According to Nick Foster, he split design projects into three sections: now, next and future. Most of time as designers is concerned with now and next, but sometimes people need to think about the future. As a counter to the fantasy future worlds generated by the industry, Nick Foster proposed a design method which named “The Future Mundane”. The Future Mundane is not a manifesto nor a dogma. It is a design approach to help expand designers’ notion of design for the future. Below are the three major elements of this method.
1.The Future Mundane is filled with background talent.
When designing for the future, designers usually design for the hero or some kind of super-user. But perhaps designers could, for once, design for those innumerable, un-named characters, the extras or ‘background talent.'” When your goal isn’t entertainment, you don’t need a hero.”
“The characters in our future will not necessarily need to save the world at every turn—most of them will simply live in it, quietly enjoying each day.”(Nick Foster, 2013)
I think it means the important thing of design is to design for the common people and the daily life.
This lamp is named angry lamp. It will turn itself off when it is not needed or the user forgets about it. Besides, if it’s too bright, or if another lamp is already on, it also will turn off immediately. This lamp is a human-like lamp with character. It keeps an eye on how people use energy. This future mundane concept is connected with the daily life and the common people. And it could be real.
2.The Future Mundane is an accretive space.
“In order to communicate our vision, it may be helpful to incorporate the existing designed space in parallel with the new. On a very practical level, we should embrace legacy technologies when conceiving new ones.”
I think it means designers need to combine the transitional technology with the new one when they are designing and use this method to depict a more tangible future.
Nuna is a system of patches that integrate with your skin and provide new sensory experiences.
3.The Future Mundane is a partly broken space.
“The real skill of creating a compelling and engaging view of the future lies not in designing the gloss, but in seeing beyond the gloss to the truths behind it.” As Frederik Pohl famously said, “a good science fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam.”
It told us things will be break, things will fail to perform as promised, things will need fixing. And it also told us that design can create a better life and a more credible future for people by isolating, understanding and portraying a partly broken space.
This is a project on the topic of prenatal diagnostics – the measurement of a human before birth.
Foster, N. (2013) The Future Mundane [online] Available at: http://www.core77.com/posts/25678/the-future-mundane-25678 [Accessed 2 February 2016]
Weng Xinyu (2015) Angry Lamp [online] Available at: https://vimeo.com/114138112 [Accessed 2 February 2016]
Vented, G. (2013) Nuna [online] Available at: https://vimeo.com/64511191 [Accessed 2 February 2016]
Burk, M. (2014) Therefore I am [online] Available at: https://vimeo.com/86547683 [Accessed 2 February 2016]