Say hello to the Global design Future

Design is future oriented

Yuneui (Yunnie) Choi
3 min readApr 7, 2018

‘Global design futures’ class is definitely changed my design life. Before this class, I was just thinking about the current situation not the futures. Our world is changing so fast and every day new technologies comes out. Tomorrow, we will see another futures.

It’s time to consider the future and this is why our course has ‘innovation’ in its name. Therefore, I will describe my understanding, thought and opinion about design future on my blog.

The Future Cone. Source: Joseph Voros, „A Generic Foresight Process Framework”, 2003

‘Futures are now everywhere. Thinking and anticipating the future are essential for almost all organizations and societies. Futures are on most contemporary agendas — many hold the future to be a better guide to what to do in the present than what happened in the past. […] Yet at the same time futures are unpredictable, uncertain and often unknowable, the outcome of many known and especially ‘unknown unknowns’. (Urry 2016, p.1)

‘Innovation starts with a story about the future. Imagining and sharing desires and fears about the futures is a way for all of us to shape it.’ –Bland & Westlake (2013)

‘We have lost sight of the future… creating increasingly feeble, myopic, degenerate frameworks that are more likely to react to yesterday’s events than to prepare the way from here to the future.’ — A. Isserman (1986)

‘The future” cannot be “predicted”, but “preferred futures” can and should be envisioned, invented, implemented, continuously evaluated, revised, and re-envisioned.’ — Jim Dator

“The future” cannot be “predicted” because “the future” does not exist. — Jim Dator

Future thinking is about imaginable futures. — Alstyne 2010, Bell 2009

Alternative (preferred) futures / Critical thinking > evidence / Creative thinking > reframe problems — Ojasalo, Koskelo & Nousiainen 2015, p.119

“A clear vision of a particular future goes a long way in motivating the changes that will bring that future to life” — Bland & Westlake (2013)

I sort out some quotes from slides provided by the professor. When I read this quotes about the future, I can understand the core of design future more easily. In my opinion, the future starts to reframe the current problems and develop by imagination based on the evidence with verifying constantly. Also, futures outcomes can be influenced by our action or inaction today.

When we read this step of future studies, it might be more clear.

Future studies

  1. What has happened (from past to present) Analysis Trends, Drivers, Disruptions
  2. What might happen (futures) Anticipation scenarios, Models
  3. What we might need to do (from futures to present) Choice Vision
  4. What will we do and how (present) Decision Action

“Canaries in the mind”

Our work is design canaries which mean alternative future. It will help test where our assumptions about the future and prevent risks.

Lastly, this sentence that my professor said during the lecture was a definite answer about What does the service designer do?

“As a service designer, we design the system.”



Yuneui (Yunnie) Choi

I’m a service experience designer who loves innovative technology, human-centred goodness and collaborative work. Currently based in Seoul, South Korea.