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Reverse Archaeology by Stuart Candy

Learning from the Reverse Archaeology methodology, How could Small businesses today use this to their benefit.

Photo of Shruti Saha
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Stuart Candy is an Experiential futurist. Associate Professor, School of Design, Carnegie Mellon University. Director of Situation Lab and co-creator, The Thing From The Future. Fellow of the Museum of Tomorrow and The Long Now Foundation.

In 2013, he developed a framework (Time Machine Reverse Archaeology) which highlighted the use of a method of Reverse Archaeology. Archaeologists use found fragments of earlier eras to deduce a portrait of the vanished world which produced them. Here the process goes in the opposite direction: you would use a future scenario to generate a fragment from a world to come. 

"How can artists and designers help to shape the future? Over a decade in the foresight field, I have learned that a key to the impactful exploration of possible futures is to bridge between abstract thought and concrete experience. Artists and designers can build bridges of imagination between these registers to take people into alternative futures – or at the very least, to visit there and bring amazing things back."  Stuart Candy 

What is the need are you focusing on?

I use this example to highlight the need for such a framework (a low cost-intensive tool) being applied to Smaller Businesses today, to play out a proposed Future Scenario. It could be a change in the business model or the introduction of new employee policies, to extreme dystopian scenarios. Such an exercise gets people thinking on their toes and in that mindset and builds a better, inclusive, and richer outcome. This is potentially lead to better preparedness of the future, and helps business adapt and expand quickly.

What is the best example of business adaption you’ve seen in response to COVID-19? Methodology - Reverse Archaeology

What is your profession?

Experience (UX,CX) Designer

Where are you located (country)?


Where are you located (region)?

  • Southern Asia

Which industry do you work in?

  • Designer(UX/CX/Design Research)
  • Student

1 comment

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Photo of Julio Vallejo

Great reference! A very useful tool for pretty much anything. Thank you for sharing.