Speculative Design

Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming 

The ideas in this book move from setting out what conceptual design is, through its use as a critical medium for exploring the implications of new developments in science and technology, to the aesthetics of crafting speculative designs. It ends by zooming out to explore the idea of “speculative everything” (159) and “design as a catalyst for social dreaming,” (xi) which is how it connects with the “hopes & fears” mind mapping framework of transition design. The authors use “what if” scenarios/speculations to envision where we’d like to be, to provoke debate and discussion, and offer solutions on how we might communicate future visions. A multitude of examples from their design and teaching practice serve as propositions for future casting, such as ideas for a solar kitchen restaurant, a flypaper robotic clock, a menstruation machine, a cloud-seeding truck, a phantom-limb sensation recorder, and devices for food foraging. The authors propose that individual action is key to nudge behaviour: “the individual needs to be presented with many options to form an opinion” (160).

Dunne, Anthony, and Fiona Raby. 2013. Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming. MIT Press.

Explore Hashtags:

Designing Future Experiences of the Everyday: Pointers for Methodical Expansion of Sustainability Transitions Research

The authors trace the development of “experiential futures,” a methodology that emerged with a case study in Hawaii in the 1970s through a project called Hawaii 2000. The study engaged 500 citizens in imagining Hawaii in the year 2000. In analyzing the state of affairs in 1999, Hawaii 2000 was deemed a failure—none of the hopes and dreams scenarios materialized.  Several interdisciplinary researchers have since expanded on the methodology. Experiential futures is now an emerging field that connects experience design and futures studies. Through research and practice, researchers create real memories of virtual events by combining futures inquiry methods such as scenarios with human-centred, experiential, empathy-inducing and performative approaches of artistic and design research. The methodology utilizes everydayness and fictional narratives to enable participants to engage emotionally in future scenarios. The authors suggest that real emotional responses to vicarious experiences generate memories that might lead to behavourial change. Experiential futures resort to storytelling, one of the most fundamental practices of human beings, making futuring comprehensible and relatable. 

GarduñoG arcía, Claudia, and İdil Gaziulusoy. 2021. “Designing Future Experiences of the Everyday: Pointers for Methodical Expansion of Sustainability Transitions Research.” Futures 127 (March): 102702. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2021.102702.

Explore Hashtags: