Designing Futures with Care: Finding Our Way to Different Worlds Together

Tue, May 14, 2019

We wrote a collaborative major research project for our MDes in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCAD University.

Designing Futures with Care: Finding Our Way to Different Worlds Together

Abstract

Current converging social, economic, and environmental crises offer an opportunity for a “great transition.” Transition is the project of intentionally directing change toward desired futures. While designing for transition has been explored in theory, the question of how one incorporates the ongoing, complex, and values-based nature of transition into design practices remains largely unaddressed. This research explores how we might orient our own design practice around transition. We establish principles-based designing as a process for intentionally, effectively, and critically working toward a desired future. We demonstrate and evaluate this process during a design engagement for a sustainability-oriented innovation centre in the Northwest Territories. We find that effectively using principles-based designing for transition requires using principles as more than static guidelines. We reframe principles-based design as a way to encourage ongoing critical reflection of one’s design practice and its role in shaping emerging futures.

Read it online here.

year
2019