Shaping signals: Preparing for the future through speculative design

Design synthesis today can take many routes. Often we ideate through divergence into wild ideas, sometimes bordering on the fringe of the impossible then we converge on reality to devise a feasible and desirable product. Speculative Design is an approach that operate within Design Thinking that can be used as tools to surface and address social, cultural, and ethical issues. While it’s been labeled alarmist and sensational, it enables versatile thinking and serves as a useful platform for discovery, conversation, and awareness that can help fuel different perspectives of the future…alternate futures, potential futures, some desirable…some not. It’s up to us to use these methods and inspiration to craft the right future built with imagination, ethics, and responsibility.

This talk will walk through selected projects that play in the realm of Speculative Design and the case for why it should be used to understand different challenges the future may hold. Dancing between dystopic futures that address famine to more light-hearted Design Fiction that show the future of education and communication, I will make a case for why this approach can be practical in a business environment and not just art for schools and museums and it's importance in teaching designers to free their creative compass and strengthen their innovation prowess.

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