Futuribles Journal n° 421

Recherche, sciences, techniques - Société, modes de vie

Design Fiction: A Method for Exploring Ways Forward and for Building the Future?

Futuribles recently began the publication of a series of articles on the contributions of science-fiction to foresight studies and the general relations between the two, with the aim of determining whether — and to what extent — science-fiction writers have influenced foresight thinking and the collective imaginary (see Futuribles 413 of July/August 2016, 416 of January/February 2017 and 420 of September/October 2017). This article is about a tool for depicting potential futures that has been developed over recent years and it expands on some of the thinking previously expressed in this series. That tool is “design fiction”, sometimes also called critical — or speculative — design. “Design fiction” was conceived as a new way of producing (more or less futuristic, disturbing or dystopian) narratives or objects aimed at giving us a better handle on the future.

Nicolas Minvielle and Olivier Wathelet, practitioners of design fiction, describe the precise content of this technique here, giving examples of its implementation. They stress particularly the importance of the use of the imagination, since the aim is to elicit an audience reaction to depictions of — more or less desirable — possible futures (by way of videos or objects) and, on the basis of those reactions, to stimulate debate. This emerging tool doubtless has a role to play in approaches to creativity, innovation, decision-making and the depiction of the future. And it could be set to develop quickly, thanks to the possibilities afforded by the rise of technologies such as virtual or augmented reality…

Mots clefs :Design | Fiction

Be careful, articles in full text are available in French only.

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