Future-proofing is the design of things to be valuable and low risk into the future. It is a broad concept that is commonly applied to engineering, architecture, urban design, product design and sustainability. The following are illustrative examples of future proofing.
Designing things to endure real world conditions over time. For example, a house that is designed to survive anticipated stresses such as storms and earthquakes.Designing things to be available, predictable and durable such as a bicycle that doesn't breakdown too often.
Loose CouplingBuilding things with component parts or services that can be swapped in and out. This allows things to be repaired and upgraded in future.
ExtensibilityProviding facilities that allow a design to be extended in future. For example, a mobile device that offers an API for developing apps.
MaintainabilityConsidering the full cost of a design over its entire lifecycle. An item that is cheap to maintain is more likely to survive into the future.
EfficiencyDesigning things to use few resources relative to performance.
Resource LiberationDesigns that allow resources to be freed. For example, an application that allows users to export data to use elsewhere.Intangible aspects of a design that cause people to value it. For example, a building that is appreciated for its architecture is more likely to be preserved than a building that is viewed as an eyesore.
Minimizing assumptions about the future to provide general things that might be useful later. For example, a fashion designer who offers timeless designs as opposed to trying to predict next year's trends.
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