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Commercial firms, governments, and nongovernmental organisations compete for graduates who can innovate in response to the major changes in global societies and environments. Independent entrepreneurship is another career path that requires strategic foresight.
In response to these challenges, this subject studies phenomena, ideas, research, and technologies that will define emerging trends. To do this, the subject forecasts the future of design in a variety of disciplines, including design and architecture. It identifies significant innovations, outlines necessary changes, and provides guidance for an in-depth investigation.
The seminar reconsiders relationship between humans, nonhuman organisms and machines within emerging systems engaging with:
- Places as complex systems that house multispecies inhabitants and call for design through living labs or ongoing experiments
- Design as a participatory practice that can involve animals, plants and algorithms as well as humans, often in the context of simulations and self-organising systems
- Representation as a way to connect design stakeholders through advanced visualisation, data mining and machine learning
- Fabrication and construction from innovative materials, with minimal environmental impact using robotics and augmented reality
- Monitoring of the resulting performance through remote imaging and sensor networks
- Adaptation, reuse, and decommissioning following natural, societal, and technical lifecycles
The teaching method combines reading with visual presentations by prominent guests and case-study analysis. In the second half of the subject, students define their own creative assignments and develop expertise that will be relevant to their professional goals.
The subject can support in-depth research for design studios, theses, and research degrees. It is also useful as evidence of skills in design innovation for future employers. Beyond this, past iterations of the subject supported design/art projects, contributed to research within design practices, and laid foundations for innovative career paths and business models.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of the subject students should have developed:
- Familiarity with the current conceptual thinking about natural, technical and cultural systems.
- Understanding of future studies and design innovation in theory and practice.
- Critical understanding of the creative and design opportunities in the future.
- Understanding of design methods for collaboration with non-human agents including algorithms, machines, materials, and organisms.
- Skills to conduct creative research and formulate innovative, future-oriented projects.
- Skills to plan personal development in the light of current trends and possible futures
- On completion of the subject students should have developed: Critical thinking and analytical skills.
- Research skills in information gathering and narrative synthesis.
- Skills in analysis of complex issues and the ability to express them persuasively, orally and in writing.
Last updated: 31 January 2024