The “futures field” is very broad, and goes by a variety of different names: “futures research”, “futures studies”, sometimes “futures analysis”, “futurism”, “futuristics”, or even “futurology”. The terms “futurism” and (ugh!) “futurology” are particularly archaic, and today have rather negative connotations of, respectively sloppy or very superficial work, or of excessively empiricist and overly-prediction-oriented work; they are actively discouraged by those who work seriously in the field. (···)

Futures (or foresight) work is not, contrary to popular misconception, about prediction or crystalball gazing and trying to guess what “the future” will be. Serious futurists are not in the business of prediction.

A Primer on Futures Studies, Foresight and the Use of Scenarios, Dr. Joseph Voros,

This paper presents a design case study of a summer school that brought together a multidisciplinary group of early-career professionals to explore ideas relating to new technologies in an urban context.


City | Data | Future is the name of the exhibition that took place after the UrbanIxD Summer School

City | Data | Future @ Telecom Italia Future Centre, Venice from Urban IxD on Vimeo.



All Possible Futures explores speculative work created by contemporary graphic designers. It encompasses everything from self-generated provocations to experimental work created “in parallel” with client-based projects to unique practices where commissions have been tackled with a high level of autonomy and critical investigation. The work highlights different levels of visibility and public-ness within the graphic design process. Some projects were made for clients and exist in a “real world” context, while others might otherwise have gone unnoticed: failed proposals, experiments, sketches, incomplete thoughts.


(···) We would like to open up a discussion about how we can think and teach critical design. We would like to think about the designer as worker and workers as self-organizing creative designers. We would like to critically interrogate the aesthetics of obfuscation that surrounds mainstream design. Finally, Critical Design/Critical Futures would like to consider how critical design, design activism and design lead social innovation might productively open up new horizons for speculative futures.



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