University of Technology Sydney

89021 Futuring and Backcasting

Requisite(s): 89172c Designing Systems
The lower case 'c' after the subject code indicates that the subject is a corequisite. See definitions for details.


Transition Design motivates social change through vision-led designing. The first half of this subject explores different ways of tackling the difficult task of collectively, with diverse stakeholders, envisioning ways of living that are fundamentally distinct from how a community lives today. The subject reviews different processes from futuring, speculative design and literary world-building, that allow transition designers to build rich but finely grained pictures of alternative ways of living that are highly plausible and strongly preferable, though perhaps not currently possible. The second half of this subject concerns ways of backcasting from a vision to a current situation. The key to backcasting is learning how to anticipate new forms of change, based on key social insights from initiatives that are creating new historical pathways. Students learn to create convincing and well-researched strategy maps that can be living documents for leading strategic interventions and alliance building.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.