So what is futures design?


Futures Design is described as an research methodology which critiques social, cultural and ethical implications of emerging technologies and trends. Futures Design is not focused on problem solving or communication.

Futures Design aims to create speculative, and often provocative, scenarios narrated through designed artefacts.

How can Futures Design aid AI ethics?


Futures Design combines informed, hypothetical extrapolations of an emerging technology’s development with a deep consideration of the cultural landscape into which it might be deployed, to speculate on future products, systems and services.

In regards to Artificial intelligence, tonnes of research and discussions so far have focused on the technology itself. It is important that we must examine and encourage dialogue on the ethical impact Artificial Intelligence may have on our everyday lives.

The goal of our research project is to facilitate a more democratic and considered approach to technological development. The familiar and engaging nature of the designed output is intended to facilitate discourse with a broad audience: from experts in the field such as scientists, engineers and designers to the consumers and users of technological products and systems.

We want to evolve Futures Design from a discipline which is mostly employed by university programmes, R&D departments, or the occasional agency project where a company wants to envision the future to one which becomes an integrated practice in design and business strategy.

So is this a workshop or workshops?


This is a work in progress. Find out more about a day in our workshop, in our blog we have written.

We believe that Futures Design can facilitate ways to look forward. It can prepare us for these challenges and allow us to question how we might influence a better future with Artificial intelligence.

Our workshop will take the deep intellectual school of thought concerning futures design and turning that into something which is digestible in a short period of time. We will be exploring products, services, scenarios involving Artificial Intelligence to address challenges and opportunities of the future. We will be looking 5-10+ years forward and speculating on how things could be; what future we want to create or not based on these scenarios.

Working with both practice and theory, the workshop will establish the major principles of future design, inviting our research partners into a dialogue about the nuances and potential applications of it. Throughout the workshop, we will learn by quickly prototyping and demonstrating complex design and technological concepts through the use of design fictions and diegetic prototypes.

What are the topics covered?


  • An overview of future design, definitions, key concepts and practitioners
  • Overview and discussion of key themes in future thinking – what are the ethical implications of A.I and how can we anticipate that
  • Research techniques and methods for Future Design
  • Horizon scanning, foresight and methods and tools for future thinking
  • Rapid prototyping and conceptualising for Speculative futures

Learning Outcomes?


  • Have a concrete and critical understanding of futures design, its methods, key practices and central principles.
  • Be able to conduct future-facing design research and ideation
  • Be able to begin discussions around scenario planning and strategic foresight in regards to Artificial Intelligence.
  • To be more of a ethical doer.

We are looking for research partners (organisations, researchers etc) who would love to explore the field of design fiction and A.I ethics.

We would love to speak to you.


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