An exhibition of Industrial Design Engineering student projects predicting the now and tomorrow

"Our predictive knack is no mere fluke"

A foreword by Ena Voûte

As we look back on 50 years of this fantastic faculty, what strikes me as a former student, alumnus and dean, is not just how focused we are on the future, but how good we are at foreseeing what can come.

Our predictive knack is no mere fluke. At TU Delft, we train design engineers to re-frame their work in the emerging future context. What are the societal trends which will influence the way we behave twenty, thirty years from now? What are the technological developments that we might be able to harness in our designs? These are questions Delft designers constantly ask themselves. The faculty’s three pillars – people, technology and organisation – mean that our students and researchers have their eyes open and their ears pricked to how people feel, what technology might offer and what organisations will need. Thus they are able to envision what the future might look like. Not in detail, but in character.

Of course not everything panned out exactly the way our graduates predicted. That’s the beauty of this exhibition: looking back with the benefit of hindsight, we have the advantage of knowing what really happened - technologically, politically, stylistically. Firmly grounded in the present day, we can rationalise why certain designs evolved in one way to eventually become the products we know today, while others took a very different direction. Enjoy spotting the difference!

Ena Voûte
Ena Voûte
Professor and dean of IDE