Scenarios for policy and the public are increasingly given form by designers. For design, this means ideas about the future – futurity – is at stake, particularly in genres of ‘concept’, ‘critical’ and ‘persuasive’ design. While critical approaches are present in futures studies and political philosophy, design assumptions and preferences are typically not explicit, including gender norms, socio-ecological practices and power structures. Calling for further studies of the politics of design visions, I outline possible approaches and elaborate through the example ‘Switch! Energy Futures’. I reflect upon how competing visions and politics of sustainability become explicit through our process, aesthetics and stakeholders.
“Decolonization” is a word we’re increasingly hearing at design events, often being used interchangeably with “diversity.” It’s important to emphasize that while the terms are linked, they shouldn’t be confused. Diversity is about bringing more people to the table. Decolonization is about changing the way we think. So what does that mean for design and designers?