TBD Catalog Vol 9 Issue 24

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The catalog of the near future’s normal ordinary everyday

(NB: TBD Catalog sold out of two printed editions of 2000 copies each. It is now only available as a PDF digital download. The information below is archival. The PDF you can purchase here is from the 2nd Edition.)
(Bundle your order with the Design Fiction Product Design Work Kit and totally save on shipping costs!)
"The Catalog of Future Products the Silicon Valley's Elite don't want you to see."


166 Products. 62 Classifieds. Many full-page Advertisements. All in one catalog containing products from your likely near future.
Future Protein Sources. See the Uber of Personal Security. Find out about Luxury Ice. Get in on the latest Social Network — Oglie: The Social Network for Your Pet. There are Anti-Drone Services in the future, as well as Data Enlargement Services. 3D Food Printer Accessories. And much, much more.
Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Near Future Laboratory (September 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-0-9905633-0-3
Dimensions: 0.3 x 6 x 8.5 inches
Cover: 100lb. Neenah Coronado Infinite White
Text: 80lb. Anthem Plus Matte Text
Printing: Offset 4 Color Process
Genre: Design Fiction


Imagine a print distribution network with cloud-connected boxes and in those boxes pile up every night cheap copies of a location-specific, regionally tuned catalogs selling stuff for your normal, ordinary everyday life. This is TBD Catalog. As a print catalog, it's an awkward attempt by an awkward business to attract more eyeballs and sell more stuff in a near future where the screen world has become so saturated and overrun that other mediums, like paper, have become a natural spillover. It's a printed catalog you might pick up in your near future from the corner street vending box in your neighborhood. 
Its content is a bit new and weird. It portrays a different kind of future than you might have been used to. This is not your near future of superlative Silicon Valley exuberance where you happily 3D-print a perfect set of lease-licensed Opinel steak knives or blissfully commute to work in your fascistically sleek Google-powered, chem-battery fueled autonomous vehicles. Nor is this the abysmal near future where you huddle in the smoldering foxholes of apocalyptic ruin. TBD Catalog runs through the middle.  It is neither extreme. It is a design fiction about a normal, ordinary everyday near future. TBD Catalog is a design fiction because it makes implications without making predictions. TBD Catalog is a design fiction because it sparks conversations about the near future. It serves to design-develop prototypes and shape embryonic concepts in order to discard them, make them better, reconsider what we may take for granted.
Through a large collection of products and services, TBD Catalog strives to complete the work left begging when we are told we will occupy a world full of the results of a few fellas who have ideas about fantastic new cloud-connected, wrist-controlled, multi-stack, API-rich, on-demand whatevers. TBD Catalog implies these worlds in their most normal, ordinary everyday form, giving us a sneak peak at what that work might be like in its most normal context. Better than a CAD render or exuberant Kickstarter video, TBD Catalog tells the stories about these worlds. It tells the stories about a near future complete with self-driving nanny cars, Panda Jerky, algorithmic garden hoses and compute intensity lurking inside every bathroom door, refrigerator, hair comb, underwear elastic band, cat door, t-shirt, belt buckle and toilet bowl. TBD Catalog tells the likely stories that no VC, no engineer, no modern pundit nor critic seems to be able to tell with any clarity about an Internet of Things, where everything is connected to everything — whatever that means. TBD Catalog tells stories about a normal, ordinary everyday near future world in which households have as many 3D printers as toothbrushes, each of which requires a permit for disposal of its excess material, waste, misprints and government mandated child locks to prevent printing choking hazards. TBD Catalog tells a story about a near future world in which crowd-contributed content has created the Number One ranked film franchise and nobody questions that everyone is a potential revenue-rich producer. 
TBD Catalog is today's exuberance about a fantastic near future translated into its inevitable normal, ordinary and everyday sensibilities.
Product website: tbdcatalog.com