Researching the future by design

Authored by: Martyn Evans

The Routledge Companion to Design Research

Print publication date:  October  2014
Online publication date:  October  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415706070
eBook ISBN: 9781315758466
Adobe ISBN: 9781317636250

10.4324/9781315758466.ch15

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Abstract

Predicting the future is important to design. Designers are often charged with synthesising information from the past and present to create visions of the future that are not only required but desired by consumers. This means that researching the future is increasingly important to designers as socio-cultural change, often driven by technological advance, requires an intelligent understanding of what possibilities the future may offer. To ensure products are developed that meet the needs of consumers in the future, there is a need for a useful understanding of what the future holds if we are going to meaningfully prepare for it. Placing designers unprepared into this context of rapid change and increasing possibilities without appropriate research tools is likely to be problematic. What design is lacking is a structured method for conducting research that informs future-oriented design projects.

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