Designs for Different Futures Kathryn B. Hiesinger, Michelle Millar Fisher, Emmet Byrne, Maite Borjabad López-Pastor, Zoë Ryan, Andrew Blauvelt, Colin Fanning, Orkan Telhan

Publication date:
22 Oct 2019
Yale University Press
272 pages: 300 x 230mm
191 color + b-w illus.
Sales territories:

Audacity, imagination, and critical thought underpin this vital compendium of future possibilities

Designs for Different Futures records the concrete ideas and abstract dreams of designers, artists, academics, and scientists exploring how design might reframe our futures, socially, ethically, and aesthetically. Encompassing nearly 100 contemporary examples—from wearable objects to urban infrastructure—this handbook interrogates attitudes toward technology, consumption, beauty, and social and environmental challenges. The projects examined include a typeface unreadable by text-scanning software, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a dress incorporating the sound-wave patterns of birds in flight, a shelter for cricket farming, and a speculative prosthetics catalogue for the “post-human.” Commissioned essays and interviews from figures such as Francis Kéré, Bruno Latour, Neri Oxman, and Danielle Wood give voice to issues faced in futures near and far. With perspectives ranging from historical visions of the future to the use of biological materials in production processes, this is essential reading for anyone interested in how design might shape the world to come.

Kathryn B. Hiesinger is the J. Mahlon Buck, Jr. Family Senior Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700, and Michelle Millar Fisher is the Louis C. Madeira IV Assistant Curator of European Decorative Arts, both at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Emmet Byrne is the design director and associate curator of design at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Maite Borjabad López-Pastor is the Neville Bryan Assistant Curator of Architecture and Design, and Zoë Ryan is the John H. Bryan Chair and Curator of Architecture and Design, both at the Art Institute of Chicago.