The Future is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed.
How do we design for the future? How might we design in the future? How can designers recognize the truth of Gibson’s bon mot and build from those places where the future is already present?
This video from The Economist examines several “future-rich” emerging technologies with challenging implications for any vision of 2020:
And here is an overview of how computers and learning technologies have raised design to a bold ubiquity unprecedented in human affairs:
The end of design, of course, is making: bringing the ideas, values, and goals of the designers into a physical realization. New work in material sciences and in fabrication itself will yield new opportunities for customized, innovative additions to material culture, including detailed and faithful fabrications of scarce, beautiful objects from the past:
Just as nobody could have predicted the impact of the steam engine in 1750—or the printing press in 1450, or the transistor in 1950—it is impossible to foresee the long-term impact of 3D printing. But the technology is coming, and it is likely to disrupt every field it touches. Companies, regulators and entrepreneurs should start thinking about it now. One thing, at least, seems clear: although 3D printing will create winners and losers in the short term, in the long run it will expand the realm of industry—and imagination.
“Print Me A Stradivarius: How A New Manufacturing Technology Will Change The World,” The Economist, February 10, 2011.