[Y]our Future, According to Chris Leubkeman
How do you design for something that hasn’t happened yet? Predicting how the world will look in the future and shaping buildings, parks, streets — really everything — accordingly seems impossible. But in reality, it’s both achievable and absolutely critical. Consider global warming: if we don’t start forecasting what extreme weather will do to our cities and designing them accordingly — creating building façades that consume noxious gases, say, or streetscapes that absorb water — we’ll suffer dire consequences down the line. As leader of Arup’s global Foresight + Research + Innovation team, Chris Luebkeman spends much of his time thinking about how to build tomorrow’s cities today. Functioning as the company's internal think tank and consultancy, his group is tasked with understanding megatrends shaping the future of the built environment: inequality, demographic shifts, technological advances, and changes in governance, for example. But understanding the broader context is only half the battle.