Digital Habitats site is for the private development of communities. Signup to this site to get an account and password for access to customized content.
What is futurecrafting?

Autonomous World Development, Earth, Futurecrafting -

What is futurecrafting?

In the fall of 2019, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) launched a course called Sci Fab – Science Fiction-Inspired Envisioneering & Futurecrafting. Through reading science fiction, students in the course were encouraged to imagine and propose world-building projects and initiatives.

Envisioneering involves critiquing science fiction and extrapolating from it a future containing design elements of a universe not yet here.

Futurecrafting involves analyzing science fiction and finding examples of compelling technologies that could become real.

The topical coverage of this course included the future of matter, energy, medicine, food, cities, brains, emerging nations, sex/gender, commerce, politics, transport, aging, entertainment, design, religion, and more.

Students were asked to read a wide variety of science fiction and fantasy books and watch a number of films. Discussions in class introduced concepts such as digital fabrication, machine vision, speculative design, blockchain technology, mobility, learning, socio-tech, smart wear, interface design, machine learning, neuroscience, and synthetic biology.

I have read science fiction from a very early age. My first exposure was to Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. As I entered my teen years my bookshelf was filled with Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke novels and short stories.

When Stanley Kubrick gave us 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Steven Spielberg, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, I was in my element. For me, these books and movies were more than an attempt for me to escape the reality of the present, but an affirmation of what could be in the future.

Star Trek in its many iterations populated its stories with future stuff, some of it, eerily similar to inventions that soon appeared in my present.

It seemed science fiction could turn imagination into invention like nothing before. The Star Trek communicator of the 23rd century became the flip phone of the 20th. The health-tracking apps of today’s smartphones very much mimic the Star Trekkian Tricorder.

An entire industry has arisen in recent times, through the XPrize and similar global competitions focused on futurecrafting solutions to intractable problems. Many are inspired by science fiction and have produced breakthrough technologies.

That’s what futurecrafting is all about, working on the big problems of our time, exploring and prototyping to address challenges like curing disease, solving climate change, living on other worlds, communicating with non-human intelligence both animate and inanimate (AI) right here on Earth, and searching and finding intelligence and technical civilizations elsewhere beyond our planet.

A friend of mine, Chris Smedley, is in the process of developing a Futurecrafting Earth primer.

His goal is to engage people around the world who seek to change the planet through positive collaborative solutions with purpose and inspired by science fiction.

“What begins as a story, a fantasy can intelligently crafted into our reality,” states Chris in the preamble of his primer.

He has been in pursuit of the future for much of his life and is the creator of the founder of Digital Habitats. The goal is to stage content related to the futurecrafting of Earth and the launch of the World Builders Guild.

In a call to action as if it were coming from beyond Earth, Chris has issued an urgent help wanted by the third planet from the Sun in the Solar System, a place called Earth.

He notes that the primary technologically advanced species on this planet, known as homo sapiens or humans, are in notable distress and in need of assistance to solve planet-threatening problems including:

  • through population growth and exploitation of natural resources humans have exceeded the carrying capacity of the planet to continue to maintain their civilization,
  • the activity of humans is causing global climate change and threatening other species with extinction,
  • through human conflict and negative interactions, lethal weapons capable of destroying the advanced technological civilization these humans have created represent another extinction threat.

What is futurecrafting? -21st century tech


Leave a comment

#WebChat .container iframe{ width: 100%; height: 100vh; }