Caroline Hummels
What will our world be like in 20, 30, or 40 years’ time? The creation of meaningful innovations requires an understanding of changing values and paradigms. By departing from the emerging present and creating a deep understanding of people’s values and how socio-cultural paradigms are developing, we might project towards things to come. But what will this future entail? Will we embrace a post-biological future; will we strive for immortality; will we move towards dignified living for all or living in harmony with nature? Design probes can support you to initiate a debate about values and paradigms and explore how products and services could help people to achieve their future goals and aspirations (. By exploring and discussing probable, plausible, possible and preferable futures through fictional yet preferably experiential probes, the designer can explore which underlying imaginaries and values resonate with a larger audience. These design probes are related to material speculations (Wakkary et al., 2016).
Designers are always anticipating the future through their design. When this leap becomes too big, it is hard to get an understanding of and feeling for probable, plausible, possible and preferable futures. Probing emerging futures offers ways to explore and research these potential futures.
Brand, R. (2019). Co-emerging futures: a model for reflecting on streams of future change. Eindhoven, the Netherlands: Philips Design.
Kolkman, F., Brand, R., Christiaansen, G., Lieshout, C., Arets, D., Lévy, P., Hummels, C. (2018). Probing Emerging Futures Post-human: Upload funeral. Eindhoven, the Netherlands: Philips Design.
Kolkman, F., Brand, R., Christiaansen, G., Lieshout, C., Arets, D., Lévy, P., Hummels, C. (2018). Probing Emerging Futures Trans-human: Eye for an eye. Eindhoven, the Netherlands: Philips Design.
Kolkman, F., Brand, R., Christiaansen, G., Lieshout, C., Arets, D., Lévy, P., Hummels, C. (2018). Probing Emerging Futures Steady-state: Multiparenthood. Eindhoven, the Netherlands: Philips Design.
Kolkman, F., Brand, R., Christiaansen, G., Lieshout, C., Arets, D., Lévy, P., Hummels, C. (2018). Probing Emerging Eco-centric: Biome games. Eindhoven, the Netherlands: Philips Design.
Wakkary, R. L., Odom, W. T., Hauser, S., Hertz, G., & Lin, H. (2016). Material speculation: actual artifacts for critical inquiry. In Proceedings of the 5th decennial Aarhus conference on critical alternatives (pp. 97-108). Aarhus Series on Human Centered Computing; Vol. 1, No. 1. Aarhus: Aarhus University