Designerly ways of futuring: Virtual reality as a foresight tool for long term sustainability
With the early onset of cataclysmic climate breakdown (Xu et al., 2018) and “biological annihilation” culminating in the ‘sixth mass extinction’ (Ceballos et al., 2017), organized human life is presented with a bleak future. Even in our collective imagination we are forced to comprehend the self-reinforcing loops of dystopian thinking where it has become far easier to imagine the end of the world (O’Brien 2018; Slaughter 1998). Given the pressing and immediate need for climate action there seems to be a crisis of imagination in seeing futures beyond the dystopian visions of ‘Business as Usual’ (BaU) (Slaughter 1998). Given these defutured (Fry 1999) frames, it becomes essential to imagine and design for radically different, long-term sustainable futures—futures that don’t yet exist. But to avoid the cognitively loaded processes of predicting these futures, forms of playful anticipation with conceptions of the future have been put forth that suggest opening up possibilities for more robust futures, engaging in a more “brain-body-spirit” learning through “other ways of knowing” (Inayatullah 2017).
See the extended abstract here: http://anticipationconference.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Anticipation_2019_paper_28.pdf