Solutions for Self-Reliance

Designing the Future of Resilience


Design fiction is a way for designers and artists to visually depict the future in inspiring ways.  Typically, design fiction is associated with how technology will change our future.  For example, take a moment to watch this excellent Dow Corning funded design fiction video called “A Day Made of Glass“.  In some cases, design fiction can actually make the future happen.  For example, the design fiction of Star Trek led a generation of engineers to successfully recreate the communicators (cell phones) and glass computers they saw on the show (touchscreen devices).


So, to help us envision our future, we need inspiration through resilient design fiction.  Visions of future kitchens, homes, communities, and work environments that depict what resilience looks and feels like when realized.    We’re already starting to see a little of this.


Here’s an design project from Sweden for a kitchen aquaponics system by the innovative artist Ola Nilsson.  It’s called Malthus, after Thomas Malthus, the famous, historical social scientist that showed how population growth influenced social development (he gets a bum rap).  Ola designed this system to provide one meal a day.  Here’s more visual detail (originally compiled by the excellent blog conceptual devices) :

Granted, there’s much more to operating an aquaponics system than the physical design depicted above.  It takes some work to keep the water balanced and the system clean.  It is also not necessary to own one personally, particularly if there are others in your community that have built commercial scale aquaponics systems of their own (CSA, community supported aquaponics anyone?).  This is about giving you ideas on how compact and decorative a system like this can look.


I hope to see much more resilient design fiction in the future.  If you find any, please send me pointers or put them in the comments section below.


Your happy to be at the forefront of global change with you analyst,


John Robb


PS:   Becoming resilient may be tough, but it is worth it.   Unlike other methods of future proofing your life, resilience isn’t an alternative lifestyle.  It’s not a fringe alternative.  Just the opposite.  It is our inevitable global future and that the people that adopt it are at the forefront of that change.   The folks that don’t get this are the dinosaurs of the 21st Century, they just don’t know it yet.

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