Welcome to the DexignFutures.org website. Here you can find open-source versions of the Dexign Futures courses taught at the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University. This is a companion website for the https://dexignfutures.com/ webpage where you will find publications and information on the Dexign Futures research project.
Video 1. An introduction to the 2017 Dexign Futures course for CMU students. It explains how the course fits into the CMU undergraduate program.
The goal of the DexignFutures.org website is to broadly disseminate Dexign Futures materials so that you can learn to Dexign Futures and teach the methods learned if you like. There are two ongoing efforts for the 15-week semester-long Dexign Futures course: provide an English version and in collaboration with Professor Fu Zhiyong from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China create a translated version of Dexign Futures in Chinese.
Professor Peter Scupelli from the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon is developing a 7-week version of Dexign Futures for CMU students offered in Fall 2019-2020. He is developing the equivalent of a 45-hour course to be offered at CMU Qatar spring 2021. As these different versions become available, open-source versions of the courses will be posted on this website.
Sustainability is often framed in terms of long-range challenges unfolding over periods of a generation or more, for example looking to a specified multi-decadal time horizon like the year 2050 (WBCSD, 2009). Dexign Futures explicitly focused on aligning near-term design action with sustainable futures.
Dexign Futures grew out of a course titled Dexign the Future originated in 2013 by Arnold Wasserman as Nierenberg Chair Visiting Professor. The course was co-taught by Wasserman via remote telepresence and Prof. Peter Scupelli on-site. https://dexignthefuture.com/
The “X” in Dexign was originated by Wasserman to signify an experimental form of design and design education combining design thinking with futures thinking to align near term design action with long-range vision goals – while navigating uncertainty and accelerating innovation toward desired futures (Wasserman, Scupelli, & Brooks 2015ab; Scupelli, Wasserman, Brooks, 2016; Scupelli, Brooks,Wasserman, 2016).
In 2016 and 2017, Dexign Futures was taught with the flipped classroom pedagogy as an alternative to the traditional lecture approach (Scupelli & Brooks, 2018). “Flipped” courses shift new-content exposure to pre-class work and use class time for hands-on application activities (Bergmann & Sams, 2012). Pre-class work included online readings, videos, and interactive questionnaires providing immediate feedback; as well as a mechanism for students to submit questions to the instructor ahead of each session. Weekly reflections asked students to explain how they might integrate futures methods into design practice.
The online platform, Open Learning Initiative (OLI), included an information dashboard highlighting the top five questions that students had answered incorrectly in the pre-work, so that the instructor could address student misconceptions. Discussion then paved the way to active engagement with hands-on individual and group activities, during which the instructor provided just-in-time guidance.
Video 2. An introduction to the 2016 Dexign Futures course made for CMU students. It explains how the course fits into the CMU undergraduate program and explains what questions Dexign Futures addresses. The slide presentation in the video was adapted from the paper presentation at the 2016 IDSA international conference in Detroit, MI.
Reference: Scupelli, P., Brooks, J. & Wasserman, A. (2016) Making Dexign Futures learning happen: A case study for a flipped, Open-Learning Initiative course. Design Educators IDSA International Conference 2016: Making Things Happen. August 17-20, Detroit, MI, USA.
In 2018, Peter Scupelli and Stuart Candy developed a course called Futures for CMU third-year undergraduate design students. It used a hybrid studio approach (making more use of in-class lectures followed by hands on-studio activities, meeting for 170 minutes once per week) focused on experiential futures practices of tangible artifact and immersive scenario creation.
In 2019, Dexign Futures was taught as a 7-week course at CMU. The course was run twice, once as a required course for undergraduate design students and another time as an elective course for non-design majors both undergraduate and graduate students.
Dexign Futures Courses at Carnegie Mellon
Previous Dexign Futures courses taught at Carnegie Mellon University. The Introduction to Dexign the Future (iDTF) course was taught at the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University by Peter Scupelli fall semester 2014. iDTF focused on teaching specific futures methods, necessary background knowledge, and the creation of futures scenarios. In 2015, Peter Scupelli and Judy Brooks developed and piloted the Dexign Futures Seminar course (DFS). DSF used the flipped-classroom pedagogy and hands on workshop activities to teach to critique existing futures scenarios. The Dexign the Future course taught fall 2013 by Arnold Wasserman and Peter Scupelli. The goal of the “Design the Future” course sequences was to create futures scenarios aimed at sustainable futures. The sequence of the three Dexign the future courses, DFS, iDTF, and DTF allows students to learn to create futures scenarios.
