Editor’s Note: Karim Rashid is one of this generation’s most prolific and celebrated designers. He was CNN Style’s guest editor for September 2015, writing a series of features on design in the digital age.
From passports to parking meters, design iconoclast Karim Rashid sees a world overflowing with outdated objects that will soon be banished by smarter design. Here he gives an insight into a future where digital tattoos, LCD bodysuits, and electromagnetic furniture have created better lives for everyone.
Keys and money
“We are all different, all have a different fingerprint so why cant we use it as our identifier? I predict that in the future we will have no wallet, no credit cards, no keys, no health card, no money – it will all be done with our fingerprint. We will have our hands free and will not have to carry anything, and will be free to go and travel anywhere.”
Learn more an apartment block where Rashid has replaced keys with fingerprints.
“I am so proud of my work with the bobble water bottle. I believe it can help this earth. Across the globe it is important to conserve, and shipping costly water is a huge detriment to the earth. Getting one’s water straight from the tap, using BPA free plastic and saving hundreds of bottles at a time can only help to save the world. We throw away 14 million plastic bottles a day in the USA alone. And 80% of them end up in landfills. So bobble is a revolution, not only to reduce landfill waste, and save people money, but also to save an incredible amount of energy and reduce the carbon footprint from all the bottled water production. The whole world is embracing our ideas (there are several copies now too) because it is not necessarily the final solution, but a great stepping stone to conquering this environmental problem!”
Find out more in “Karim Rashid’s 25 rules for a long, healthy, creative life.”
Passports and eyeglasses
“I can’t wait for the future where we will have multilingual language voice chips, “Smartoos” (intelligent tattoos that contain ID numbers, passport, social security, etc.), and digital chip interface implants for my eye to perfect my vision, see data and entertainment, and take photos.”
Rashid explains how digital technologies are changing everything in his essay ‘“Bioneers’ and techno-organic ‘Globjects’: Karim Rashid’s post-analog world.”
“I live in a congested metropolis and have seen the world’s reliance on cars firsthand in my travels. Parking is an oft-overlooked subject. We are happy to create, produce, consume but rarely think of how this affects our infrastructure. I think that the future is that we will own nothing: we lease cars, we lease houses, and soon we will learn to lease everything, sharing our objects, and flowing seamlessly between experiences. But in the meantime we must figure out how to make more practical (yet human) conditions.”
Buttons and pockets
“I like to wear clothes that are tight, have a little stretch, and are quite minimal, technological, and super comfortable. In a future with no keys, cash, or passports, we will have clothes with no pockets: we will have one piece jumpsuits that are form-fitting and made of liquid crystal polymer so that we can put any video, image, graphics, all over our bodies. The outfit will heat and cool down when we need it. The collar will have a scrolling text that broadcasts my thoughts (the thoughts I want to be communicated). That is my future that I want now.”
Hear more about Rashid’s ideal pocket-free future in our interview.
“We may use electromagnetic waves to support ourselves in air. Our world will be highly customized, completely re-configurable, and we will completely be able to personalize and create our own world physically, mentally, and spiritually.”