Futuring scenarios without the accompanying product or model misses the point. The idea behind futuring isn't merely to craft stories - there are enough astounding writers in the world, particularly those who write science fiction, who craft entire worlds out of words without needing to add futuring designers to the mix. It is the product that makes the futuring exercise real. It takes the otherwise fictional scenario and lends it a realness, a tangibility that has to be taken seriously. The product separates futuring from fiction. The reason that design is so well poised for the task of confronting people with visions of possible futures that scare and shock us into contemplation and eventually action is because design, whether it is graphic, product or anything in between, outputs real objects and things used in everyday contexts, and so, designers have the power of making anything look real.
Take my product for this most recent futuring exercise. Per the requirements of the course assignment, we were to develop a product model and accompanying sketches for one of the scenarios that we created. I personally chose to create my model for the dystopian scenario that I crafted - for the reasons elucidated earlier about how there exist more parallels between the modern world and my dystopian scenario than do between the modern world and my utopian one. And so I created a grappling hook.
I reasoned that if the poor are truly disenfranchised, and are excluded from entire sections of the city because of their lack of biomodifications, it would only be a matter of time before they began salvaging parts together to counteract this inequity. As the story hinted, a revolution would form, a movement to take back parts of the city. I designed one of the tools necessary to cross the physical boundaries of the world of the wealthy.