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The futures we make

Design With
The futures we make
By Tyler Gindraux • Issue #21 • View online
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Text: The futures we make
Text: The futures we make
This year has brought new meaning to what it means to think, worry, predict, and imagine the future. Whether we call ourselves ‘futurists’ or ‘designers’ or something entirely different, thinking about the future is a universal practice.
In Donna Goodman’s A History of the Future, she positions future thinking as being grounded in the ‘now’ and, ultimately, looks to avoid a potential future. I agree with Donna, that so much of thinking of the future is actually about sitting in and evaluating the present. But, I do also wonder if there’s more to futuring than avoiding a potential future.
There’s a need for imagination, isn’t there? Ytasha L. Womack, writer of Afrofuturism, defines Afrofuturism as, “an intersection of imagination, technology, the future and liberation.” The Afrofuturist movement uses science fiction as, “a way of imaging possible futures through a Black cultural lens,” to quote Ingrid LaFleur.
This is also something we see in speculative design, such as the work of Dunne and Raby, who constantly push the boundaries of what it means to design futures, or as they’re now calling them, new realities.
As people who practice participatory principles, in our work or in our lives, it feels an obvious next step to consider the ways we do this, collectively, and how that might impact what futures we create.
Text: "You don't need to call yourself a futurist in order for the future to be an important part of your work." Maya Kuzmanovic
Text: "You don't need to call yourself a futurist in order for the future to be an important part of your work." Maya Kuzmanovic
Thanks
Before you go… Kristen Jeffers has created a survey in order to “build a body of data to measure how Black Queer Feminist folx can thrive in spaces in general and as urbanists.” If you’re a Black womxn-identified person in the US, you can fill out the survey here. Kristen has let me know that if you sign up to her newsletter, The Black Urbanist, you can expect to hear more about her findings soon!
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Tyler Gindraux

This monthly newsletter is curated by Tyler Gindraux, a researcher and service designer based in London.

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