Design fiction and the art of anticipation

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In this paper we show how design fiction is a form of design inquiry that offers methods for understanding and reacting towards intractable societal challenges. More specifically we unravel how narrative and literary practices of world-making used in design fiction can be of value for researching life changing, but unknown futures. We argue that this contribution has been largely overlooked because design fiction is too often wrongly caught up in discussions of the limitations of speculative design. Additionally, we substantiate our claim by making a study of Design Futures courses addressing the challenge of unknown energy futures in an era of energy crises. In so doing we shed new light on design fiction as an art of anticipation and how it may contribute to Future Literacy more broadly.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IASDR 2023: Life-Changing Design
EditorsD De Sainz Molestina, L Galluzzo, F Rizzo, D Spallazzo
PublisherPolitecnico di Milano
Publication date2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventInternational Association of Societies of Design Research Congress 2023: Life-changing design - Milan, Italy
Duration: 9. Oct 202313. Oct 2023


ConferenceInternational Association of Societies of Design Research Congress 2023


  • Design fiction
  • Speculative design
  • Future Literacy
  • Threat-casting


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