MAPPING FUTURES DESIGN WORDS
MAPPING FUTURES DESIGN WORDS
This unit aims to:
- help you understand a range of key terms in design centred futures
- identify relations between design futures terms
- position terms in relation to key current context and future design views
- map out keywords in your own project
- rethink how you can map words in design work
1. WHY IT MATTERS TO MAP WORDS
Words are not neutral, abstract items alone. They live in the world and they garner meaning because we ascribe it to them through our human ingenuity, curiosity and pragmatism. Words work. They have to perform, they exist communicatively through their activation in context, purpose and exchange. They also occur in relation to other terms, parts of speech and the wider exchanges, genres and discourses that they inform and are informed by.
In Design education and research our focus is often not on words themselves. They serve to support our design making and shaping, our process of using a multiple of media and means, working with participants and delivering services and systems in which products and interactions are materialised. Yet, words are all over design, as it were.
We use them to describe our design ideas, processes and artifacts. We label our work with them, we try to come up with new brand names and names for concepts that arise though the vet processes of reaching for something ahead of now, not just new as replacement, but to be placed in a context, time and need and use. And yet words are also connected to slippery and ephemeral things and activities. We need to use more words to arrive at less words.
Words also need ‘mapping’. We all do this in our everyday personal, professional and especially creative use of language. It’s central to our being language animals. We use words to refer to correspondences between word and item or object or process, but we also use language for abstract ideas and concepts. We need to see relations between the meanings words carry and between the words themselves as synonyms (alike, having affinities) or antonyms (opposites) or distinctly different.
In this unit you will work with what DESIGN WORDS FOR THE FUTURE (words only). This is a collection of key ‘design-facing’ terms that are central to the F4D project. They are also central to the emerging domain of FUTURES DESIGN (alongside for example others like Service Design or Interaction Design).
2. IDENTIFYING YOUR OWN PURPOSE
In this unit you will engage in a number of mapping activities. The aim is that in the activities below you relate to work you are currently doing as a Master’s student in a design studio/project or as part of a PhD.
3. ESTABLISHING PARAMETERS
We now move on to some of the key terms we have identified to help us draw some of the main boundaries or parameters into which we can place the many words included in this LEXICON.
4. ASSEMBLING WORDS
Next, it’s time to assemble words that relate to design futures.
5. MAPPING WORDS
We now start a phase of the Unit where you place these words onto the WORD-O-MAP. You now have several actions to perform in order to position words in relation to the four terms provided.
6. ANNOTATING YOUR MAPPING
7. REFLECTING ON YOUR MAPPING AND OWN WORK
Download this UNIT in printable format:
Adam, Barbara, and Chris Groves. 2007. Future Matters: Action, Knowledge, Ethics. Lieden: Brill.
Ellsworth, Elizabeth. 2005. Places of Learning. New York: Routledge.
Hillgren, P.-A., Lindström, K., Strange, M., Topgaard, R. & Witmer, H. (2020). (Eds). Glossary: Collaborative Future-Making. Malmö: Malmö University.
Martinussen, Einar Sneve. 2019. “Design for a nordic digital shift.” Keynote at the 3rd International Conference on Anticipation, AHO, Oslo, 9-11 October, 2019.
Morrison, Andrew, Ola Erstad, Gunnar Liestøl, Nicholas Pinfold, Bruce Snaddon, Peter Hemmersam, and Andrea Grant Broom. 2019. “Investigating agentive urban learning: An assembly of situated experiences for sustainable futures.” Oxford Journal of Education 45(2): 204-223.
Sanford, Richard. 2019. “Care and hope in lived futures: locating futures through heritage.” Paper presented at the 3rd International Conference on Anticipation, AHO, Oslo, 9-11 October, 2019.
CONTRIBUTE TO THIS UNIT!
Future Education and Literacy for Designers (FUEL4Design) is an open project.
You are invited to contribute by presenting your own use of this UNIT as well as share feedback on this resource.
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