Skip to main content


The studio blog is a place to show our thinking in public, sharing the inspirations and processes that get us to the end of a project.

The Business of Broadening Perspectives

Last month I gave a keynote talk at LIFT 10, France in Marseilles, following a lovely invitation by Nicolas Nova, who wanted me to open with a 'broader, inspirational talk about design and how different approaches to prototype near-futures are important'. (No pressure!) Well, Jon and I worked to create a presentation that would not only set the premise around this sort of thinking, but also develop our own position further. Here's the video from the talk: And here are my slides: And here's the blurb I sent to Nicolas and then to the translators who did a fantastic job! "Climate change and economic instability have induced an ambient sense of urgency. What is the evolving role of design in such uncertain times? Nassim Taleb, the author of Black Swan, coined the term 'Ludic Fallacy' to describe our human desire to understand what is visible, known, narrated or tangible, and how it becomes difficult to imagine the invisible or the unknown. But as we move towards a difficult, volatile future, it is important to try and prototype different possible unknown and invisible worlds. And this is where the designer can come in, giving form and making tangible many possible futures we might find ourselves in. Through a series of examples of different projects which exemplify the use of such design methods to visualise near future worlds, I'd like to show how this can create new relationships and dialogues between science, emerging technologies and the wider public.  By working closely with collaborators from other disciplines (like futurists, technologists, scientists) and addressing some of our key societal concerns, the hope is to find new opportunity spaces for exciting possibilities for business and social enterprise. Finally I'll present the recently released wishlist from the 1660s of the famous British Scientist Robert Boyle, showing how we find ourselves living with many of his wishlist predictions today, hundreds of years later. Some of the things on his list included 'The Art of Flying' and the 'Prolongation of Life'. If we had to create a wishlist today, what might that have? And how might we create something like that in our current participatory culture of the web? Could that help us move into a more desirable future? If nothing else, it might create new hubs of dynamic, collaborative activity, and give humanity a new voice."


Comment by:
, posted :

"no pressure" ;) and your talk was wonderful!

Thanks again for your contribution anab

, posted :

[...] a nice feature about my talk at LIFT10 in the Le [...]