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Victor Margolin used this essay to raise his concerns about the unpredictable future and

the newly realized role designers must embrace. Placing designers in the middle ground
between the conceptual and the actualized, it becomes obvious that their potential influence in
the coming world is as important as any other field more directly related to political, economic,
environmental and social change. A downside of the designers ability to be involved in all
subsystems is the difficulty that comes about in terms of unification. The lack of community
results in an absent voice in the name of the design world, leaving designers to rely on others to
define their duty. Margolin strongly suggests that designers find autonomy, but only if they are
willing (and able) to take full responsibility for this role. The idea of designer autonomy has only
recently come about with the influx of accessible resources that allow the designer the power to
act independently with the same massive audience and potential impact they would have under
supervision and direction from a client. Now that the design world has the means to be a strong
entity in and of itself, consideration for future impact must be the leading factor in all design
This considerate approach manifests itself in Margolins text through his discussion of
the predictive versus prescriptive methods of thinking. By analyzing geopolitical, technological
and environmental narratives of the past, present and future, the fragile nature of our world
becomes very clear, and the designers responsibility even clearer. A strong emphasis is placed
on sustainability to be the key ethos of design to ensure the prescripted future of our
environment is one that can support healthy living of all organisms who inhabit it, a future we
are currently not en route of. In response to the tech industrys ever growing dominance in
guiding our rapidly shifting society (inspired by their needs to satisfy technological capabilities),
the designer must take off their blinders, slow down and take control. With very little moral or
predictive thought existing behind many current trends in technology, the horrors outlined in
science fiction are creeping closer to reality. Margolin made some strong connections between
literature and our reality that outline societys incapacity to make appropriate choices when
attempting to keep up with fast paced technological advancements.
These same worries arise in Margolins analysis of the geopolitical system. Where
environmental shifts can be quantified and systematically analyzed, and technology can be
traced and speculated upon through trendcasting, the political subsystem cannot be foreseen.
Due to this instability there seems to be very little involvement with design, but more likely its
the inverse of this observation. This notice can be seen as pure evidence of the relevance of
design. But as made clear in this reading, designs necessity cannot be simply met by designs
own presence. There must be knowledge of the past, awareness of the present, supported
assumptions and speculations of the future, moral questioning of all possible outcomes and
many other ethical concerns attached to each and every designerly action made within the
growing community. When, and if, these conditions are met, an autonomous community can
exist in the name of design, and the true duties of the designer can be fulfilled.