Abstract

This paper examines the place of trend forecasting in current design debates concerning the varying notion of design being a change agent and crafting the future, in order to point to a limited understanding of trend forecasting within these debates. Moreover, the paper indicates research gaps in the rare examinations of the phenomenon of trend forecasting. It is almost as if trend forecasting is an invisible force and an intangible phenomenon. Its directive power remains unrecognized and therefore under-conceptualized in design discourse. The practice is considered as commercial and thus unworthy for academic attention. Therefore this paper illustrates briefly the dissemination of the trend forecasting industry and its trajectory from being merely used for fashion style advice to becoming political and having effect on major operators of society. The presented theoretical framework is part of the underlying PhD project: Archaeology of the future - Inside the culture of trend forecasting. An ethnographic study has been commenced to explore the phenomenon of trend forecasting and its immanent concepts. This paper advocates that such a detailed analysis can deliver useful insights to design discourse by helping to understand aspects of future making, the development of discursive power and the driving forces behind material culture and change, as well as contributing to the discussion of changing notions of design.

Keywords:

Trend forecasting; futures studies; design debate; change; future;

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Jun 16th, 12:00 AM

Archaeology of the Future Reconsidering the Place and Nature of Trend forecasting in Design Discourse

This paper examines the place of trend forecasting in current design debates concerning the varying notion of design being a change agent and crafting the future, in order to point to a limited understanding of trend forecasting within these debates. Moreover, the paper indicates research gaps in the rare examinations of the phenomenon of trend forecasting. It is almost as if trend forecasting is an invisible force and an intangible phenomenon. Its directive power remains unrecognized and therefore under-conceptualized in design discourse. The practice is considered as commercial and thus unworthy for academic attention. Therefore this paper illustrates briefly the dissemination of the trend forecasting industry and its trajectory from being merely used for fashion style advice to becoming political and having effect on major operators of society. The presented theoretical framework is part of the underlying PhD project: Archaeology of the future - Inside the culture of trend forecasting. An ethnographic study has been commenced to explore the phenomenon of trend forecasting and its immanent concepts. This paper advocates that such a detailed analysis can deliver useful insights to design discourse by helping to understand aspects of future making, the development of discursive power and the driving forces behind material culture and change, as well as contributing to the discussion of changing notions of design.

 

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