Futurists or futurologists are scientists and social scientists whose specialty is futurology or the attempt to systematically explore predictions and possibilities about the future and how they can emerge from the present, whether that of human society in particular or of life on Earth in general.
The term "futurist" most commonly refers to people who attempt to predict the future (sometimes called trend analysis) such as authors, consultants, thinkers, organizational leaders and others who engage in interdisciplinary and systems thinking to advise private and public organizations on such matters as diverse global trends, possible scenarios, emerging market opportunities and risk management. Futurist is not in the sense of the art movement futurism.
The Oxford English Dictionary identifies the earliest use of the term futurism in English as 1842, to refer, in a theological context, to the Christian eschatological tendency of that time. The next recorded use is the label adopted by the Italian and Russian Futurists, the artistic, literary and political movements of the 1920s and 1930s which sought to reject the past and fervently embrace speed, technology, and often violent change.
There are a number of organizations that specialize in this field including the World Future Society.
Visionary writers such as Jules Verne, Edward Bellamy, and H. G. Wells were not in their day characterized as futurists. The term futurology in its contemporary sense was first coined in the mid‑1940s by the German Professor Ossip K. Flechtheim, who proposed a new science of probability. Flechtheim argued that even if systematic forecasting did no more than unveil the subset of statistically highly probable processes of change and charted their advance, it would still be of crucial social value.
In the mid‑1940s the first professional "futurist" consulting institutions like RAND and SRI began to engage in long-range planning, systematic trend watching, scenario development, and visioning, at first under World War II military and government contract and, beginning in the 1950s, for private institutions and corporations. The period from the late 1940s to the mid‑1960s laid the conceptual and methodological foundations of the modern futures studies field. Bertrand de Jouvenel's The Art of Conjecture in 1963 and Dennis Gabor's Inventing the Future in 1964 are considered key early works, and the first U.S. university course devoted entirely to the future was taught by the late Alvin Toffler at the New School in 1966.
More generally, the label includes such disparate lay, professional, and academic groups as visionaries, foresight consultants, corporate strategists, policy analysts, cultural critics, planners, marketers, forecasters, prediction market developers, roadmappers, operations researchers, investment managers, actuaries, and other risk analyzers, and future-oriented individuals educated in every academic discipline, including anthropology, complexity studies, computer science, economics, engineering, urban design, evolutionary biology, history, management, mathematics, philosophy, physical sciences, political science, psychology, sociology, systems theory, technology studies, trend analysis, and other disciplines.
"Futures studies"—sometimes referred to as futurology, futures research, and foresight—can be summarized as being concerned with "three P's and a W", i.e. "possible, probable, and preferable" futures, plus "wildcards", which are low-probability, high-impact events, should they occur. Even with high-profile, probable events, such as the fall of telecommunications costs, the growth of the internet, or the aging demographics of particular countries, there is often significant uncertainty in the rate or continuation of a trend. Thus, a key part of futures analysis is the managing of uncertainty and risk.
Not all futurists engage in the practice of futurology as generally defined. Pre-conventional futurists (see below) would generally not. And while religious futurists, astrologers, occultists, New Age diviners, etc. use methodologies that include study, none of their personal revelation or belief-based work would fall within a consensus definition of futurology as used in academics or by futures studies professionals.
Several authors have become recognized as futurists. They research trends, particularly in technology, and write their observations, conclusions, and predictions. In earlier eras, many futurists were at academic institutions. John McHale, author of The Future of the Future, published a "Futures Directory", and directed a think tank called The Centre For Integrative Studies at a university. Futurists have started consulting groups or earn money as speakers, with examples including Alvin Toffler, John Naisbitt and Patrick Dixon. Frank Feather is a business speaker that presents himself as a pragmatic futurist. Some futurists have commonalities with science fiction, and some science-fiction writers, such as Arthur C. Clarke, are known as futurists. In the introduction to The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin distinguished futurists from novelists, writing of the study as the business of prophets, clairvoyants, and futurists. In her words, "a novelist's business is lying".
A survey of 108 futurists found the following shared assumptions:
23 Marina is an 88-story, 392.8 m (1,289 ft) residential skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It was the world's tallest all-residential building until the completion of the nearby Princess Tower. The tower has 57 swimming pools and each duplex in the tower is equipped with its own private elevator.
