Three north stars for designers to navigate the future

The multiverse offers huge opportunities for brands and designers, says Wolff Olins’ Wayne Deakin. Here are some principles to follow

In today’s multichannel, multi-device world, the stuff of science fiction is fast-becoming fact. The boundary between real and virtual worlds is a blur. Parallel universes exist, along with multiple versions of our own identities. And we can be somewhere and then everywhere in a single click or swipe. 

No longer fantasy, all of this and more is close to being our mainstream reality – as is the dizzying, confusing landscape which we must all now ­navigate in the absence of anyone with the opportunity, time, or headspace to stop for a moment and draw us all a map. 

So for those of us tasked with designing for the future in the context of a rapidly evolving present, how should we react? For designers, I believe, there is now a need to be led by three principles: acceptance, fluidity, and coherence. And I believe that by embracing these three things, we will unlock considerable opportunity.