phase felt like detective work: constant search for clues, fragments of information, surrounded by lots of sources and information. It’s a bit like trying to find needles in a haystack and produce priorities and hierarchy.

Remote Futures

Scenario year
2030
SCENARIO THEMES
Remote work
Designer(s)
Elena Bauer
& Lunia D'Ambrosio
Based on 51 signals and 8 insights
Remote Futures
Research Question

How might we spark reflection on the future of remote work by creating multiple future scenarios?

Project description

In their project ‘Remote Futures’, Lunia and Elena explore how we will work in 2030, if the trend of working remotely will become more and more common. In order to make future scenarios about work culture more tangible and imaginable, they have created four narratives in which personas from 2030 give an account of their work life. The narratives are visually accompanied by speculative artefacts of the future, that connect to the personas’ life and show us how anything from furniture to technology will develop according to our changing work-life needs.

The research of Remote Futures
is based on a total of 8 insights.
Here you can explore a selection.

Explore Elena & Lunia's creative process →
Remote Futures

In their project ‘Remote Futures’, Lunia and Elena explore how we will work in 2030, if the trend of working remotely will become more and more common. In order to make future scenarios about work culture more tangible and imaginable, they have created four narratives in which personas from 2030 give an account of their work life. The narratives are visually accompanied by speculative artefacts of the future, that connect to the personas’ life and show us how anything from furniture to technology will develop according to our changing work-life needs.

It was surprising to see the future scenarios emerge from the research. In the beginning it felt out of reach, but suddenly comes a point where you feel more comfortable about imagining the future