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Design and Anticipation

When Design Shapes Possible Futures

Anticipation and design are both future-oriented activities, although they usually operate in different environments and, as a consequence, their aims and means are (partially) different. Design cultures are able to go beyond the existing ambience; they innovate by shaping objectives and indicating directions of change. Design cultures overlap with futures studies in many different ways: both are future-oriented, both serve people and social institutions, both deal with uncertainty, fuzziness, complexity and cultural issues. Both design and futures studies negotiate the needs of different stakeholders, aiming at developing more complete and integral viewpoints.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to

  • theoretical reflections and case studies on the cooperation between design disciplines (product, communication, services, interior design and architectural design and technology) and futures studies
  • histories of design and architecture that have anticipated future directions
  • methods and tools to anticipate within design practices (trends, scenarios, design fiction, etc.)
  • visualization and projection of the possible future within enterprises (Advanced Design case studies).


  • Manuela Celi (Politecnico di Milano)
  • Daniele Fanzini (Politecnico di Milano)
  • Elena Formia (Università di Bologna)

Selection process

In the first instance abstracts will be double blind reviewed and (if selected) all papers and abstracts will be gathered in proceedings with ISBN. After the conference we’ll ask all the participant to provide the extended version of the paper that will be peer-reviewed and, during this process,  some outstanding paper will be selected for high level journals (Future, Forecasting, Axiomathes…).


Relevant information

  • To submit an abstract to this workshop send a mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. before June 15, 2015.
  • Further information on the conference is available from http://www.projectanticipation.org
  • Session’s speakers should register and pay the conference fee:
    • Early registration (before 1 September 2015): € 150
    • Late registration (from 1 September 2015): € 200

Important dates

  • Abstract submission: 15 June 2015
  • Final program: 30 June 2015
  • Early registration: Before 1 September 2015
  • Deadline registration: 20 October 2015

The registration is now open: https://webapps.unitn.it/Apply/en/Web/Home/convegni



Project Anticipation

Department of Sociology and Social Research

26, Verdi Street, 38122 Trento (TN) Italy


+39 0461 281403

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