I’ve long been a fan of the ‘Vision of the Future’ concept work Philips did in the mid-90s–it captures a far more optimistic time of technology and computing, and I continue to be amazed how many of the products they envisage now form part of our daily lives.

As part of the work, Philips published a comprehensive in-house book to accompany the project and, some time ago, Jonty very kindly acquired one for me. As promised, I’ve now finally had it digitised, and you can download it here, or read it on archive.org.


The abstract seems to summarise the project and mindset pretty well, and definitely speaks to the thought processes it encouraged in me as an impressionable teenager. It’s also amusing to see how conscious we all were of the coming millennium:

What will life be like in ten years? As the millennium approaches, we sense an acceleration of change – in our own lives and in many aspects of society. What will be the impact of new technologies on individuals and communities, and what opportunities will they present to enhance and extend our experience? This book describes the results of a project carried out by Philips Corporate Design which aimed to explore life and technology in the near future. The project brought together many areas of expertise, exploring ideas for new products and services in different ‘domains’ of life – personal, domestic, public and mobile.

The designs are fabulously 90s with their colourful plastics and organic forms; wouldn’t it be great to see one of those butterfly-shaped folding phones in 2021?