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.
The work for this week, as I mentioned last week, was to hold a co-design workshop with 3 to 6 people. When we were introduced to the prompt for these workshops, just two weeks ago [crazy, right?], it was in the context of futuring. For the uninitiated, futuring is a design methodology out of speculative design, a design practice whose medium is concepts and speculation, in the same way that wood, metal, plastic, and physical materials are the media of product design.