Creating a Future Artefact: The why and the how

Learning to create a Future Artefact is becoming a critical skill to develop in any future foresight practice because classical foresight approaches don't necessarily lead to breakthroughs at a time when we need systemic change.

Future Foresight practices that were marginal are now gaining attention as a way of navigating uncertainty:

  • Futures design
  • Speculative design
  • Experiential Futures
  • Design Fiction
  • World Building

Creating a Future Artefact is not a proposal or a report. This is not a methodology with rules and a set destination. So it’s not about instrumentalist conversations. This is not about creating a new product or service.

It is about us seeing and thinking differently. Interrogating our worlds challenging assumptions. Embracing doubt and uncertainty as a strategy.

We need to work IN the future to really create change. It’s different to what we are used to. This points to a shift in building futures around speculation and multiple futures that may seem farfetched, but given the speed at which change happened in our global system this year, radical transformations in livelihoods seem more plausible than ever.

As dreaming future realities becomes a pragmatic business strategy, brands that integrate Design Fiction, Speculative design and world building will have a deeper, almost lived understanding of what they face and how to contribute to creating a better future at a time of polycrisis.

We live in a world dominated by big data and certainly in foresight this is something to leverage in order to understand aspects of cultural and behavioural shifts. But creating a future artefact is different as it requires embracing uncertainty and imagination as a strategy. It's not about giving you a final answer and prediction, it is about inviting you to ask the questions.

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