Speculating about the future and subsequently designing for such a world, is something that requires more than just watching a couple of sci-fi movies and adding your own twist. It’s more than clichés and more than just robots and flying cars. It requires an understanding of crucial ideas, factors and methodologies that allow us to envision the future.
Futures studies is not just the speculation of the good, but also the bad – it is about the exploration of many alternative futures, rather than just what we desire. There are in fact, 6 classes of futures to consider; the preposterous, the possible, the plausible, the ‘projected’, the probable and the preferable (refer to image below). This idea comes from the ‘futures cone’ or the taxonomy of alternative futures, which is a concept originating from 1994 by Hancock and Bezold, in their publication in the Healthcare Forum Journal, Possible Futures; preferable futures. It explores on the idea of how choices and trends of the present, have the potential to influence and create different types of futures, dependant on society’s responses to such information. This model is one that is constantly adapted and evolving alongside Futures Studies itself, however one consistency that remains, is that fundamentally, this model is the core of Future Studies – “just because we cannot imagine a future, does not mean it cannot exist.” (Voros, 2017).
When it comes to designing for the future, this concept becomes crucial, to acknowledge that there are endless possibilities and that the future is in fact “a medium, not a measure” (Fry, 2009). Within the design culture and practice, the future is often considered to be a ‘void’ or remains completely undefined, where nothing is tangible. Designers tend to focus on the form, function and the space of the product they are designing – time is seldom an element or factor that a designer will consider or analyse in-depth. However, the future is in fact “filled with the attainments and mistakes of the past which enable or disable possibilities” (Fry, 2009) and when properly researched and considered, can provided designers with the ability to kickstart change, innovation and trends. Designing not only for the present, but the potential future as well, allows designers to grasp a higher level of people’s needs.
But with all of this in mind, how does it relate to the realm of love? How will we manage to take all these considerations and methodologies about the future and apply it to love? That is a question that at this point, remains unanswered and will be explored in-depth as time progresses. But what is understood right now, is that love is more than just simple romance between two individuals. There are in fact multiple types of love, each one created through different reasons or circumstances (refer to the image below) and that means that every person undergoes and experiences different types of love throughout their life. Meaning there are multiple ways, concepts and considerations to make when designing for the future. Not only does the future of love mean the development of dating apps and relationships between humans and technology, there are endless possibilities to consider that can relate to love.
Fry, T. 2009, Designing futuring: sustainability, ethics and new practice, UNSW Press, Sydney.
Inayatullah, S. 2008, ‘Six pillars: futures thinking for transforming’, Foresight, vol. 10, pp. 4-21, viewed 10 October 2017.
Voros, J. 2001, Foresight Primer, Swinburne, viewed 10 October 2017, <https://thinkingfutures.net/foresight-primer/?rq=futures%20cone>.
Voros, J. 2017, The Futures Cone, use and history, The Voroscope, weblog, wordpress, viewed 10 October 2017, <https://thevoroscope.com/2017/02/24/the-futures-cone-use-and-history/>.
Dgai, 2014, Types of Love, Visual.ly, viewed 10 October 2017, < https://visual.ly/community/infographic/love-and-sex/types-love >.
Voros, J. 2001, Futures Cone, Thinking Futures, viewed 10 October 2017, <https://thinkingfutures.net/foresight-primer/?rq=futures%20cone>.