Lee Moreau | Audio

The Futures Archive S1E0: Trailer

The Futures Archive looks at the history of human-centered design with a critical eye to its future. In each episode, we begin with an object, interrogating the motives and methods that put people—and their complex needs and desires—at the center of the design process. From research to iteration to manufacturing and distribution, we’ll look at design as more than the sum of its countless parts—learning from the “what” and searching for the “why”—as we explore, together, the possibilities for our collective future.


Lee Moreau
Welcome to the Futures Archive, a show about human—centered design, where this season, we’ll take an object, look for the human at the center and keep asking questions. I’m Lee Moreau...

Natasha Jen
And I'm Natasha Jen.

Jamer Hunt
And I'm Jamer Hunt.

Harry West
And I'm Harry West.

Grace Jun
And I'm Grace Jun.

Devorah Klein
And I'm Devorah Klein.

Saeed Arida
And I am Saeed Arida.

Lee Moreau
This season, I'll be joined by different co-hosts each episode to learn about the design and cultural history of an object and to unlock a larger conversation about human centered design and the future.

Natasha Jen
What an incredible story.

Lee Moreau
00:00:28] I mean, this season we've already learned a lot about some of these objects, things that I never heard of. Right out of the gate we learned about the history of the passport.

Julian Payne
And we like to think what it is for us, isn't it? It's my passport. Wrong. It's the government's.

Lee Moreau
We also learned about the boar hair crisis, which was a real challenge in the production of toothbrushes coming out of the Second World War.

Harry West
Perhaps it's not a toothbrush, but it performed the same role as a toothbrush, so perhaps it is a toothbrush.

Lee Moreau
We've learned about some of the challenges that we have with toileting.

Devorah Klein
I'm particularly interested in design that touches on very deep emotional things, which is why the toilet is my dream thing to talk about.

Lee Moreau
So far this season, we've heard from designers...

Ellen Lupton
Human centered design considers the needs and wants of users first and foremost.

Tucker Viemeister
We really dove into this potato peeler.

Dori Tunstall
How do you understand the inner worlds of a tree, the inner world of centipede, an inner world of water?

Lee Moreau
Who are able to bring a design background to the conversation, but also historians that are experts on these objects.

Galen Cranz
Chairs are something we don't think about. We think they're natural. In fact, they're a social invention.

Lee Moreau
Our most unusual experts this season were the children that came to us from the Eliot K-8 Innovation school in Boston who were able to weigh in on the ball.

A ball is something for everyone.

You can do almost anything with it, but most people use it for playing.

Lee Moreau
00:02:08] Plus, every episode ends with a prompt, a sort of a design exercise for you, our listeners, to keep working on the object and the idea that we talk about in each show.

What, we'd like you to do this week is to make a sandwich, and then we'd like you to make a chair for that sandwich. And when you're all done, we'd like you to eat the sandwich. This week, I'd like you to pick a day and document every single beverage container that you use on that day. Every one. It doesn't matter if it's a ceramic coffee cup, if it's reusable, if it's made of paper or plastic, or if it's simply your cup hand. We want to see all of.

The Futures Archive as a new show from Design Observer brought to you by Automattic and Adobe. Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Posted in: The Futures Archive

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