Towards Sustainable Island Futures: Design for Ocean Wave Energy

Max Willis*, Greta Adamo, Julian Hanna, James Auger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This article explores the role of the future in contemporary technology design, and examines how imagination can influence the present through the mechanism of speculation. Three applications of futures are introduced: extrapolation examines present data and trends to predict possible futures, reflecting on the present imagines possible futures for insights on current practices, while backcasting visualizes a preferred future and plots a trajectory from the present to achieve it. Design speculations for Ocean Wave Energy capture systems are presented that illustrate the shaping of the future with conceptual prototypes, and a future narrative when humanity has averted a climate catastrophe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-44
JournalJournal of Futures Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Design
  • Renewable Energy
  • Speculative Design
  • Sustainability
  • Design Fiction
  • Futures Studies


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  • REDEMA: Redesigning Madeira

    Auger, J., Hanna, J. & Nunes, N.


    Project: Research project

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