Josef Hargrave

Global Foresight Leader


Josef has a background in Biology, Innovation Management and Corporate Foresight. He has spent the last nine years working at the global design, engineering, and consulting firm Arup. As Arup’s Global Foresight Leader, he is responsible for the delivery of foresight services and projects globally, working across Arup’s Americas, Australasia, East Asia, Europe and UKIMEA regions. Josef’s clients and collaborators include Arup leadership teams as well as external organisations from a broad range of sectors. Josef leads a multi-disciplinary team of designers and consultants that specialise in strategy, innovation, thought leadership, and vision making around the future of the built environment. This includes the analysis of trends and plausible futures, the mapping of implication for strategy and design, the identification of new opportunities for product- and service innovation, and the development of strategic insights. Current focal areas include the future of cities, digital transformation of the built environment, and our transition towards a more sustainable and equitable world. Josef is an experienced project manager, facilitator, and public speaker. His work combines foresight advisory with Arup’s global design and engineering expertise, providing clients with unique insights and recommendations on the future of their business. Josef is a Board Member at the Museum of Architecture and a Futures Fellow at London Transport Museum. He leads several of Arup’s thought leadership programmes including Cities Alive and the Future of… series.


Designing for a new normal - foresight for the future of the built environment

June 3, 2021

Climate change, artificial intelligence, and smart materials are just some of the trends that will transform the future design and function of our built environment. While it is relatively easy to identify these changes, it is much harder to assess how they will impact the design of a specific building, a masterplan or a part of a city. To understand implications and manage uncertainty we must challenge our own perception of ‘normal’ and explore what our future context will look like. We must apply strategies and processes that help us understand and anticipate the design of structures, processes and experiences of tomorrow. This talk will look at the current role and focus of foresight at Arup, one of the world’s leading professional services firm. It will feature internal and external case studies and cover some of the unique challenges of using foresight to influence architecture, design and engineering practice.