This set of words is deliberately alternative, and more than a mouthful, in that it offers unexpected, surprising and possibly deflecting and disruptive words. The intention is that they prompt, propel and provoke you into thinking about how to define and use them, refine or replace them. The working definitions provide some sense of the concepts that are proposed.For ideas and other words to consider and combine, you may also like to see 50 FUTURES DESIGN WORDS (Words only) and 50 FUTURES DESIGN WORDS (With definitions). For larger lists see 250 FUTURES DESIGN WORDS and 450 FUTURES DESIGN WORDS.

After future washing

A point of arrival, clarity and understanding about the nature and processes of how design oriented futures are put through a robust laundry of activities to highlight their viscosity, pliability and plasticity, whether as harmful or enabling materialities for shaping futures design literacies and designing futures design

Design anticipatorializing

The activity of having performed an anticipatory set of design centred choices, actions or strategies to realised a proposed, potential, projected or prompted future scenario or strategy

Aspiratory design moves

Acts of meta designing that reach beyond the here and now and proffers futures alternatives that advance 

Back threading

An ability and craft related capacity to use futures scenarios, participants, events, actions and fabulations as a design futures material for reinvigorating the present through weaving and interlacing experiences and insights, challenges and opportunities for the present, and back again to and from the future.


The activity of process or result of having thrown forward or propelled an idea, artifact or process into a secure repository, archive or deep hiding place.

Chronospacing futures

When the laying out, patterning and dimensions of a process, artifact or system is arranged or conveyed temporally in a future mode

Co-creative future laundering

A codified gathering to invoke the obscure cult forces of faked collaborativeness to wash futures and put dust under the carpet when it comes to deal with today’s issues.

Diffractive design friction

The generation and enactment of fabulous, imaginary and fictive futures narratives realised through ludic, frictive and surprising design techniques that serve to reveal diffractive rather than reflective relations between time, narrative and futures

Design futures framers

Persons, concepts, systems or movements that work actively or indirectly to influence, alter, and set agendas for ways futures are shaped by design

Future design lexical hijacking

Futures and their design processes and designed characters may be encapsulated in vocabularies that can be untangled to reveal how words are employed by special interest groups or programmes, politicians or corporations or even movements to hijack the original intent, sense and connotations of a term concept

Design futures personaxes

Work on design and futures has included scenarios as an important part of making manifest potential and projected future works and experiences, uses and evaluations, but personaxes lie above and across these likes diagonals or axes based on actors’ views, but they are also devices that cut through personal restrictions and limitations, whether pragmatic or fantastic, physical or magical

Design futures scenography

Much attention is given to the shape, strategies and activities or scenarios on designing future and shaping futures through design but there is room to highlight the materialities of the designed settings and their staging akin to scenography

Design prodelictive futures

a design directed view on futures that is based on a strong liking or affinity for a forward facing, perhaps uncritical, investment in a future or specific futures

Dissembling preferably chosen futures

Futures may be presented as preferable in acts of persuasive intent to serve the interests of powerful players, but these may be dissembled through acts of unmasking that expose how futures are positioned, pictured and portrayed via design

Futures shifters

Being able to move about in the spaces, planes, vectors, personas and scenarios of the future implies a special agency and fluidity of thought and of movement and creative and analytical suppleness

Future trawling

The future may be near or very far, shallow or very deep, depending on time and depth scales and the visions and vectors we engage with so that it’s important to be able to search, scrape, dredge, net and sift through the degrees of distance and depth

Future design posturing rebels

In response to the conventions, constraints and predominance of received views of design as providing functional solutions and the unquestionable directions of large corporations or party-narrow political manouevering, design futurists pose, stand for and strut radical and rebellious alternatives

Prospective design hermeneutics

The enactment of interpretive futures inquiry may be realised through design that reachers into the near and far future as well as though act of looking forwards and not only with hindsight as in traditional hermeneutics


Futures design and its related literacies are in need of active agents of design change – human, techno or bio in character and activity – that work with transformations in proto forms, but ones that are not conventions or form fitting but provocative or disruptive of expectations and outcomes 


To make available ideas and action states and processes ahead of their material realisation and use to provide resources and action-oriented potentials for effective design futuring


An avoidance of historical extractive and destructive cycles of designing, work and consumption through participative, responsible, resilient and supported scalable actions that address alternative, radical and survivable local and global worlds through reflexive and accountable designing and cultural uses

Time layering

Futures designing and use is dependent on how and where specific aspect or views on the future are located temporally and in relation to one another spatially, that is by substance, distance and accessibility, so that time is not cast as linear but diffractive, relational and may be dilated and recompressed as needed


Actors or participants – human and non human – who have the capacity to understand the value and potential of an idea, process or artifact and to move it to another spot or plane in a future scenario or setting thereby also shifting its character and potentialities ideally for the better

Wilding futures design

When the interplay of futures and design is explored and achieved through acts and perspectives on being that are realised emergent via unscripted emergence of ideas and processes together with abductive ecological practices 

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