Irem Tekogul

Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology

Emerging technologies spur collective imagination about futures that are yet to come. Visions of these futures highlight promises and perils of emerging technologies poised to change society radically. In addition to emerging technologies, precarity as the 21st-century condition informs how futures are made. This joins the broader call for a care movement to respond to precarity. While there is a growing body of work building on care ethics in the field of design, the application of such theoretical concepts has been limited. I draw on data from an ethnographic field study of emerging design practices in the Silicon Valley research and development division of a multi-national technology company for investigating emerging future-oriented design practices. The case studies highlight the increasing prominence of future thinking and systems thinking, which reflects the increasing complexity of challenges the company aims to address while showcasing the lack of capacity to think with/through/for care. I argue that cultivating care as a core component of future-oriented design practices can increase accountability and responsibility. Building on feminist care ethics, I propose that designers embrace what I term vital futures: futures that are preoccupied with repairing, maintaining, and continuing our world so we can live in it as well as possible.

KEYWORDS: systemic design, futures thinking, foresight, care ethics

Posted September 2022

©­ Author, published by the Systemic Design Association

Open Access article published under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License. This permits anyone to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or form according to the licence terms.

Suggested Citation Format (APA)

Author(s) (20##). Article title. Proceedings of Relating Systems Thinking and Design (RSD#) Symposium.