The building was 79 percent sold before construction started. The raft was completed on 30 April 2007.Almas Tower
Almas Tower (Arabic: برج الماس Diamond Tower) is a 68-storey, 360 m (1,180 ft), supertall skyscraper in the Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Construction of the office building began in early 2005 and was completed in 2009 with the installation of some remaining cladding panels at the top of the tower. The building was topped out in 2008, and became the tallest building in Dubai until 2009 when it was surpassed by Burj Khalifa.Anton Giulio Bragaglia
Anton Giulio Bragaglia (11 February 1890 – 15 July 1960) was a pioneer in Italian Futurist photography and Futurist cinema. A versatile and intellectual artist with wide interests, he wrote about film, theatre, and dance.Ardengo Soffici
Ardengo Soffici (April 7, 1879 – August 12, 1964), was an Italian writer, painter, poet, sculptor and intellectual.Cubo-Futurism
Cubo-Futurism was the main school of painting and sculpture practiced by the Russian Futurists.
When Aristarkh Lentulov returned from Paris in 1913 and exhibited his works in Moscow, the Russian Futurist painters adopted the forms of Cubism and combined them with the Italian Futurists' representation of movement. Kazimir Malevich developed the style, which can be seen in his The Knife Grinder (signed 1912, painted 1913), though he later abandoned it for Suprematism.
The movement's followers included
Sonia TerkCubo-Futurist sculptors included Joseph Chaikov, Boris Korolev and Vera Mukhina, all of whom taught at the Soviet state art school in Moscow, Vkhutemas.DAMAC Residenze
DAMAC Residenze formerly named DAMAC Heights and Ocean Heights 2, is an 85-storey, 335 m (1,099 ft), supertall skyscraper under construction in Dubai Marina, Dubai. It is the second supertall project by DAMAC Properties, the first being Ocean Heights, which is also located in Dubai Marina. The building will overlook the Palm Jumeirah. When completed in 2017, DAMAC Heights will become one of the tallest buildings in Dubai and the fifth-tallest residential building in the world, surpassed only by Pentominium, World One, and Marina 101, and Princess Tower.
As of February 2013, the foundation work of DAMAC Heights is in progress, while the piling has already been completed.The tower was planned to be 420 m (1,378 ft) high, but its height was reduced to 335 m (1,099 ft) in February 2013.The building topped out in September 2016.Ego-Futurism
Ego-Futurism was a Russian literary movement of the 1910s, developed within Russian Futurism by Igor Severyanin and his early followers. Ego-Futurism was born in 1911, when Severyanin published a small brochure titled Prolog (Ego-Futurism). Severyanin decried excessive objectivity of the Cubo-Futurists, advocating a more subjective attitude. Although other Russian Futurists dismissed the Ego-Futurists as puerile and vulgar, Severyanin argued that his advancement of outspoken sensuality, neologisms and ostentatious selfishness qualifies as futurism. The Ego-Futurists significantly influenced the Imaginists of the 1920s.Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
Filippo Tommaso Emilio Marinetti (Italian: [fiˈlippo tomˈmaːzo mariˈnetti]; 22 December 1876 – 2 December 1944) was an Italian poet, editor, art theorist, and founder of the Futurist movement. He was associated with the utopian and Symbolist artistic and literary community Abbaye de Créteil between 1907 and 1908. Marinetti is best known as the author of the first Futurist Manifesto, which was written and published in 1909; and also of the Fascist Manifesto.Futurism
Futurism (Italian: Futurismo) was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century. It emphasised speed, technology, youth, violence, and objects such as the car, the airplane, and the industrial city. Its key figures were the Italians Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Gino Severini, Giacomo Balla, and Luigi Russolo. It glorified modernity and aimed to liberate Italy from the weight of its past. Cubism contributed to the formation of Italian Futurism's artistic style. Important Futurist works included Marinetti's Manifesto of Futurism, Boccioni's sculpture Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, Balla's painting Abstract Speed + Sound, and Russolo's The Art of Noises.
