Fear of the Future over Faith

Trisha Rathod
3 min readApr 20, 2021

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Dreaming of a world where I could see glimpses of the future just like Raven did in the popular show That’s So Raven, would have been an exciting ability to have. Being able to understand the consequences of my actions, even before I act on them, almost feels like living in a world where I get to eat the cake without gaining the calories!

When I google the words ‘By 2021 we should have’, the top 50 searches are not directed towards our expectations of space travel or technology or research but rather towards Surviving 2020. A year and perhaps more that we did not see coming but may have been just the thing we all need, to change our mindset about the way we live.

The struggle

I remember reading the news before all this started when the news was targeted towards the technological advancements of a country rather than its growing coronavirus numbers. I skimmed through articles that talked about the future of wearables being powered by biometrics and the introduction to 5G in 2020 not only so, but also possibilities of AI being mainstream could have been achieved. Out of all the technological predictions for 2020 by Inc, the one that stood out for me as being spot on was the one that talked about the potential of companies shifting to remote working.

So how do you move ahead in a world where almost everything we thought we know, went horribly wrong? How do we proceed further to imagine a more positive, prosperous world even if that is a decade later? And why is it that each time we are expected to predict the future of mankind, we assume them to behave the worst!

Public shaming. Hate crime. Protests. Mental health and Toilet paper hoarding. That sums up our 2020! If this is the now, do we go upstream and learn from our toxic lifestyles, understand the consequences of our actions on the planet or do we go down below and continue to practice our ways of exclusion and torture. These seeds of doubt emerged as we started our very own bright and shiny Design Futures Unit at LCC.

“For longer term Futures thinking we must leave forecasts behind.”

An interesting insight that popped up when I was reading a blog by Simon O’Regan was the idea of speculating a future with the world that we don’t want. That perhaps knowing and addressing the evil there could somehow allow us to take corrective and evasive action, he added!

The hope

Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby in their book, Speculative Everything, propose a taxonomy of futures showing multiple possible futures where some are more possible, some plausible, some probable, and some preferable.

With new ways to imagine our future, what I believe speculative design will help me with is to generate ideas, possible perhaps more positive futures, and artifacts in a future scenario. I am hoping that this type of thinking will allow me to understand the impact of our actions and trigger a debate with a hint of much-needed critical reflection.

The Taxonomy of futures according to Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby, the authors of Speculative Everything book.

For the longest time, every time travel movie has focussed on ‘fixing’ something in the past after realizing the mess that the future holds. Come to think of a world where you gauge the impact of each step that you take, almost driving you to be better instead of waiting for that consequence someday.

So, what if these cones have a lower more grounded version of reality, perhaps the Positive Futures ( since we need the alliteration) or the Picturesque Futures where each element of our speculative world is around making the world a safer, warmer, and healthy place!

Stay tuned!

Course : Design Futures Tutors : Lara & Marion

Team : Fianda, Devika, Chen, Trisha

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