Media Design Practices DesignFuture

What is a DesignFuture?

DesignFutures tap into the imaginations and research capabilities of ArtCenter’s graduate students to envision the impact of a technology, product, or service 5-10 years into the future. Led by faculty experts in design for emerging technologies, students spend 3-4 weeks fully immersed in exploratory design methods informed by a Sponsoring Partner’s expertise. Partners gain exposure to provocative, speculative, and exploratory methods that expand thinking about what might be possible — to inspire their teams and take their projects in new directions.


New Car Experiences

What is the role of trust in the mediated relationship between an autonomous car, its users, its system, and the city around it?


Intel / Jaguar

Host Department

Media Design Practices


Ben Hooker, Tim Durfee

Seams and Superpowers

What kinds of “superpowers” might networks of digital sensors create? How will behavior change as people use their power over nearby things to act as remote eyes, ears or other senses?


Fuselabs / Microsoft

Host Department

Media Design Practices


Phil van Allen

Wearable Ecologies

How might networks of embedded heterogeneous digital devices result in new gestures as one interacts with the world around them?



Host Department

Media Design Programs


Phil van Allen, Ben Hooker

Metropolis of Me

How will we identify, research, seek out, and find things, places, ideas, and people in the near future as we move about the city? From digital interfaces to physical spaces to live humans to robots to objects – how will the city communicate to us and how will our digital media choices shape the city in return?


Toyota / Saatchi & Saatchi

Host Department

Media Design Practices


Tim Durfee


For Sponsors

For Students

– Opportunity to work with real “clients” in start-up mode

– Potential for internships and/or employment opportunities

– Exposure to current industry trends

– Relevant experience for future entrepreneurial and/or freelance work

– Potential royalty option

Are DesignFutures open to all students?

DesignFutures are typically run within a graduate program’s curriculum and therefore participation is limited to students in that program but there may be other ways to participate, such as through an independent study. Independent studies could be open to graduate or upper term students from a non-sponsoring department however projects run for 3-4 weeks straight, around the clock, leaving no flexiblity or room to be enrolled in other courses at the same time. Therefore participation might be restricted to students on a lite term or leave of absence.

Who owns the work I produce in a DesignFuture?

The students own all of the work they create, but our sponsors are given an exclusive negotiation period during which they can review outcomes and negotiate with students to acquire additional rights to the works.

How are the sponsors involved in DesignFutures?

DesignFuture sponsors bring important expertise and advance research to a DesignFutures project. They are present to supply necessary background information and materials to students during the kick-off and return at the end for final presentations.

What are typical Futurescape deliverables?

DesignFuture deliverables typically include video vignettes of future scenarios, in addition to digital models, working prototypes, and research reports.

Do I get paid to participate in a DesignFuture?

Students often receive a materials, supplies, or travel stipend to support their involvement in DesignFutures.

Did you know that you own all the work that you produce as an ArtCenter student? You will have the opportunity to negotiate with any sponsor that might be interested in acquiring additional rights to your work and ArtCenter will support you through the process.

Click here to download a copy of the ArtCenter Intellectual Property Policy.