Probing Emerging Futures

  • TALK

What will our world be like in 20, 30, or 40 years’ time? The creation of meaningful innovations requires an understanding of changing values and paradigms. By departing from the emerging present and creating a deep understanding (via weak signs) how value is changing for people and how socio-cultural paradigms are developing, we might project towards things to come. But what will this future entail? Will we embrace a post-biological, post-human future; will we strive for immortality and double our life expectancy; will we have sustainable prosperity and dignified living for all, and/or live in harmony with nature? Design probes can initiate a debate about these values and paradigms, and explore how products and services could help people to achieve their future goals and aspirations.

In this session, we debate with several experts and the audience about potential future values and socio-cultural paradigms. What are the opportunities and risks of various directions? Every expert will give a short pitch explaining their perspective on future paradigms, resulting in a proposition for the audience. Thereafter, we will have a debate with the panel. Moreover, as input for this debate, we use the results of the “Probing Emerging Futures” project, developed to understand which weak signs resonate with a larger audience. The results of this project can be viewed during the Dutch Design Week in the Innovation Powerhouse.

We will have a variety of experts (e.g. from design, art, philosophy and engineering) among whom Reon Brand, Frank Kolkman, Maarten Steinbuch and Olya Kudina. The student project will be presented by Danielle Arets and the session will be moderated by Caroline Hummels.

Caroline Hummels pasfoto square

Caroline Hummels

Caroline Hummels is professor Transformative Qualities at the department of Industrial Design at TU/e. She researches transformative practices through designing and analysing socio-technical systems in context, including frameworks, methods and tools, with a focus on embodied being-in-the-world theories.

Reon Brand SQ

Reon Brand

Reon Brand has a PhD in molecular biology and is responsible for foresight and socio-cultural research at Philips Design. He co-authored a paper ‘Rethinking value in a changing landscape’ that explores different socio-economic paradigms. He focuses on projects related to socio-economic transformation.

Frank Kolkman 3 SQ

Frank Kolkman

Frank Kolkman is a critical designer, artist and researcher interested in unpicking the socio-economical, ethical and aesthetic implications of current and near-future technologies. His work spans across experimental devices, critical prototypes and interactive installations that address contemporary issues of technological access and adoption.

Steinbuch Maarten TUE SQ

Maarten Steinbuch

Maarten Steinbuch is a Distinguished University Professor in Systems and Control and Chair of Control Systems Technology at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). His research ranges from automotive engineering to mechatronics, motion control, and fusion plasma control. He is a key opinion leader on the influence of new technologies on society.

Olya Kudina picture (1)

Olya Kudina

Olya Kudina is a PhD researcher at the University of Twente, where she explores the influence of technologies on human values. Her recent work studies how AI-based voice assistants (e.g. Alexa) affect our daily lives and norms of raising children.

Danielle Arets

Danielle Arets

Danielle Arets is ass Reader Strategic Creativity at Design Academy Eindhoven & readership Journalism & Responsible Innovation at Fontys school of journalism. In the design research minor you are in my system, students of design academy Eindhoven in close collaboration with students from Eindhoven University of Technology have been looking into the topic of smart health trends by prototyping future concepts that instigate a debate around the meaningful integration of new services, tools and systems in our daily live.