• Speculative design: crafting the speculation

Auger, James, 2013, Journal Article, Speculative design: crafting the speculation Digital Creativity, 24 (1). p. 11. ISSN 1462-6268


The question addressed by this journal article is how to develop fictions in the specific form of design speculations: embodiments of possible futures. How is the fictional character of such work conceptualised and produced? What kinds of speculation are involved? Auger’s article considers the value of one particular approach and argues that speculative design serves two distinct purposes: first, to enable us to think about the future; second, to critique current practice. Research methods are described through case studies of the author's own projects and those from graduates of Design Interactions at the RCA. A key concept is the ‘perceptual bridge’ – the means by which designers engage their audience. Auger argues that a vital factor in the success of a Speculative Design proposal is the careful management of the speculation, specifically what informs the use of technology, aesthetics, behaviour, interaction and function of the designed artefact. He argues the need for a deep consideration of the cultural landscape into which artefacts may be deployed, to create plausible and engaging imaginaries of the technological future. A number of techniques are described, including borrowing from observational comedy, the use of the uncanny, ecological methods for understanding habitats and systems, and counterfactual histories.
The article builds on previous research presentations such as a keynote for the 6th Swiss Design Network conference 2010: ‘Negotiating Futures – Design Fiction’ (Proceedings published 28/10/2010; URL: http://sdn2010.ch/images/Conference%20Book%20Swiss%20Design%20Network%20Conference%202010.pdf pp.42–57). Auger was invited to run workshops and projects at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst (HGK), Basel, and at the Haute école d’Art et de design (HEAD), Geneva, and to advise on the design of a new Master’s programme at HGK. Auger gave related presentations at the Resonate Festival in Belgrade, Serbia and at MITI in Madeira, Portugal: http://resonate.io/2013/#james-auger

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14626268.2013.767276
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
School or Centre: School of Design
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/14626268.2013.767276
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2013 15:12
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2014 16:33
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1509
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