Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Designing a future

When have you been part of designing a future?

We can't sit down together and design the past. It's spoken for. Our opportunity lies before us.

We could leave the future to analysts or dreamers.

We could leave it to haphazard use of tools like brainstorming or kinesthetic modelling or sketchboarding. (All useful tools, by the way.)

Or we could engage it as a design exercise ... we engage it as designers. We rise to the task of looking at and speaking to the future through the disciplined use of the tools of design.

When designers become slaves to their tools, we're in trouble.

When we end up in a storm of wonderful creative activity, but lack the discipline to harness it, sort it, test it, change it, use it, we run the very real risk of ending up disillusioned and even cynical.

But the future is too pregnant with possibility to give up on. Designers need hope. We need to know that out of the chaos can come order.

Occasionally, it happens serendipitously. For the most part it reflects intent and discipline. (And probably spends a fair measure of its time 'tacking' back-and-forward across those trajectories, constantly shifting and correcting, working with the wind and flow, working the tools.)

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