From Alex Soojung-Kim Pang recent blogessay “thoughts on design + futures”, he discusses the importance of design in discussing futures, this validates exactly how i see design is a tool to debate, discuss, create and influence what happens next through very visually inspiring and disturbing means. Design has always been about planning the next step and making it tangible and design research is constantly evolving in response to exploring ways we understand, visualise, prepare and react to possible, plausible and probable futures. Depending on the design tools that have been learnt (eg. MA Design Interactions, RCA), a designer can create parallel scenarios/worlds/futures/mental models and depending on how empathetic they are to imagining peoples actions/reactions they can then imagine the implications of new services, systems, products and platforms within these future worlds. Depending on the design approach, it is fundamental to how we make decisions as a collective or help facilitate decision making to provoke the darkest and the lightest of approaches to our futures.
“To create a futures appropriate for the 21st century and its challenges, we futurists don’t have to become designers, any more than we have to be printers or graphic artists today. But we do need to learn some of the tools of design, learn from designers how to study people’s interactions with technologies, and pay attention to how people create mental models and imaginary worlds through things. In exchange, we can contribute to the design of things that make the world and the future more comprehensible, and better.” Alex Soojung-Kim Pang