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Design Products (MA)

Design Futures


Tutors: Alex Williams, Jo Barnard

The capacity to imagine the future is crucial to any society; it is not about looking forward, but understanding ourselves and our place in history. Events over the last few years have dramatically shown us how volatile our present is — an increasingly unstable world makes the ability to imagine the future even more relevant. In Design Futures (DF) we imagine, build, critique and deliver possible futures. We deconstruct the past and break down the present to build worlds, objects and entities waiting to come into existence. Design Futures encourages wild speculation balanced by rigorous research, and embraces both wonder and terror.

In 2022/2023 Design Futures explores the notion of the post-human to imagine the future from alternative perspectives and challenge what it means to be human. In identifying the world we will sit within, our intention is not to predict the future, but unsettle the present.

Underpinning our work this year is an exploration of the way design can respond and address conditions of transition, instability, opportunity and precarity.

Themes explored this year include: the future of the image, emotional attachments to automata, information privacy, the role of AI in redressing inequality, climate migration, eugenics, reversing the erosion of biodiversity, and plant intelligence.