The best way to predict the future is to design it

DS 85-1: Proceedings of NordDesign 2016, Volume 1, Trondheim, Norway, 10th - 12th August 2016

Year: 2016
Editor: Boks, Casper; Sigurjonsson, Johannes; Steinert, Martin; Vis, Carlijn; Wulvik, Andreas
Author: Fossland, Alexander Jayko; Sigurjónsson, Jóhannes B.
Series: NordDESIGN
Institution: NTNU, Norway
Section: Design, Emotion and Philosophy
Page(s): 073-082
ISBN: 978-1-904670-80-3


This article discusses perspectives, and principles of R. Buckminster Fuller´s philosophy and possible implications on the future role of industrial design. The article is aimed at professional designers and students of design, looking to challenge their philosophical basis for design practice. The point of departure is an existentialistic question for the design profession. What one should design towards in general terms and what rationale can back up designing in general? The background is a review of texts by R. Buckminster Fuller, including also ideas from Design for the Real World by Victor Papanek. The following discussion is inspired by concepts from the book “Open Design Now” by van Abel, Evers, Klaassen and Troxler. Current trends in design and technology; digital fabrication, open source, open design and blockchain technology increase the freedom of the designer, but also the responsibility. These may be seen as potential remedies for humanity’s shortcomings in sustainably operating Spaceship Earth. Finally we can conclude with the fact that we are collectively going to design our future. What we want this future to be is up to us; we should consider truthfully what is important, and what is not. We should also in our pursuit of constructive practice, allow ourselves the privileged of letting go of “lovingly administered nonsense

Keywords: Design philosophy, Ephemeralization, Real Wealth, Open Design, Digital Fabrication.


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