A Futurist's Fieldguide
A moodboard is a type of collage – an art form that was popularised by Cubists, Surrealists and Dadaists in the early 20th century. A collage is made by gluing different images, photographs, texts, objects and other visual elements together which make up an image (and sometimes a story) in composite. Moodboards use the same technique to convey a mood, atmosphere, style or flow of a design-in-progress.
In futuring, moodboards and collages can be used in different stages of the process, when a visual image can complement or replace a conversation. Many contemporary futuring techniques tend to be quite verbose, so making a moodboard can refresh participants' brains and provide a different mode of hands-on conversation. The simplest futuring moodboard can include the title of a scenario, one image to illustrate its atmosphere, and a short description of the scenario in a few keywords. Depending on the needs of the group and the time and resources available, moodboards can become much more elaborate. They can take a physical form (e.g. with a big piece of hard paper or cardboard as a canvas, or even spatial sculptures using images and objects), or be developed digitally by sharing own and found images and texts.
We describe the process of creating physical moodboards, as they tend to work best in on-site workshops. If your futuring workshop happens online, consider using a service such as Pinterest, where multiple 'pinners' can add images and captions to the same board.