Here are my final scenarios. I found this exercise quite helpful in a way that was equally inspiring and challenging. From my research and reading, a few authors and movements have hinted at the rate at which society is moving at an ever-increasing pace.  Influenced by movements like Slow Food and Thackara's In the Bubble (especially the chapter on Speed), I am working out what these concepts practically mean for me.

As I navigate the future of my personal and professional lives, I am examining the relationship between the two as one holistic lifestyle. I am a person that tends to operate at high intensity. The draw of the slow and calm is something I am trying to implement on one hand, but on the other hand I am aspiring to build a career as a strategic design manager and university  professor.

Jim wisely noted that personal and professional time don't have to operate at the same pace of intensity. He gave a nice analogy and encouraged me that I could be my same intense self at work and keep the calm at home. Both things I have experienced before, which helps my vision feel attainable in a very tangible way.

This exercise also made me appreciate how ideal my life was before embarking on grad school. Living in Seattle and working at my last job was a close picture of my optimal future. It is nice to see the connective path of the past into the future. I am taking this time to build on the foundation, gather new learning and sculpt the future.

Professional Scenario

"Ten years from now, my professional life will be characterized by passion and intensity. I plan to work hard as both a professor of design and freelance creative director. Building on my experience in a large agency and a firm that emphasized non-profits, I will take the philanthropic ideals into a place of impact.

Through design agencies, I will be targeting altering the paradigm in agency culture for the objective of impacting the clients’ audience. The end audience I personally strive to produce work for is families. My work will emphasize transparency in design. People creating media messages should be accountable to their impact. One way I will achieve this is having my personal life reflect the message of community and health that I promote to others. I have a tiered approach to design thinking and the work I produce that responds to the generational differences in adopting new ideas.

As an educator, I will focus on building practical and theoretical skills in my students. They will learn visual design best practices, elements of research, systems thinking, service design and social theories around design for behavior change."


Personal Scenario

"In 2021, my personal life will counterbalance the intensity of my work atmosphere as a place of calm. It will be busy and full of life in a way that is fulfilling, not anxious or stressful. The doors to our home will always be open. Community and family will characterize my time outside of work. This aspect of my life will be my top priority and influence the amount and type of work I select professionally. 

My personal life will reflect the community and health that my professional work promotes. I plan on experiencing health physically through food, exercise, time management and financially. I will also have emotional and spiritual health through vibrant church community, healthy marriage and building a solid relationship with my future children.

This picturesque view of the future is attainable to me because it closely reflects my lifestyle and attitude of balance before I moved from Seattle to Vancouver.  From experience, I have built and understanding of how to cultivate this lifestyle. After getting my masters degree, I plan on coming back to this mental space, (and likely physical space) and building on the life I love."



JournalKaren Whistler