What’s your take on the shape of the future?

By Karen Barnett posted 02-22-2019 12:42:22 PM


I stumbled across an interesting blog from Australian futurist, author and entrepreneur Steve Sammartino – “The shape of the future.” Here’s an excerpt that sparks ideas and fuels more questions.


Right now there’s lots of opportunities to change the shape of things:

  • How could supermarkets look now that we have self-checkout, and will soon have no checkout? How should the selves and aisles be arranged?
  • What will department stores look like when we try on clothing virtually and fit out our homes with furniture we buy from home using augmented reality?
  • How should car parks look given that many won’t even have drivers? Will they need pick up & drop off bays for goods and people, as well as charging stations in every bay?
  • Will commercial car parks be empty during the day and full during the night? How can we utilise that space? What about car-stopping spaces in cities?
  • Do cars need to have front facing seats or can they look more like rolling lounge rooms or rolling offices now we can take our eyes off the road?
  • Will houses need drone delivery pads for ecommerce and drone landing pads for our personal flying machines?
  • What will kitchens look like when automated vertical gardens in offices and houses are common?

Sammartino concludes: “It just might be that the biggest opportunity of the future isn’t inventing the technology itself, but reshaping our physical spaces to accommodate it.”


As your mind goes into hyperdrive, the ISE magazine is keenly interested in your thoughts on what’s potentially ahead for ISEs in 2020 and beyond. We’ll be pulling together information and conducting interviews over the coming months from a variety of sources. Weigh in with your predictions for the future of the field no matter where you’re applying your industrial and systems engineering skills – from automobile manufacturing, supply chain, and aerospace to healthcare, applied ergonomics, forestry, finance, leisure, and education.


Chime in on this blog and/or email ISE Managing Editor Keith Albertson at kalbertson@iise.org. We’re excited to hear from you. Thank you!