No Future

What are designers avoiding when they speculate on possible futures? Design is often said to be about the future, about initiating change, yet it also plays a central role in keeping things the way they are. And with respect to grand challenges like sustainable development, design is a part of the problem at least as much as it might be a part of a solution. Perhaps it is time we discuss what that notion of ‘future’ actually stands for in the practice of design?

Clive Dilnot
Clive Dilnot is professor of design studies at New School University and Parsons School of Design in New York. Previously he was Professor of Design Studies and Director Design Initiatives at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. Earlier he taught at Harvard University, in Hong Kong and in the UK.  He has lectured extensively around the world, and written on a range of topics from aesthetics through design theory. Besides the politics of the photographic essay (Chris Killip, 2009, 2012) Current interests and areas of publication include the ethics of design (Ethics? Design 2005), the relationship of design and philosophy, the question of design knowledge and the wider relation of design, history and the artificial (Design and the Question of History, with Tony Fry, 2014 forthcoming).

Anna Rosling-Ronnlund
Anna Rosling Rönnlund co-founded Gapminder Foundation ( in 2005. She currently works as Art Director and Project Manager at Gapminder. Anna divide her time between two major projects: Gapminder School (free videos and apps focusing about global proportions and slow global trends) and Dollar Street (photo documentations of home functions - such as cooking, eating, sleeping, hygiene - at different income levels globally). Both projects aims at building a fact-based world view everyone can understand. In 2007 Gapminder sold their Trendalyzer technology to Google. For three years Anna worked at Google as an User Experience Designer to improve public data search. Since 2010 Anna is back at Gapminder. Her main passion is to make statistics understandable and useful! She has a Masters Degree in Social Sciences (with major in Sociology) and a Bachelor Degree in Photography.