The Institute for the Future is a research organization committed to building the future by understanding it deeply.

Through research programs, custom engagements, and public programing, IFTF partners with some of the most forward-looking organizations in the world to forecast technology trends of the coming decades.

We joined with them to create a provocative annual publication for partners and donors centered around a key trend of tech: The emergence of immersive media as a cultural norm.

Leading the design, our approach was to bring white papers out of the ivory tower and into the visually rich and entertaining world of consumer magazines, without excluding our audience. Guidelines established in early strategy meetings helped the editorial team introduce a sense of play, while specifically avoiding parody. We concluded that the future can be preposterous enough without being absurd.

As the issue focused on the revolution occurring in smart devices, ambient communication, and the societal impact of a mediated life, we took some creative inspiration from the past: the explosion of desktop media and zines from the 1990s. We explored collage, press-type, and punk-style illustration to imagine what a zine of the future might look like.

The publication was distributed at IFTF’s annual Forecast Conference, and serves as a template for ongoing publications of the Institute.