TBD Catalog 10th Anniversary Edition
by Julian Bleecker and the Near Future Laboratory
This is the project that started it all! The canonical Design Fiction project you can hold in your hands! Now back in its 3rd epic printing. Reworked, rejuvenated, rehabilitated, reprinted on 112 pages of luxurious Premero Neue Luna Gloss 640R to give it that extra futuristic catalog feel in the hand!
The Brief: Gather 12 or 14 curious creative types to ponder the future and wrap their reflections and considerations into the ARCHETYPE of your typical mass-market product catalog!
Rather than writing an academic paper about what the future might contain or what life might be like in some corners of the world, or such as a PowerPoint Deck, or delivering a clever presentation, I wondered if we could make an ARTIFACT that gave a sense of the near future in an indirect way, in the form of something quite a bit more challenging to create: a product catalog from some possible future(s)!
TBD Catalog is the result of that question.
6×8.5 inches, 112 pages, 4 color, gatefold cover, limpbound & section sewn.
Initiated in a workshop in Detroit in collaboration with the University of Michigan’s Penny W. Stamps School of Design, and with collaborators from around the world, we pondered the question and began getting kinetic very quickly — sketching, containing, probing, conversing, exploring, walking, gaming actively for 3 days.
In the end, there were enough raw insights and perspectives that there was a sensibility as to what kinds of hopes, fears, dreams, and desires might express themselves in the form of typical ‘high tech’ gizmos, gadgets, geegaws, fast-foods, supplementing beverages, remotely operated this-and-that, wearable what-the-heck-is-its.
It’s all in here. The inverted indirect non-declarative but sensed possibilities.
But wait! There’s More!
This project exercised the approach of Design Fiction. Beyond my essay ‘Design Fiction: A Short Essay on Design Science Fact and Fiction’ this project canonized not just the ‘what’ of Design Fiction, but the ‘how’ as well — which led eventually to establishing principles, practice, and methodology (such as it is..) that became the backbone of ‘The Manual of Design Fiction’ and ‘It’s Time To Imagine Harder
Paperback | 112 pages | Near Future Laboratory