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How can understanding future scenarios stimulate innovative design today?

Research Project Name

Working Backwards from 2040: A Process to Future-Proof Solutions

What We Did

We developed and piloted a methodology to outline, analyze, and prototype future business scenarios as part of the design and decision-making process. It is imperative to ensure the resiliency and performance of our core design strategies over time, particularly in a business climate that is increasingly divergent and fast-paced. By broadening the scope of research beyond real estate and taking on a divergent approach to find disruptive change, we sought to decode the changing needs of human experiences.

Our process helps clients conceptualize relatable futures using narratives built on interrelating trends. Each trend contains spatial, behavioral, and emotional layers that can be workshopped to solicit bold design for future-proof solutions. This process is designed to synthesize trends into workable scenarios, and to workshop solutions for projects across the spectrum of industries, sectors, and design platforms.

In our first beta test, we developed future workplace-focused “worlds” based on the impact of identity, technology, and environment. Each world was designed to help participants imagine and prepare for the workplace of tomorrow. These worlds can serve as an effective design story for teams and clients to use when searching for a future-forward design solution.

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Levi Schoenfeld, Laura Coyne, Chesley McCarty

Year Completed