Humans have always had an interest in the future, but over the last half century, we’ve developed a more focused, anticipatory approach to futures studies, one that aims to ask “what if” rather than to predict. Companies such as Shell have used speculative tools to inform strategic decisions, as can be seen in their scenarios program, Philips Design Futures group has used speculative design work to explore new product territories for their company. Fictional speculative designs have the potential to propose future applications of emerging technologies, which might be carried further to enter the marketplace as a sellable product.
The Extrapolation Factory translates futures studies approaches pioneered by think tanks, strategists and futurists, and introduces them to audiences in accessible, interactive workshops as a way to democratize these new approaches to long term visioning. In Extrapolation Factory workshops, participants learn valuable tools for conceiving future scenarios and developing inspiring and provocative ideas that could shape the next business, product or service.
– will be introduced to the history of speculative design.
– will learn to use several models for futures visioning.
– will co-creatively build a futures assessment device.
– will experiment with future "pre-enactments".
The Extrapolation Factory is an imagination-based studio for design-led futures studies, founded by Elliott P. Montgomery and Chris Woebken. The Extrapolation Factory has worked with partners and organizations such as Autodesk Research, UNICEF, TED Active, Museum of Arts and Design, Columbia University’s Studio-X NYC, The Royal College of Art, Parsons School of Design. The Core77 Design Award granted to The Extrapolation Factory in 2013’s Speculative Design category and the Extrapolation Factory was nominated for the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year award in 2015.