The Future

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Hi guys! Busy as usual, I’ll show you one of my current projects that I worked on for uni. The brief was to do a ‘portrait of the future’, so I decided to do an interactive book (descision flow chart?) in which it was from the ‘past’ (our present) to the reader in the future. They had to answer questions about themselves and at the end based on what route they went reveal my predictions. I did not want to portray one version or my own version of the future. The future has all kinds of possiblities and I wanted to present this idea instead.

The project was quite hard as organising was a logistical nightmare. Everything had to go somewhere, whilst still making (somewhat) logical sense. I decided that although the project was about the future, personally, this project was about me improving my typography, layout and InDesign skills. (Hence the wildly varying styles and typefaces.) It well recieved on the critique yesterday which I was pleased about. The book has 40 pages, and 5 different ‘endings’. I wanted to export the pdf. so that you guys can have a play around, but unfortunately InDesign does not wish to follow this command.

Anyway, I hope you guys like and spark a few conversations of what the future might hold for us.

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6 thoughts on “The Future

  1. 5thshadeofmist says:

    Very cool and original. I hope your uni assessor thinks the same! I’d written about the memetic theory concerning the future in my English Lit dissertation a couple of years back. The idea of everything being shiny and stuff flying everywhere is a common thing in the cultural expectations. I like how you present multiple possibilities with the interactive style that you’ve chosen.

    • Thank you very much for the comment! Wow, that dissertation definitely sounds like an interesting read. Does it explore why the whole idea of everything being ‘shiny and stuff flying everywhere’ is common in cultural expectations? Why is it that particular theme reoccurs? Is it because that’s our version of ‘utopia’? Opposite of dirt and decay (essentially what nature is) I’d like to know your thoughts.

      That last line made me smile, I’m glad that the main concept came across clear. As a designer/illustrator I always worry if I can successfully communicate an idea.

      • 5thshadeofmist says:

        Most welcome.

        It does indeed, but as it’s an English Literature disseration it focusses on those preconceptions in literature. Title: Human Nature and its Embodiment in Cyberpunk;
        The importance of the representation of the individual and society within Cyberpunk as a genre.

        The dissertation does explore humanity’s notion of shiny stuff and flying things (I had to go back and read over the specific chapter, there :p), in particular utilising Marxist theories to explain this. Here’s a long(-ish) quote from the final draft:

        “…In the manner that Neuromancer reflects the time period in which it was written, it also contains the memes that have been present in the works that influenced Gibson. Marxist theory suggests that an author’s work reflects their social and economic determinants, and the memes therein are reflected in the novel’s themes. Snow Crash and Only Forward, in a similar respect, are hosts to the replications of speculative memes, whilst picking up the cultural climate of the times they were written in. Diachronically, the memes from the beginning of sf have been evolving symbiotically with culture, serving as a dusty mirror for humanity’s gaze.

        That the individual and society have come up so often, manifest in the sf trope of microcosm in the protagonist, suggests that this is what humanity thinks the future could be. However, as a species, we are unable to see beyond our limitations, and so are confined to linear perceptions, ill-equipped to see beyond ourselves. For instance, the novels all speculate about the future, but with humanity involved in a pivotal way. Neuromancer stresses the nature of suffering in capitalism and technology-ideology, whilst Snow Crash presents the reader with a world privatised to maximum. Only Forward’s story is more concerned with the individual role of ‘what could happen?’, and therefore can be argued to substantiate the theory that sf as a genre is humanistic….”

        I get you on the concept crossover. Readability in writing is a huge issue when you have an idea in your head but need to get it across to someone else. As people we view things from a baseline, and our perceptions reflect this. We see the future as an ideal, hence the flying things and shiny, tall buildings, but don’t make way for our actual sociocultural influences a lot of the time. So our present becomes more miniaturised while our ideal of the future grows even more ideal.

        Bit of a long reply, but in short, yeah, the whole thing boils down to our version of utopia and what we want from the coming years. 🙂

  2. 5thshadeofmist says:

    Oh, also I’ve linked to this post in one I’ve now written, focussing loosely on this theme.

  3. Thank you very much for featuring me on your blog! I am most flattered. Apologies for the long delay in replying, I read your comment (and subsquently a small part of your very interesting dissertation) and I had to go away and ponder about it for a while. I agree with your point about humans being limited in regards to the future, particluarly because (as you aptly put it) it has to have ‘humanity involved in a pivotal way’. I’ve not yet read your blog post, but I will look forward to eventually settling down and reading it.

    Thanks for commenting!

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