The Futures Archive

The Futures Archive

The Futures Archive is a podcast from Design Observer that looks at the history of human-centered design with a critical eye to its future.

In each episode, we begin with an object, interrogating the motives and methods that put people—and their complex needs and desires—at the center of the design process. From research to iteration to manufacturing and distribution, we’ll look at design as more than the sum of its countless parts—learning from the “what” and searching for the “why”—as we explore, together, the possibilities for our collective future.

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Season one is sponsored by Automattic.
Our education partner is Adobe.


Episodes

The Futures Archive is Thankful For...
We’re taking a mid-season break from our regular episode posting to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped us make our first season so successful.


The Futures Archive S1E6: The Toilet
On this episode of The Futures Archive, host Lee Moreau and this episode’s guest host, Devorah Klein, discuss the toilet, privacy, and connections.


The Futures Archive S1E5: The Uniform
On this episode of The Futures Archive designer Lee Moreau and this episode’s guest host, Grace Jun, discuss the notion of a uniform, and the importance of inclusivity in human-centered design.


The Futures Archive S1E4: The Chair
On this episode of The Futures Archive Lee Moreau and Judith Anderson discuss the history and design of the chair, and the importance of prototyping.


The Futures Archive S1E3: The Bottle
On this episode of The Futures Archive designer Lee Moreau and this episode’s guest host, Jamer Hunt, discuss the design and production of the plastic bottle.


The Futures Archive S1E2: The Toothbrush
On this episode of The Futures Archive Lee Moreau and Harry West discuss the toothbrush, toothbrushing, and over-learned behaviors.


The Futures Archive S1E1: The Passport
On this inaugural episode of The Futures Archive podcast Lee Moreau and guest host Natasha Jen discuss passport design, which leads them to ask “who is the human is in human centered design?” With insights from Ellen Lupton, Kipum Lee, + Craig Robertson.



Observed | October 29

Black students make up only 9% of enrollment at 96 schools teaching art and design in the United States. But thanks to D’Wayne Edwards, that is about to change. [JH]

At just 61 years old, Nigeria is still an emerging nation—and it’s a hotbed of design. [JH]

Humor, art, activism: discuss amongst yourselves. [JH]

What do the words “design” and “delicatessen” have in common? You’re about to find out! [JH]


Observed | October 26

Graphic designers will swoon to see Ricky Jay’s collection, which will be auctioned this week at Sotheby’s in New York. [JH]


Observed | October 22

Elizabeth Diller interprets Edmund de Waal’s book, “The Hare With Amber Eyes” as a cabinet of curiosities. The exhibition opens at The Jewish Museum in New York on November 19. [JH]


Observed | October 15

Karim Rashid opines on the harsher realities of a life in design. [JH]

Richard Schultz, American pioneer of modernist furniture, dies at 95. [JH]

Pixar movies, and the subtleties of dystopian cities. [JH]

In celebration of their relaunch Print magazine comissioned a wonderful video that you should watch. [BV]


Observed | October 01

Adnan Lotia recreates iconic album covers with ... Lego. [JH]

Designers Verònica Fuerte and Sebastián Londoño turn circles into an international design language. [JH]

Jim Jarmusch, collage artist. [JH]

Posted without comment. [JH]



Jobs | November 27