Addressing the designer's role as mediator of our future environment, a series of micro-interventions woven into the fabric of Florence, Venice and New Orleans provide commentary on the implications of potential future scenarios.

Through human experience, we know things will change. Just as historical artefacts reveal past cultural tendencies, this project uses tangible artefacts – that have been purposefully designed around future scenarios – to tell stories about the future in our present, local environment.

The project employs emotional engagement and is built on the notion that innovation can be cultivated through direct action. By taking global drivers, applying future narratives within local contexts, and shaping personal experiences through the designing and making of future artefacts; the project presents an alternate approach to addressing the many uncertainties of our future by placing people at the centre of the futurology argument.

[All content is ©RadhaMistry, unless indicated otherwise. Please do not reproduce without the expressed written consent of Radha Mistry and/or any H.E.R.D. collaborators.]
Overfishing, pollution and coastal development cause the ocean ecosystem to reach a tipping point, rapidly leading to the near total annihilation of fish and marine life in all major bodies of water.

The impact is especially severe in cities along waterways, like Treviso which had a rich history deeply rooted in fishing and seafood. People feel disorientated and disheartened. Even Treviso's fish market was still a vibrant scene until recently.

With fish no longer a viable commodity, families have found that many of their personal cultural traditions typically exchanged through cooking and food are also disappearing. Individual recipes and books passed down between generations are nearly indecipherable without fish as an ingredient, and become virtually obsolete.

To preserve some version of local food tradition, and encourage cultural exchange through cooking once again, 1000s of recipe books are being individually repurposed to integrate a new vernacular. A new way of approaching recipes from the sea

In collaboration with Cristiana Favretto

photography - Sam J Bond
model - Diana Kovacheva

Presently, the city of New Orleans is attracting many of the nation's brightest and most creative young minds. Corporations in need of that precious human capital and youthful energy are surely not far behind.

In the not so distant future, driven by ever expanding thirst for profits, a fear of rising ocean levels, and advances in offshore technology, these corporations begin moving their operations to floating colonies in the Gulf of Mexico. These habitats are filled to the brim with creative youths and outfitted with the finest amenities.

However, it is quickly discovered that something is missing from the colonies. Productivity and ingenuity drops exponentially almost as soon as the employees are removed from the cultivating cultural environment of New Orleans. Rather than move back to the city, the corporations have created a game to distill the cultural experiences of New Orleans and replicate the creative spirit the city would normally generate organically.

In collaboration with Colin James VanWingen

photography - Sam J Bond
model - Diana Kovacheva

In recent years, over-development of land and growing demand for livestock have caused rapid declines in biodiversity. Increasingly, some species have begin to show unexpected changes in behaviour and population dynamics. Among insects and bird there is a drastic increase in swarming incidents.

Swarming behavior leaves cities like New York periodically deserted and devoid of tourists, and citizens wear protective pod suits when stepping out. In Florence, local residents have responded to the phenomena in a more graceful way – staying true to their roots, embracing the notion of La Bella Figura.

Because most streets in Florence are incredibly narrow, the protective pods that work so well in New York were difficult to adapt. Determined not to diminish the grandeur that is expected during the ritualistic passeggiata, Fiorentini have devised a unique, unisex system of body adornment, that not only enhances the human form, but serves to ward off swarms through movement, sound and reflections.

In collaboration with Ana Maria Borja

photography - Sam J Bond
model - Diana Kovacheva