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.