As a follow-up to the speculative product assignment, we were tasked with creating a newspaper of the future, to fully flesh out the sociopolitical context of the worlds that we were imagining through the articles found on the front page of the newspaper. Opposite the front page is always a full page ad, giving us an opportunity to create an advertisement related to the product that we created. At first, I struggled with this assignment, realizing that the idea of a newspaper in the year 2075 was surely a conceit - in a world with bionic implants and devastating environmental damage from global warming, what place would there be for printed newspapers?
Design thinking is in vogue, being used in more contexts than ever, with periodicals constantly heralding this epoch in business as the age of design, and championing job titles such as Chief Design Executive. While this certainly makes now an interesting and exciting time to be a design student, it also incorrectly suggests that design thinking is the only methodology with which to approach product design. Sometimes, though, it's just as important to identify where society ought to be in the future as it is to identify where it is now. For those cases, futuring is a useful tool and design methodology.