Paolo Antonelli sees a future where ‘design thinking’ and ‘design producing’ live happily together. Design disciplines will be so-last-century. Instead will will only cleave the applied work, from theoretical work.
In 25 years designers will be at the nexus of things. They will not be divvied up according to their reductive speciality (graphic, product, furniture, so 20th-century!). On the contrary, like physics, design will be loosely separated between theoretical and applied.
Theoretical designers will be exquisite generalists—a bit like French philosophers, but ready to roll up their sleeves. Applied designers will visualise complex infrastructures and systems so that scientists, policymakers and the general public can manage and influence them; they will bring economy and common sense to the production of consumer goods.