Urban futures : Scenario-based techniques

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SoftGrid in association with AESOP and IFHP
In his recently published book ‘Design Futuring’, Tony Fry (2009) outlines a design methodology that includes the use of scenarios as a way to encompass within the design scope considerations (and concerns) about the future. Society is on course for an environmental meltdown and cities are largely responsible for this threat. If the future must be secured, we must learn to design with the future in mind and redirect design practice accordingly. The idea of a change of direction implies that to date designers have predominantly acted in response to the here-and-now, ignoring the future consequences of their decisions. In a way, this pattern of behaviour can be regarded as entrenched in contemporary (and maybe past) culture. Fry maintains that ‘while the inability to project our action in time seems to be a structural limitation of our mode of being, overcoming this condition and acquiring much greater futuring capability will become an increasingly vital factor for securing our on-going being… Unless this is done, later events can make earlier decisions redundant, or expose them as inappropriate’.
Architecture & Planning in Times of Scarcity : Reclaiming the Possibility of Making. 3rd AESOP European Urban Summer School 2012, Manchester
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