The Future of Design, Part II

For the second straight year, we asked 10 creatives to predict what is coming up in the world of design and how they will prepare for it. This year's installment includes designing for voice-controlled tech, holograms, and the rise of the hybrid designer.

Design is always changing, and wider changes are often spearheaded by design itself. Now with tech and the creative industry increasingly aligning, we’re on the precipice of a truly momentous period in the history of design, something unprecedented that is difficult to predict and prepare for. The way we describe the future in stories is rarely accurate: the optimistic or pessimistic sci-fi narratives of the past saw hover-cars, holograms, and teleportation as everyday items in the 21st century, most significantly failing to predict the Internet and its manifold repercussions. Any predictions that we do make right now will be in vain because of technology’s rapid developments:the devices that will drive even control our lives in a decades time hasn’t been invented or envisioned yet.

With quickly evolving tools, tumultuous shifts in the economy, the relentless growth of the gig and freelance lifestyle, and global networks, the working landscape for young designers is a tremendously uncertain one. There’s no model to follow: The known and well-trodden career path of previous generations is overgrown. What will this mean for the bedroom illustrator creating 3-D characters after school, or for the young freelancer setting up camp in a new coffee shop every day as she travels the world looking for new solutions, or for the promising UX grad poised for a career at a global branding agency?

It’s an uncertain time for design, but in its difficulty and complexity, it is an inspiring and crucial one: Those with the skills will help decide the way that innovations in tech not only look but function, too, and influence our daily lives....more