Although it was largely an Italian phenomenon, there were parallel movements in Russia, England, Belgium and elsewhere. The Futurists practiced in every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, ceramics, graphic design, industrial design, interior design, urban design, theatre, film, fashion, textiles, literature, music, architecture, and even cooking. To some extent Futurism influenced the art movements Art Deco, Constructivism, Surrealism, Dada, and to a greater degree Precisionism, Rayonism, and Vorticism.Futurism (music)
Futurism was an early 20th-century art movement which encompassed painting, sculpture, poetry, theatre, music, architecture, cinema and gastronomy. Filippo Tommaso Marinetti initiated the movement with his Manifesto of Futurism, published in February 1909. Futurist music rejected tradition and introduced experimental sounds inspired by machinery, and influenced several 20th-century composers.Futurist architecture
Futurist architecture is an early-20th century form of architecture born in Italy, characterized by strong chromaticism, long dynamic lines, suggesting speed, motion, urgency and lyricism: it was a part of Futurism, an artistic movement founded by the poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, who produced its first manifesto, the Manifesto of Futurism, in 1909. The movement attracted not only poets, musicians, and artists (such as Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, Fortunato Depero, and Enrico Prampolini) but also a number of architects. A cult of the Machine Age and even a glorification of war and violence were among the themes of the Futurists (several prominent futurists were killed after volunteering to fight in World War I). The latter group included the architect Antonio Sant'Elia, who, though building little, translated the futurist vision into an urban form.Giacomo Balla
Giacomo Balla (18 July 1871 – 1 March 1958) was an Italian painter, art teacher and poet best known as a key proponent of Futurism. In his painting he depicted light, movement and speed.Italian futurism in cinema
Italian futurism was a movement in film history from 1916 to 1919. It influenced Russian Futurist cinema (Lev Kuleshov, Dziga Vertov, Sergei Eisenstein, Vsevolod Pudovkin, Aleksandr Dovzhenko) and German Expressionism.Luigi Russolo
Luigi Carlo Filippo Russolo (30 April 1885 – 6 February 1947) was an Italian Futurist painter, composer, builder of experimental musical instruments, and the author of the manifesto The Art of Noises (1913). He is often regarded as one of the first noise music experimental composers with his performances of noise music concerts in 1913–14 and then again after World War I, notably in Paris in 1921. He designed and constructed a number of noise-generating devices called Intonarumori.Neo-Futurists
The Neo-Futurists are an experimental theater troupe founded by Greg Allen in 1988, based on an aesthetics of honesty, speed and brevity. Neo-Futurists in theatre were inspired by the Italian Futurist movement from the early 20th century.
The Neo-Futurist architects, designers and artists believe in eco-sustainable cities cross-pollinated by arts and technology to provide a better quality of life; the definition of Neo-Futurism in art and architecture came from the reference to the United Nations’ report Our Common Future.Neo-futurism
Neo-futurism is a late 20th to early 21st century movement in the arts, design, and architecture. It could be seen as a departure from the attitude of post-modernism and represents an idealistic belief in a better future and "a need to periodize the modern rapport with the technological".This avant-garde movement is a futuristic rethinking of the aesthetic and functionality of rapidly growing cities. The industrialization that began worldwide following the end of the Second World War gave wind to new streams of thought in life, art and architecture, leading to post-modernism, neo-modernism and then neo-futurism.In the Western countries, futurist architecture evolved into Art Deco, the Googie movement and high-tech architecture, and most recently into neo-futurism.Prometheus Award
The Prometheus Award is an award for libertarian science fiction novels given annually by the Libertarian Futurist Society, which also publishes the quarterly journal Prometheus. L. Neil Smith established the award in 1979, but it was not awarded regularly until the newly founded Libertarian Futurist Society revived it in 1982. The Society created a Hall of Fame Award (for classic works of libertarian science fiction, not necessarily novels) in 1983, and also presents occasional one-off awards.Russian Futurism
Russian Futurism was a movement of Russian poets and artists who adopted the principles of Filippo Marinetti's "Manifesto of Futurism," which espoused the rejection of the past, and a celebration of speed, machinery, violence, youth and industry; it also advocated the modernization and cultural rejuvenation.Umberto Boccioni
Umberto Boccioni (Italian pronunciation: [umˈbɛrto botˈtʃoːni]; 19 October 1882 – 17 August 1916) was an influential Italian painter and sculptor. He helped shape the revolutionary aesthetic of the Futurism movement as one of its principal figures. Despite his short life, his approach to the dynamism of form and the deconstruction of solid mass guided artists long after his death. His works are held by many public art museums, and in 1988 the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City organized a major retrospective of 100 pieces.