Design fiction as a practice for researching the social

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    The aim of this paper is to contribute to a new conceptual foundation for design fiction. Much attention is dedicated to theorising how design fictions relate to our so-called actual world. This work can be seen as an attempt at securing the seriousness and legitimacy of design fiction as an approach to design research. The theory of possible worlds has proven promising in this regard. We argue, however, that a detailed understanding of design fiction is still lacking. In design fiction literature, authors often engage in critiquing techno-centric approaches while paying less attention to how design fiction has a potential to foster social change in situated actual affairs. We argue that analysis should start from the messy unfolding of the design event itself rather than from big ontological discussions of the boundaries between fiction and reality. To grasp the messiness of design fiction, we offer an interdisciplinary framework, bridging knowledge domains such as literally theory and design anthropology.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalTemes de Disseny
    Pages (from-to)16-39
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • Design fiction
    • Literary theory
    • Possible worlds
    • Design anthropology
    • Social design
    • Methodology


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