As society faces what many now call the Anthropocene age, the impacts of climate change and humankind’s role in it will influence, literally, everything. The Living Building Challenge and the Old Weather Whaling project seek to tackle the problem head on.
DESIGNING THE FUTURE SPONSOR
DESIGNING THE FUTURE SPONSOR
Data transformation, transparency, and resident input are remaking civics as we know it. For example, Los Angeles Public Library engaged with the city’s Innovation Lab for a hackathon on immigration issues, while digital government experts focus on collaboration and cybersecurity.
Greater longevity and diversifying household makeup meet initiatives that could spur well-being across demographics. The Healthspital initiative uses data to empower patients and improve wellness outcomes; library collaboration with Lifetime Arts enriches senior’s quality of life with creativity.
People are making, breaking, and tossing more things than ever. While The Story of Stuff projects seeks to slow the flow, if not reverse the tide, libraries can play a role by enabling sharing through non-traditional lending programs and repair cafes.
Self-directed, connected, and “interest-powered”—and disrupted as never before, learning is being re-envisioned as a social endeavor by scholars who seek to coordinate home, school, and library, and it's being “connected” to digital media as never before.
Gigabit tech, big data, and the rise of ride-share are a few forces at work on the horizon for communication and transportation. Studying online attention spans and app use can help understand impact, while low latency at the library enables real-time collaboration.
Virtual and augmented reality hold promise—especially if playtime gets its due. Technology blurs the line between physical and digital, but doesn’t kill imagination; the Sacramento Public Library Play Summit prioritizes time to play freely in an increasingly regimented schedule.
Little is more essential than making a living—and how to store, spend, and save what we earn. Coworking and gig work are the new normal, baby boom retirements will change the job market, and Arizona State and libraries aid entrepreneurs.
Multiformat, more social, and increasingly interactive—even as global gaps in literacy persist—reading will not be displaced by technology, as feared, but instead instead reinvented by it, with an emphasis on human connection, at least for those who can afford the tools.
Resident-led innovation is transforming towns around the world. The library-located Institute for Emerging Issues helps North Carolina towns grapple with economic challenges; Denmark’s Aarhus Libraries award-winning new flagship, Dok1, envelopes and connects to the community from birth onward.
In the future, forces large and small will transform our communities.
Download this PDF, which collects all trend pages from the "Designing the Future" issue.