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未来を描く – ブック・オブ・フューチャーズ (Bespokeの『Book of Futures』日本語訳)



あなたは”Imagine futures”をどう訳しますか?

Book of Futures日本語訳シリーズ、第11回は[未来を描く]です。



Imagine futures

Our insights are formulations pointing towards possibility. They serve as a point of departure for the creation of future scenarios. In other words, if insights are our questions, scenarios are possible answers to those questions. Building scenarios is about developing a deeper understanding of the opportunities that our situation and new insights hold.






Insights paint new visions for the future that might give birth to new solutions, ideas, products, strategies or even poetical landscapes of possible futures. Insights make up the foundation for designing future scenarios for our project, organization, sector, industry or some other part of the world. Faced with the uncertainty of the future, anything is possible, and a representation of possible scenarios creates a foundation for forming a strategy of action. This strategy must provide a compass for avoiding undesirable scenarios and continuously navigating towards those that are preferable.





Employing insights to induce new scenarios is an act of cognitive, emotional and physical speculation. Looking over the material and paying attention to the potential of our insights allow us to paint new pictures and imagine future landscapes and see the situation and world anew.




The head and hands may work separately and/or together to combine and manipulate insights and signals, information and materials, the cognitive and the physical in order to manifest possible futures. The interaction between physical prototypes, art pieces, sketches, models, products, narratives on one side and experiences, mind sculptures and conversations on the other, hold a potential for exploring and imagining new hybrid structures. Through their origination in observed signals and insights, these hybrid structures become a reflection and critique of the past, but they also provoke and invite us to imagine what might be possible.





Speculative and provocative scenarios narrated through designed artefacts is a powerful way of facilitating and fostering imagination, emotion or debate, or criticizing and creating dialogue about futures that previously were missing. It is helpful to play the what if game and to author fictional story worlds that bring forth preposterous futures and help us unshackle ourselves from our past experiences. To broaden the horizon of what is possible we can extrapolate trends to the extremes, and play with words, paradoxes, dilemmas, materials and prototypes. Challenge what is and question what might become to escape the idea of a predetermined or projected  future.












Elements of the future cone

Assessing the probability of scenarios is actually precluded by the inherent incertanty of the future. Though as future designers we do take the liberty to use social tendencies, generational arches and our insights in general to estimate how likely a scenario is. If a scenario is very similar to our current reality or is based on extrapolations of current trends, it should be placed close to the centre of the cone.






Anything is possible in an uncertain future, therefore the possible domain includes all thinkable scenarios. History has repeatedly shown us how our basics beliefs become myths of the past as philosophers, technologists and other thought leaders present new facts or perspectives that change our beliefs and world views. Future designers must take into account the emergence of new knowledge or unexpected events that makes the seemingly impossible possible.





The projected future defines the center of the future cone. This is the future scenario that epitomizes business-as-usual. It is basically the notion that tomorrow will be pretty much like today and the day after similar to that.




The preferable future is the future scenario that we want to actualize. Like JFK did in 1961 we can initiate actions that sets us on a course towards our preferred version of the future. What future designers must do, is to leverage their skills, resources and insights to change the world views, institutions, technologies and cultures that determine what is possible for individuals and organizations. By declaring a new scenario through products, services, perspectives, etc. we open the possibility for people to take action. Hereby, we increase the probability of the preferable future becoming the projected future.







Happy Collaboration!