Forecasting the Future of Design


Unless you live completely off grid, there’s no escaping the daily impact technology makes on our lives. When thinking about the future of design, it is highly likely that emerging technologies will play a part in this and impact the way they will affect our lives.

As designers, we have choices to make that will influence the development of technology and we have to consider how our ideas will shape the future of design. Technology has reached the stage where we are able to design life itself and blur the lines of what is human and what is technological, with our bodies and internal systems becoming sites of design.

We are at the point, as designers where we have the choice of a future utopia, in which we can use design to tackle wider societal challenges or oblivion, where we continue to focus on minor aesthetic problems without considering the influence of design on our experiences. Going forward, this is an issue that will take greater precedence in the future.

The way in which we work will also play a part in the process of design – becoming more network driven. By taking this different approach, which is more collaborative and inclusive, we can create things that are meaningful for larger audiences with a consideration to who will use it in the end, resulting in inspiring collaborations and solutions.

As designers, we should always be asking questions about the future. That is how design has the ability to inspire the world. And as the underlying technologies develop, it will enable us to gather insights about what designs can do and in turn use those learnings to make design better.

Design looks set to become more genuine, with a desire for simplicity and realness. With a focus on using design to solve wider societal issues, it brings the emotional connection back and shifts the view of design as a commodity to something with real meaning.

As awareness of the environmental impact materials and manufacturing methods can have, this will also influence our decisions around design. Not only will we think about the life of products during use, we will also focus on life after use.

As you would expect, the future of design looks likely to be heavily influenced by technology. However, the shift to a connected way of working, with more collaboration and wider networks will enable design to play a great part in addressing major issues impacting society and the environment.

For more on this subject, you may be interested in The Future Starts Here exhibition at the V&A. The exhibition will bring together more than 100 objects as a landscape of possibilities for the near future.

You may also be interested in the rest of our blog, which includes posts on all aspects of design, branding, digital and production.