Design and Futures

In a new article, Burdick theorizes design fiction as a mode of inquiry.

Read Anne Burdick’s latest journal article, “Designing Futures from the Inside,” in the design and futures special issue of the Journal of Futures Studies.

By looking at the design process of a narrative-based design fiction, this paper introduces new areas of exploration for futures practices concerned with human-scale futures — the internal worlds of daily lives. Called Trina, the design fiction imagines new practices through the simultaneous creation of storyworld, prototypes, characters, and plot, with an emphasis on relations as opposed to things. By theorizing the design fiction creators as participant-observers in a world that emerges from a field of forces (Ingold, 2013), the paper concludes with questions that arise from a method that may help explore the interconnectedness of futures “from the inside.”

In the introduction to the special edition, Editors Cher Potter and Stuart Candy write, “It is increasingly acknowledged within the futures studies community that operating with a largely verbal and theoretical bent over the past half century has afforded too little impact on actual future-shaping behaviours. Meanwhile, those in the design community recognise a need to interrogate higher-level consequences – the futures, the worlds – that their products, systems and other outputs help produce.”