Designers are Futurists

Designer often works like a futurist, providing insights on emerging trends or issues. Designing futures project, require a pattern which are: Asking the Question; Scanning the World; Mapping the Possibilities; and Asking the Next Question (Cascio,2009). The works do not necessarily predict the future, but deliver ideas of possibilities that could happen, provide by various observed drivers. We make choices regarding what is to come.

Thedriversofchange.com displays some drivers with issues to provide us inspirations to find possibilities in our designs. Regarding my project, Smart Recycling Bin, the website guides me find ideas based on what currently happen in the world, also provides ideas of what would happen in the near future. It is obvious to find issues under Waste driver for my project. However, Convergence, Energy, Poverty and Urbanisation could also give me other insights.

Using Waste driver, under the New Product Life issues, I found that the average fleece jacket may contain the reused material from around 25 drink bottles. The issue inspires me to ask a question. What if we have a recycle bin that can produce a fleece jacket or other clothes? It doesn’t necessarily happen now, but probably in a near future.

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Also in Waste driver, I learn that biological treatment can remediate contaminated land using plants or microorganism. A question came to my mind, what if we have a waste bin with plants on it?

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Or in Convergence driver, I found inspiration under the Biomimicry issues, to design recycling bin for papers with termites in it. It is known that termites digestive process able to produce biomass for fuel.

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Learn about current technology and findings, or what would happen in near future could be beneficial for designers. So it would be important for designers to keep up with latest updates.

References:

http://www.fastcompany.com/1362037/futures-thinking-basics

http://www.driversofchange.com/tools/doc

http://www.artisopensource.net/network/artisopensource/2013/10/28/near-future-design-the-perception-of-a-new-possible-and-a-new-role-for-design/

http://www.robaid.com/bionics/termite-digestive-system-biomimicry-could-lead-to-biofuel-production.htm

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