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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.
Published in association with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Art Institute of Chicago
Philadelphia Museum of Art
(October 22, 2019–March 8, 2020)
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
(September 12, 2020–April 11, 2021)
About the Author
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.