The Strategic Foresight team at Autodesk helps identify and articulate long-term forces of change and their implications shaping the future for Autodesk and our customers. We work with Autodesk leaders to shape a preferable future that delivers value for our customers and our business. As part of continuing their studies, two interns joined our team for the summer.
|Julienne DeVita is working on her Master of Fine Arts in Transdisciplinary Design degree at the Parsons School of Design. After graduation, she would like to pursue a career in foresight design and design-led research. She has a passion for mission-driven change and applying speculative design practices to business contexts. While studying graphic design at American University in Washington, DC, she created a virtual reality museum exhibition, where she utilized design to encourage empathy for physically disabled professional athletes. After graduation, she became a brand, graphic, and motion designer, working with mission-driven non-profits and cause organizations.|
|Steven Morse is working on his Master’s in Design Engineering at the Harvard Graduate School of Design / School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Steven recognizes that his school program prepares the next generation of leaders to create transformative solutions that positively impact society. In the fall, Steven worked on a ReLeaf Therapeutics System at a product-design studio project focused on physical prototyping. His project culminated in a three-part effort to address arthritic hand pain. The components included an augmented reality diagnostics tool for hand flexibility developed in Unity, a grip and pinch strength monitoring smart exercise device, and a dedicated app with a specific focus on exercise adherence. Steven worked with a data analyst and experience designer on the design, but as a Fusion 360 user, he put the make in “design and make.”|
One way to reach a preferable future is to describe it ahead of time and work towards it. Scenarios can serve that purpose. As part of spurring conversations around the company regarding innovation, Julienne and Steven created some scenarios on how people may experience what Autodesk customers make in the future. The thought behind this was rather than present a list of hard-cold facts, it is more compelling to share such information via stories.
Here is one of those scenarios.
Lily plopped down on her new mycelium couch just as Zander threw a popcorn kernel in mid-air for her to catch — success. It was movie night, a Sunday evening tradition that the roommates looked forward to. Lily impatiently tapped play on her optic lenses before Zander got the chance to insert his earpiece. This week, the movie was Lily's pick: Midnight Return, a most recent AI-adaptable horror movie that Lily seemed much keener to watch than Zander.
The thrills of the movie didn't take long to start, as Zander felt himself beginning to sweat under his arms — the suspense and gore made him feel uncomfortable. Just as he glanced down to check his biometric tracker, Lily let out a huge cackle and slapped her leg, causing Zander's pulse to spike up to 131. Clearly Zander did not share Lily's heightened tolerance for horror.
The dynamic, real-time rendering experience usually started Lily and Zander off with the same opening scene, but personally adjusted to their respective movie preferences from there. The movie would generate using a combination of past viewing data and real-time biometrics. After the first scene, Zander knew his biometrics were above desirable levels; his blood pressure was high, and his facial expressions were tense. Sure enough, the next scene in Zander's rendering of the film opened with lower sound, a brighter color scheme, and the plot took an unexpected, but friendly twist. Zander's muscles relaxed a bit, feeling comfort in knowing that he wouldn't have to be on the edge of his seat all night. For Lily, however, the subsequent scenes became scarier — or one might say funnier — depending on one's sense of humor. Lily's biometric tracker knew from her past experiences that she found horror films amusing, so the villain in her film was now rendered with gigantic teeth, pulled from a movie that she favorited weeks ago.
As the night went on, the scenes in Zander and Lily's respective films rendered in real-time, constantly adjusting to their reactions. There were over 20 different plot renderings for this film, and Zander was watching a version that was categorized as a mix between thriller and drama. As his version ended happily, he could feel the swell in his throat during the last scene, and a tear landed onto his nose. Looking down at his biometric tracker, he thought, yup, you know I'm a sucker for romance.
When her movie finished (at the same time), Lily quickly stood up, snapping her hands to her hips. She was wired. The plot of her film rendered an unexpected psychological twist, and she was left feeling confused. Zander stretched his arms up and let out a dramatically loud yawn, because he couldn't really help her figure this out, and he didn't have the energy to listen to her try to explain her version of the movie to him. There wasn't much interaction for the rest of the night. Zander made a cup of chamomile before sleepily shuffling to his room. Lily logged into a live chat through her streaming service to find someone who watched the same version of Midnight Return and might be able to answer her questions.
So what are your thoughts? Does it seem plausible?
What if we added supporting data?
Is it more convincing with the data? What if you just had the data and not the story?
Feel free to comment or provide feedback to [email protected].
At Autodesk, we help everyone imagine, design, and make a better world. We deliver customers intuitive, powerful, and accessible technology that provides automation and insight for their design and make processes, enabling them to achieve better outcomes for their products, their businesses, and the world. Storytelling as part of considering possible futures, navigating uncertainty, and leveraging change can help Autodesk and its customers achieve the best possible future.
Storytelling is alive in the lab.