EST. 2009

December 30, 2020

That Forward Gaze

PREDICTING THE FUTURE HAS FASCINATED writers, artists, scientists and pseudo scientists alike throughout history. The rest of us, we love it too. From actual predictions taking form (like Mark Twain imagining The Internet as early as 1898) to trend-driven forecasts (like which haircuts will be in fashion two seasons from now) the ability to gaze forward gives a comforting heads up to whatever is coming our way.

If only all futures could be predicted. 

The year 2020 is testament to the limitations of the practice. With little warning, we watched predictions lose relevance in all areas of human life. While social media has grown too sophisticated in predicting which ads we need to see at any given point in time, nobody had forecasted banana bread becoming the gastronomic hit of lockdown.

With futures uncertain, how do we face them? I suggest three approaches in ways I know how.

1. Face the future


In a 1972 interview, Charles Eames was asked "What are the boundaries of design?" To which he responded "What are the boundaries of problems?" Design at its core is simply problem-solving after all, and designers rarely settle on a first draft. To design and redesign keeps us actively moving towards a solution.



Before pursuing design and art direction as a career, I spent many years in theatre, and trained in classical song and dance. One thing I learned on stage is that you can never predict mishaps. They happen when they do. A performer's mastery of the material and their own talent, allows them to improvise to save a scene. The show must go on, so must we. 



My nearest and dearest know how much I enjoy romantic extras. All the flowers, wine and books, candlelight; ordinary situations are transformed with romance, lifting even the drabbest of days. I used to imagine what I would do if I were ever imprisoned, and I imagined I would sing, write, and learn languages. In lockdown, I did just that.

There's no fully knowing, only hoping, that 2021 will bring brighter days. Stay safe, stay informed, and most of all, stay adaptable. There is no limit to how many times we can redesign our lives, and there is definitely no limit to how much romance we can fill our lives with.

Happy New Year! Lots of love.