Design Frontiers

Reading this great article on Human Augmentation by Andrea Potter, Gautam Jaggi and Prianka Srinivasan in the latest Rotman Management magazine Winter 2019 (have I told that I believe this is one of the best business innovation magazines around?), I can’t stop myself from identifying all the places Design must play a part, independently of what kind of design and who will be in charge of it.

Take ‘sleep design’, or the activity of designing experiences that provide better sleep to people anywhere they are and when they desire or their bodies require. Everyone knows the impact of sleep deprivation on human being, and the more strenuous and demanding staying awake becomes, the more we will need true sleep, even if sleep will not look & feel like it does today. It will not be just at night, and will probably not be ineffective like now where we are in bed but not sleeping, a hybrid level of understanding our bodies and the activities we are supposed to be doing will trigger and nudge people into sleeping with the aid or things/ places/ additives. I may sleep for 15 minutes before writing my next paragraph.

Or perhaps ‘nutrition design’, where eating hand made prepared food with real-ish ingredients will become to nutrition as vinyl to music. We will end up balancing our nutrition aimed at being healthier and living longer 80% of the time by eating supplements and ingredients in various formats, some more aseptic and some made to look like their original predecessor. The other 20% we will pay a lot of currency and have access to so called real ingredients, but also depend on people and tools that will know what to do with them, we will allow ourselves to go crazy and eat, drink, feast in things that will either be part of our memory or become one. And then, machines will tell us what was the impact and give us supplements and ingredients to correct and balance.

Now all of this might sound weird and designers might be horrified, but we will be like the frog that gets cooked in slow boiling water, a very slow boiling water that will feel like a spa for a long, long time before we actually go. Never talked to one of these frogs, maybe they die happy, with a warm and fuzzy feeling