Singapore University of Social Sciences

Design by Foresight

Design by Foresight (DES556)

Applications Open: To be confirmed

Applications Close: To be confirmed

Next Available Intake: To be confirmed

Course Types: Modular Graduate Course

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: To be confirmed

Area of Interest: Digital Media, Design

Schemes: Alumni Continuing Education (ACE)

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: School of Business


Change occurs in continuous and disruptive ways. In a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA), foresight (also known as futures studies) enables businesses (e.g., Apple, Philips, Procter & Gamble, and Samsung), governments actors (e.g., Canada, Finland, Japan, and Singapore) and non-government actors (e.g., OECD, UN, and UNESCO) to explore what the future might hold and respond rapidly and effectively to future market and industry changes. Foresight is not an attempt to predict the future but offers a futurist mindset, methods, and tools that enable us to better appreciate and widen up our views of the range of possible and plausible futures we might eventually face. In DES556 Design by Foresight, students will develop foundational concepts, methods, and skills in futures and foresight, and adopt a structured approach to scope, gather, understand, imagine, evaluate and communicate alternative viewpoints of the future. Acting as ‘student-futurists’ in a group, students will undertake activities that respond to a given challenge: What might the future of ‘x’ be like and what can design do to create views of the future, and shape a more human-centric, positive, and inclusive future?

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JAN


  • The frameworks, building blocks, and vocabulary of foresight
  • Overview of foresight methods and tools
  • Mega and micro trends and intelligence collection
  • Wild cards and weak signals
  • Horizon scanning and trend research
  • Trend analysis and mapping trends
  • Systems thinking for a VUCA world
  • Baseline, alternative futures, and scenario building
  • Science fiction as foresight
  • Prototyping and evaluation of new vision and change
  • Backcasting the future and road-mapping
  • Narrative storytelling and communication

Learning Outcome

  • Discuss the concepts of futures and foresight, important issues, and emerging trends affecting society in the future.
  • Construct the components of a futures and foresight project.
  • Examine the utility and application of future and foresight methods and tools.
  • Recommend foresight methods and tools to achieve given requirements.
  • Analyse signals of change and trends for potential opportunities and threats.
  • Formulate scenarios that drive strategic decisions and instigate change.
  • Create concepts and prototypes of desirable futures using appropriate means.
  • Compose meaningful and memorable narratives that inspire others to act.
  • Prepare appropriate design documentation that captures and organises the inquiry process, rationale and outcome.
Back to top
Back to top