Project into the Future. Introductory essay on the topic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Investigating the Future is an established practice for the academy and the world of crafts and industry. From the Chicago Columbian Exhibition of 1893 to the two Worlds Fairs of New York City (1939 and 1965) and so on, the future has been foreseen as filled with technology and amazing architecture but not every vision of the future has described promising scenarios. The four visions of the future proposed by Norman Henchey (1978) conceptualized in classes – ‘possible’ (any future), ‘plausible’ (future that makes sense), ‘probable’ (highly likely to happen), ‘preferable’ (the best that could happen) – have been brilliantly described in the ‘Futures Cone’ reinterpreted by Joseph Voros (2003). As we move away from the present, the ‘possible’ tends to ‘preferable’ due to the lack of elements and data on which to base the programming and the planning: in fact, the certainty on the type of technologies and production methods that will be available, on the social structure and user uses, and so on decreases. By 2030, the world will already be different: Thomas L. Friedman (2016) highlights that the three main forces of our Planet – Moore’s Law (technology), the Market (globalization) and Mother Nature (climate change and biodiversity loss) – are all pressing at the same time, with inevitable consequences for the territory, cities, architecture, products and services that will be designed, developed and used in the future.The 17 2030 Sustainable Development Goals presented by the United Nations provide an answer for this time horizon, tracing the path towards a model to achieve a better and more sustainable future for everyone. But will these Goals be able to accelerate sustainable innovation? Paraphrasing Luciano Floridi, philosopher of Information and Technology at the University of Oxford, we ask ourselves if ‘green’ (of natural and artificial environments) and ‘blue’ (of science, technology and therefore the digital world) will succeed to guide a vision of the future capable of replacing ‘things’ (objects) with ‘relationships’, ‘individual planning’ with ‘common planning’, the ‘experience economy’ (and not consumption) with a ‘policy of care and relationships’ (and not production). A vision of the sustainable future of living, by looking at the two time horizons of 2030 and 2050, will be played on an increasingly synergistic work aimed at providing answers to many questions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPOSSIBLE AND PREFERABLE SCENARIOS OF A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE: TOWARDS 2030 AND BEYOND
Pages5-11
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePROJECT. ESSAYS AND RESEARCHES

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