Monthly Archives: December 2007

Democratizing Design and the Future

‘The future will be less about predicting it and more about collaborative designing it’ Democratizing The Future, Josephine Green, Philips

In the Foresight group we spend a lot of time thinking about future trends, or which trends will be influencing our future contexts. However, there is something to be said about looking back and taking stock of what came 5000 years ago and not just five minutes ago.

At the Building Center in London, Leszek Dobrovolsky, of Arup Interchange, Transport Architecture and Planning, gave a talk on imagining the bridge between reality and the imagined future. He described how the design of interchanges could have a significant impact on a city and the immediate community surrounding the transport node. The erection of a transportation hub in a place with no former access could lead to better economic prospects for its people.

He also encouraged us to think beyond our familiar Western cultural considerations; to try to think about the fact that design will increasingly have to address growing populations in developing regions of the world (a fact our latest DoC research has made reference to a few times) Regions, which might aspire to reach the heights of a Paris, London and New York, may be better off studying the progress made by the likes of other developing countries and cities like Bogotá which have been very successful in their implementation of extremely functional and less expensive bus systems.

Of late the word ‘design’ has saturated a range of glossy magazines, but what became evident in Leszek’s talk, is that the future of design has to be grounded in solving real problems such as access to jobs. A large proportion of the global population’s economic and social development is resting on this future to become true.

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