Futurology would be a useful exercise for design education

The future is here and we need to take responsibility for shaping it. This was the main theme of a recent seminar hosted by the Design Business Association (see Comment, opposite).

As an educationalist, the implications of this on curriculum development is highly significant. According to BT’s Ian Pearson, the next ten to 15 years will see invisible technology as an accessible commodity. So what kinds of things will future designers need to know, and how can we teach that about which we are uncertain? How much emphasis should be put on teaching what were and perhaps still are considered to be basic design skills?

It is all rather baffling and whatever direction you choose is a gamble because by definition the future is unknown.

Businesses such as BT see the sense in employing the services of a futurologist, so why not education, which ultimately holds the key to all our futures?

Qona Rankin

Senior lecturer

University of Hertfordshire

qona.rankin@virgin.net

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