By Salvatore Tropiano
In this subject we are encouraged to postulate on a future that has the potential to form into extreme case scenarios. At the furthest ends of the spectrum of possible futures lie either a utopian or a dystopian future. It is when these parameters are pushed to their limit that the hypothetical future society runs into much more exciting challenges for designers to tackle.
Of course it should be said that future thinkers don’t just pull these scenarios out of the air without any reference. The process of futuring involves consulting areas of big data, lengthy (but often shocking and scary as with world population) statistics, as well as futuring methods such as backcasting.
The wild and wacky futures that futurists develop allow for all sorts of possibilities. Advancements in material science could lead to civil structures and architecture taking on forms that are considered impossible and unthinkable by present day thought. The development of carbon nanotubes (CNT’s) can pave the way in the electrical, mechanical, and structural sectors due to the material’s free flowing electron current and the extremely strong atomic bonds.
While radical futures are an exciting prospect for the designer, some may argue that life may just go on as normal. There will always be the vices that turns brother against sister, left against right, and nation against nation. So unless in your future scenario all thought and consciousness is controlled by moral algorithms based on a consensus of what’s right and wrong, then there will always be the flawed minds of the selfish sex-crazed monkey spawn (aka, human beings) that just wants all the bananas for his/herself.
..The Beat Goes On is the first track of the 1967 record In Case You’re In Love by Sonny and Cher. The lyrics of this song looks at love as well as other aspects of modern society; such as fast cars, electric scoreboards at baseball games, homelessness, and war. The future that The Beat Goes On presents is one that does not deviate into the impossible, and is more aligned with a realist or even a pessimist. “Little girls still break their hearts, uh huh / and men still keep marching off to war”. The fact that these things “still” occur point toward questions of why do these things still occur? Why do nations such as the US splurge billions on their military year after year if the most profound result of such conflicts is mass bloodshed and the ptsd’s that ex service personnel suffer?
The future is a whirlwind of possibility, potential, and the wild and wacky. Designers and other planners use futuring tools to speculate on a future that contains the most diverse, complex, and exciting problems and solutions. Yet we must remember that a society will alway be made up of people; the good, bad, and ugly. People aren’t perfect, and there will always be the challenges of knowing the difference between good and evil, right and easy.
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Google play music, 2016, Google play music, viewed 6 September 2016, <https://play.google.com/music/preview/T47ethbcecqumvur4dgdjpg2ks4?lyrics=1&utm_source=google&utm_medium=search&utm_campaign=lyrics&pcampaignid=kp-lyrics> .
Eder, B. 2016, In case you’re in love, Allmusic, viewed 6 September 2016, <http://www.allmusic.com/album/in-case-youre-in-love-mw0000030930> .
Dinah, W. 2016, Trends in US Military Spending, Council on foreign relations, viewed 6 September 2016, <http://www.cfr.org/defense-budget/trends-us-military-spending/p28855> .