Over the years we have prided ourselves on having produced numerous great examples of ‘futures world building’ for innovative clients like BAT, Dimension Data, UCT’s Graduate School of Business, Santam and Woolworths; so we totally get and buy into the immense power that fictional narratives can play for companies wanting to explore possible imaginative futures.
Although now, with a far more holistic understanding of the science behind futures studies, we can retroactively see the value of creating a mental space to prototype new ideas and concepts via the suspension of reality in the present through what we now understand to be design fiction.
With kind permission from Stuart Candy and Liam Young – we are republishing a conversation that had recently around the power of design fiction / world building as a strategic business tool.
Stuart Candy: How would you describe your practice in relation to the intersection of futures and design?
Liam Young: I’m trained as an architect, so I am interested in the architectural, urban and global implications of emerging technologies. I don’t design buildings but rather I design, imagine, speculate, and construct worlds. The world is the medium in which I prototype futures. It’s a very spatial way of thinking about future narratives. I predominantly explore these worlds through the medium of film. For me films are a way of disseminating these worlds to audiences. So that’s where my own practice sits in the context of design/futures practices. It differentiates itself by thinking about worlds as the medium of operating, as opposed to products, characters, buildings, and so on.