Future Designing

Peter Jones Slow Learning, Strategic Foresight

Future designing is and always will be a process of figuring things out. The human animal has been named, by some, homo faber, people who make, and making is the primary act in designing. Art, design, and engineering share this impulse and endow it with vocabularies that contain some people inside the practice, and place some outside the practice. These vocabularies, or design language systems, are learned in education and practice. As in most fields, the language systems constitute much of the identity of designing, if not the skill. Even so, for many years, design education was treated as a craft tradition, with students (undergraduates in particular) learning as apprentices in intensive studio courses. In Canada’s tradition, art and design programs have usually been joined together, with specialized schools outside the university system. (Consider Toronto’s OCAD was founded as the OCA art school in 1876). Now OCADU has become a university, with a growing portfolio of innovative graduate programs. Some of these programs – the MDes in Strategic Foresight and Innovation that I teach in, for example – do not …