Multiple futures

“By force of empathy and understanding.”

A friend of mine is completing her Master’s degree at OCAD. She’s pioneering a new application of scenarios forecasting, which is often used in corporate settings. I’m actually not sure what it’s supposed to be called… scenarios forecasting is just a description I’m using to refer to the practice. There is probably more theory and thus a proper name behind the practice.

Anyhow, I participated in her research a couple of weeks ago. It was really nice to be inside of someone else’s process. I was a little nervous about the ‘prototyping’ component because she’s a designer and I’m a designer but neither of us have ever seen the work that the other person does – it’s not the end of the world if we have different sensibilities, but meeting another designer or artist friend in their work can feel a bit like a first date situation. It’s more fun if it goes well – if we find we like what we discover, if there is a shared sensibility, even chemistry. Fortunately, I just got lost in the fun of it, which means it was a great date.

The choices I made for my optimistic future were surprising, interesting. I clustered different groups of items that ultimately seemed to represent different parts of my life – which clearly seemed to be essentially about work and collaborations. There was me at the centre with 3-4 objects that represented my stable practice, and then 4-5 clusters made up of 2-3 items in each one, circling my central practice, representing: edgy, earnest, transformational, adventurous, and the well-resourced ($$).

You can check back in 20 years to find out if this optimistic future has materialized.

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