The Thing From The Future

From Faster Than 20

Card deck created by Stuart Candy and Jeff Watson.


Dee Brooks: Possibility of customizing the prompts to the specific contexts of a given session in order to make the outputs more directly relevant to the challenge our participants are essaying? On top of tailoring the objects and themes, we supposed we could even swap the generic futures for quadrants of a 2x2.

Stuart Candy: To your question about alternative arcs (green cards), yes, basically since the function of that card category is to provide a high-level, macro, umbrella-esque "setting" compatible with lots of different scenarios, in principle you can replace that card with other kinds of story-world, e.g. so as to ideate concretely within a particular short story, novel, movie setting, or actual scenario from a foresight set. I think it's important to add that after a certain point, the more information a prompt contains, the more difficult it becomes to synthesise coherently, so if you do use a more narrative information-rich substitute for the Arc card, it may make sense to consider being more selective about which Terrain(s) or Object(s) are used with it. For the same reason, Mood for example could become entirely optional, as a lot of stories have a clear mood already, and a second randomly-chosen constraint of the kind may make ideation harder.

We've also done things like stipulate a particular Object for certain rounds of gameplay, so that everyone in parallel generates ideas for a certain artifact or product type (and can then go on actually to prototype / produce it), as in a design jam we held in Rio a few weeks back. Or, even replace that card with an actual object, to revolve the creativity around something literally tangible.

Bottom line is that, as I guess you've seen by now, once one understands the framework it's possible to hack the crap out of it to scaffold a huge variety of themes and conversations, for purposes ranging from icebreaking and just exercising the imagination, to real product ideation or scenario generation.

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