In 2016, Peter Scupellu was asked to develop a single futures course for all the undergraduate design students at Carnegie Mellon University. The stated goal for the course shifted from creating futures scenarios (i.e., DFS, iDTF, DTF) to embedding futures thinking methods into design thinking processes.
Since 2016, a flipped pedagogy course has been taught to undergraduate design students with the goal of integrating futures thinking methods with design thinking methods to align short term design action with long term sustainable goals. Starting in 2019, an elective course has been taught to both undergraduate and graduate students from disciplines across the university.
Scupelli, P. (2021) Teaching Designers to Anticipate Future Challenges with Causal Layered Analysis. IASDR 2021: With Design: Reinventing Design Modes. December 5-9, 2021. Hong Kong, China.
Barbara, A., & Scupelli, P. (2021). Teaching to dexign futures in cities. TECHNE – Journal of Technology for Architecture and Environment, (2), 112-116. https://doi.org/10.13128/techne-10693 pdf download
Scupelli, P. (2020) Teaching to Find Design Opportunities for Behavior Change Through Causal Layered Analysis. Proceedings of the 2020 Human-Computer Interaction International Conference. 2020 HCI International Conference, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Scupelli, P. (2020) The Faster Ones Don’t Always Win: Dexign Futures Thinking for Innovation in Urban Context. 10th United Nations World Urban Forum. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. February 8-13, 2020.
Scupelli, P., Candy, S., & Brooks, J. (2019) Teaching Futures: Trade-offs Between Flipped Classroom and Design Studio Course Pedagogies. IASDR 2019: Design Revolutions. September 2-5, 2019. Manchester, UK.
Scupelli, P., & Brooks, J. (2018) What Features of a Flipped Course Improve Design Student Learning Experiences? Next wave: Design Management Academic conference, August 1-2, Ravensbourne London, UK. Presentation
Scupelli, P., Wasserman, A., Wells-Papanek, D., & Brooks, J. (2018) The Futures of Design Pedagogy, Learning, and Education. Next wave: Design Management Academic conference, August 1-2, Ravensbourne London, UK.
Scupelli, P., Wells-Papanek, D., Brooks, J. & Wasserman, A.(2017) Opening a design education pipeline from University to K-12 and Back, IASDR 2017, Cincinnati (October 31 – November 3, 2017). Presentation
Scupelli, P., Brooks, J. & Wasserman, A. (2016) Making Dexign Futures learning happen: A case study for a flipped, Open-Learning Initiative course. Design Educators IDSA International Conference 2016: Making Things Happen. August 17-20, Detroit, MI, USA. [25% acceptance rate (10 accepted, 41 submitted)]
Scupelli, P., Wasserman, A., Brooks, J. (2016). Dexign Futures: A Pedagogy for Long-Horizon Design Scenarios. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.
[11% accepted with revisions,(53 accepted with revisions, 478 submitted)]
Wasserman, A., Scupelli, P., & Brooks, J. (2015) Learning to Dexign the Future. Design Educators Asia Conference 2015. December 1-2, Jockey Club Innovation Tower, Hong Kong, China. [30% acceptance rate,(31 accepted, 105 submitted)] presentation
Wasserman, A., Scupelli, P., & Brooks, J. (2015) Learn!2050 and Design Futures: Lessons learned teaching design futures. Design Educators IDSA International Conference 2015: Future of the Future. August 19-22, Seattle, WA.
[50% acceptance rate,(21 accepted, 42 submitted)]
Scupelli, P. & Wasserman, A. (2014). Dexign the future: lessons learned from teaching a design studio course on human-centered innovation for exponential times. Oxford Futures Forum, OFF2014, Saïd Business School, Oxford University, May 30-31, 2014.