When it comes to speculating about what a user experience might be like in the future, it’s only natural to look towards the big screen to see what millions of dollars and a team of professional designers developed to make their vision of the future believable. Of course – just like a Rotten Tomatoes score – there’s going to be hits and misses, but the underlying entertainment value is usually good enough to let those futuristic tech inaccuracies slide.

But as we move closer into the future of augmented and virtual realities – particularly the Microsoft HoloLens, which Autodesk is already working on augmented CAD software for – the needs for a different user experience become more apparent – something that goes beyond just the color scheme of a toolbar or how a history tree branches out.

Among the more modern films that come up often in conversations about the future of tech and interactions include Minority Report, Iron Man and Oblivion – and for good reason. All three of these movies feature user interfaces and hardware that were designed by actual, real-world designers who develop these interactions and experiences on a daily basis for real-world applications and understand the usability component. More recently, the new Avengers: Age of Ultron movie is the latest to illustrate what this futuristic CAD experience might look like.

Created by London-based Territory Studio, the UI designs that are displayed in holograms and computer screens in Tony Stark’s Lab during shots in the movie total more than 200 screens with 80 minutes of animation across 11 sets, which makes it one of Marvel’s most ambitious projects of its type to date. To create the designs, the studio sourced inspiration from a range of existing user interfaces from the fields of industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, medical imagery and cellular biology to develop a 3D design solution that was suitable for a billionaire superhero:

“Tasked to bring an unprecedented level of realism to the beleaguered heroes and their technology, Territory created new visual identities and UI for the technology seen in Avengers Tower, including Stark lab and Banner’s research lab, the Quinjet aircraft and newly introduced characters the evil Baron Von Strucker and his Fortress stronghold, and Dr Cho, whose advanced medical lab supports the Avengers in the story,” said the studio.


“With a creative approach that brings emotive depth to their work, Territory crafted technology, UI and tools that expressed each individual’s unique characteristics in digital form. And, by referencing research into state of the art clinical diagnostic technology, and the latest thinking in military, robotics and avionics technology, the team was able to bring a fresh level of authenticity to the Marvel universe.”









In addition to their recent work with Marvel, the rest of Territory’s impressive portfolio spans a range of both film and real-world designs, including designing ‘near future’ interface designs and schematics for the recent sci-fi thriller Ex Machina and a range of product demonstration videos for Land Rover.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.