materialexperts

Concept Design, Strategy & Future Planning

What will people want and need tomorrow, next month, next year, or even next decade? Will the anticipated future ‘wants’ of the world be the same as the things the future world really ‘needs’?

Thinking about the future is not necessarily the practice of prediction. Looking for trends, uncovering statistically valid data and using extrapolation, has its merits when seeking one possible view of the world.

Creatively thinking about the future involves imagining a future not yet depicted. A curation of elements not yet realized as either practical or possible. Trying to understand what we “don’t know that we don’t know”. As Laplace said “What we know is not much. What we do not know is immense”.

World of the Future

Future Lifestyles

The world is changing fast. It has no choice – there are over 7 billion of us, with predictions of passing 11 billion by the end of the century. And yet the most basic and primitive needs of man remain fundamentally unchanged. The three primary concerns for survival have always been the need for water, food and shelter. It is a sad fact that the 21st Century still has many areas of the world that unable to provide these simple basics for their population.

Civilized man has made a big impact on the earth’s surface; on its land, in its water and throughout its atmosphere. Many of nature’s natural systems for equilibrium are out of balance – and by many orders of magnitude. Worryingly, these imbalances now have positive feedback loops that will be difficult to reverse.

We believe Design can change these trends and make for a better world for everybody. It is only by thinking clearly about the future, free from political and commercial influences, that the decisions we make today will be accurately realized in the future. And designing a better world for the future is in everyone’s best interest.

Interiors of the Future

Future Interior Spaces – Work and Home

There is no doubt that increasing the automation of the things we manually interact with in today’s workplace, job function, home living spaces and transport vehicle interiors, will change our products and spaces irrevocably.

An autonomous car is perhaps the easiest to imagine. If your journey does not require you to drive, then you are free to undertake almost any other activity. The interior environment will accommodate these functions, with either dedicated or adaptive spaces. Sleeping. Eating. Working. Relaxing. Entertaining. It could even become an extension of your home.

But the workplace will change too. Firstly, it may be that as AI takes more of the complex and repetitive tasks away from the human in any job function, that there remains a greater freedom to create and design. Our workspace could be open, with fluid areas and equipment for all to play with and experiment, a space that resembles a children’s school playground more than a traditional seated office with desks and chairs.

And after work, having journeyed home, whether a short distance to a city apartment, or a longer route to the suburbs, the home will likely benefit from all the workplaces technological advances too. Freshly cooked meals using fresh ingredients, automatically prepared and served, ready to eat just as you arrive home. All the home chores completed by automation and robot technology. These are dreams that go back as far as the 1950’s.

Today we have the technology at the right price to deliver on this ever blurring connection between our compartmentalised lives. The merging of entertainment and social connectivity with daily living, with eating and drinking and socializing as a shared experience via holograms and full wall surround LED screens.

Products of the Future

Future Products

The future of all things physically created will depend on our short to medium term control of our impact on the earth and the supply of natural resources. Extreme weather will change our interaction with nature and how we protect ourselves. Changes will be inevitable in housing, transport, infrastructure and personal belongings.

Cars of the Future

Future Transport

If supply of natural resources become problematic, the hot topics of the day will be about more than just sustainability. All physical products will change, but so too will the laws and standards and practices. For example, inner city cars might be constrained to operate only within inner city locations and speeds capped at 40 kph (25mph); which means vehicles can then be designed without elaborate powertrains, without complicated safety equipment, and ultimately efficient, cheap and sustainable. With the right motivations politically, socially and individually, we can foresee 80% reduction in materials costs (raw material processing and manufacturing energy costs), as well as squeezing down slow city automotive energy use by 60%.

Transport of the Future