Noura Howell on Calling for a Plurality of Perspectives on Design Futuring

18 Jun, 2021

Noura Howell on Calling for a Plurality of Perspectives on Design Futuring

Noura Howell's article on Design Futuring was published as part of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Co-authored with Britta F. Schulte​, Amy Twigger Holroyd​, Rocío Fatás Arana​, Sumita Sharma​, and Grace Eden, the article delves into how design methodologies can help prepare and plan for a variety of future conditions, adjusting and remaining flexible as necessary. Noura Howell received her PhD from UC Berkeley's School of Information in 2020, with a Designated Emphasis in New Media. In August of this year she will become an Assistant Professor of Digital Media at Georgia Tech.

From the article abstract:

The Futures Cone, a prominent model in design futuring, is useful for promoting discussions about possible, plausible, probable, and preferable futures. Yet this model has limitations, such as representing diverse human experiences as a singular point of “the present” and implicitly embedding notions of linear progress. Responding to this, we argue that a plurality of perspectives is needed to engage imaginations that depict a diverse unfolding of potential futures. Through reflecting on our own cultural and professional backgrounds, we offer five perspectives for design futuring as a contribution to this plurality: Parallel Presents, “I Am Time”, Epithelial Metaphors, the Uncertainties Cone, and Meet (with) “Speculation”. These perspectives open alternative approaches to design futuring, move outside prevalent notions of technological progress, and foreground interdependent, relational agencies.

Read the full article here!