The place and nature of trend forecasting in design debates. An opportunity or threat for design (studies)?

Elisabeth Petermann
2014 Proceedings of the 9th Conference of the International Committee for Design History and Design Studies   unpublished
author(s) keywords trend forecasting, design, design studies, change, future This paper examines the place of trend forecasting in contemporary design debates concerning the varying notions of design crafting the future and being a change agent, in order to show the limited understanding of forecasting within these debates. The directive power of trend forecasting remains unacknowledged and therefore underconceptualized in design discourse. It is almost as if forecasting would be an invisible
more » ... d be an invisible force and an intangible phenomenon. Unacknowledged by critical studies as well, trend forecasting moved from being a prescriptive style advice to a normative practice having effect on major operators of society -another gap this paper indicates. Drawing on empirical research, trend forecasting's trajectory is briefly illustrated. In conclusion this paper discusses whether the integration of such an enlarged understanding of trend forecasting in design studies could deliver an opportunity to enrich discussions on the changing notions of design and even re-gauge the functions of design studies, or whether it is a threat reinforcing the prevalent pluralism within design studies. Finally this paper advocates that only by an in-depth examination of trend forecasting a necessary holistic understanding of this phenomenon can be developed in order to effectively engross these issues.
doi:10.5151/despro-icdhs2014-0092 fatcat:f76driommvfxthhc6k75yrcuha