Future State: Process

How will the work process evolve in the future?

A man sitting and smiling with crossed arms.

Last year over 80 designers in 4 cities, including Detroit, were asked to formulate ideas about the future of work. These discussions centered around how work will change in the future and how those changes will affect People, Process, and Place.

Process: Is Tech Friend or Foe

Today, if you’re a designer working on a 10-story workplace, you might find yourself in a meeting with the client, furniture dealer, and contractor. What happens when the client needs you to value-engineer 10 stories into eight and cut half a million dollars from the furniture budget? It’s very likely you might think, “that’s impossible. We don’t have time, you don’t have the budget, and there’s too much to coordinate!”

A cartoon of a robot arm holding an Eames Plastic Chair under a projector projecting an image of a sunset.

Future Staters dream that the impossibility of these morale and budget-crippling client requests might soon be a thing of the past thanks to robots, holograms, and an assortment of Jetsons-inspired tech.

Across our four events, we heard about robot contractors, next-level modeling software, and automated on-demand furniture manufacturing. Despite some of the anxiety the designers tapped into when it comes to our personal relationships with tech (see Predictions 1 and 2)—when it came to the promise of AI, big data, and robotics to the process of design, the group tended toward techno-optimism.

In the future, technology will help us respond to client requests better and more efficiently.

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