Conference Paper

Alternate Endings: Using Fiction to Explore Design Futures (Workshop)

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Design research and practice within HCI is inherently oriented toward the future. However, the vision of the future described by HCI researchers and practitioners is typically utility-driven and focuses on the short term. It rarely acknowledges the potentially complex social and psychological long-term consequences of the technology artefacts produced. Thus, it has the potential to unintentionally cause real harm. Drawing on scholarship that investigates the link between fiction and design, this workshop will explore "alternate endings" to contemporary HCI papers. Attendees will use fictional narratives to envision long-term consequences of contemporary HCI projects, as a means for engaging the CHI community in a consideration of the values and implications of interactive technology.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... By framing these scenarios in design fiction as an additional methodology [18], it is possible to also explore alternative futures through stories, artifacts and imagery. Speculation in this chapter could be seen as "simplistic, short term, and focused on utility" [187], which suggests we should think outside of current work and further ahead. However, I suggest that this cannot be done without first examining what we already have, and utilizing the type of user-scenario shown here as a stepping stone to more creative and far-reaching visualizations. ...
... Tanenbaum [303] makes the case for design fiction in HCI and interaction design, by suggesting that it can be methodology, communication tool, and motivation or inspiration for design -allowing us to explore requirements prior to the build process. Most relevant to this chapter perhaps, are Linehan et al's Alternate Endings [187] which looks at contemporary HCI research and a long term view of the technologies they depict -challenging the short-term, utility driven work that is seen the field; and Lindley & Potts [186] work on prototyping using design fiction. ...
... As well as approaching user-centred design from the standpoint of shape-changing interfaces, I am also attempting to consolidate research in this area, and encourage the organised advancement of specific interfaces. HCI as a field has been accused of an unfocused attitude toward research, rarely developing topics so that they enter the mainstream [159], or criticised for focusing on short-term utility [187], so by offering up a methodology to engage with possible end users and suggest constructive avenues to pursue, I attempt to counteract this view. As an extension to this, some researchers suggest reaching even further into the future to explore not only the adoption of technology, but the implications of that adoption [185] how might domesticating technology affect people in both positive and negative ways? ...
Thesis
Shape-changing interfaces are a novel computational technology which incorporate physical, tangible, and dynamic surfaces to create a true 3-Dimensional experience. As is often the case with other novel hardware, the current research focus is on iterative hardware design, with devices taking many years to reach potential markets. Whilst the drive to develop novel hardware is vital, this usually occurs without consultation of end-users. Due to the prototypical nature of shape-change, there is no specific current practice of User-Centred Design (UCD). If this is not addressed, the resulting field may consist of undirected, research-focused hardware with little real world value to users. Therefore, the goal of this thesis is to develop an approach to inform the direction of shape-change research, which uses simple, accessible tools and techniques to connect researcher and user. I propose the development of an anticipatory, pre-UCD methodology to frame the field. Sketching is an established methodology. It is also accessible, universal, and provides us with a low-fidelity tool-kit. I therefore propose an exploration of how sketching can support the design and development of shape-changing interfaces. The challenge is approached over five stages: 1) Analysing and categorising shape-changing prototypes to provide the first comprehensive overview of the field; 2) Conducting a narrative review of sketching and HCI research to validate merging sketching, and its associated UCD techniques with highly technological computing research; 3) Using these techniques to explore if non-expert, potential end-users can ideate applications for shape-change; 4) Investigating how researchers can utilise subjective sketching for shape-change; 5) Building on ideation and subjective sketching to gather detailed, sketched data from non-expert users with which to generate requirements and models for shape-change. To conclude, I discuss the dialogue between researcher and user, and show how sketching can bring these groups together to inform and elucidate research in this area.
... By framing these scenarios in design fiction as an additional methodology [18], it is possible to also explore alternative futures through stories, artifacts and imagery. Speculation in this chapter could be seen as "simplistic, short term, and focused on utility" [187], which suggests we should think outside of current work and further ahead. However, I suggest that this cannot be done without first examining what we already have, and utilizing the type of user-scenario shown here as a stepping stone to more creative and far-reaching visualizations. ...
... Tanenbaum [303] makes the case for design fiction in HCI and interaction design, by suggesting that it can be methodology, communication tool, and motivation or inspiration for design -allowing us to explore requirements prior to the build process. Most relevant to this chapter perhaps, are Linehan et al's Alternate Endings [187] which looks at contemporary HCI research and a long term view of the technologies they depict -challenging the short-term, utility driven work that is seen the field; and Lindley & Potts [186] work on prototyping using design fiction. ...
... As well as approaching user-centred design from the standpoint of shape-changing interfaces, I am also attempting to consolidate research in this area, and encourage the organised advancement of specific interfaces. HCI as a field has been accused of an unfocused attitude toward research, rarely developing topics so that they enter the mainstream [159], or criticised for focusing on short-term utility [187], so by offering up a methodology to engage with possible end users and suggest constructive avenues to pursue, I attempt to counteract this view. As an extension to this, some researchers suggest reaching even further into the future to explore not only the adoption of technology, but the implications of that adoption [185] how might domesticating technology affect people in both positive and negative ways? ...
Thesis
Full-text available
Shape-changing interfaces are a novel computational technology which incorporate physical, tangible, and dynamic surfaces to create a true 3-Dimensional experience. As is often the case with other novel hardware, the current research focus is on iterative hardware design, with devices taking many years to reach potential markets. Whilst the drive to develop novel hardware is vital, this usually occurs without consultation of end-users. Due to the prototypical nature of shape-change, there is no specific current practice of User-Centred Design (UCD). If this is not addressed, the resulting field may consist of undirected, research-focused hardware with little real world value to users. Therefore, the goal of this thesis is to develop an approach to inform the direction of shape-change research, which uses simple, accessible tools and techniques to connect researcher and user. I propose the development of an anticipatory, pre-UCD methodology to frame the field. Sketching is an established methodology. It is also accessible, universal, and provides us with a low-fidelity tool-kit. I therefore propose an exploration of how sketching can support the design and development of shape-changing interfaces. The challenge is approached over five stages: 1) Analysing and categorising shape- changing prototypes to provide the first comprehensive overview of the field; 2) Conducting a systematic review of sketching and HCI research to validate merging sketching, and its associated UCD techniques with highly technological computing research; 3) Using these techniques to explore if non-expert, potential end-users can ideate applications for shape- change; 4) Investigating how researchers can utilise subjective sketching for shape-change; 5) Building on ideation and subjective sketching to gather detailed, sketched data from non-expert users with which to generate requirements and models for shape-change. To conclude, I discuss the dialogue between researcher and user, and show how sketching can bring these groups together to inform and elucidate research in this area.
... Utilising speculation, envisioning and fiction is becoming an important theme in the HCI community, and researchers increasingly contribute speculations on the future of interaction design [4,15,23]. Indeed, there is much work that can be described as anticapitalist, such as much work related to the maker and DIY movements, empowerment of people to encourage grassroots activism, increasing and facilitating civic participation through technology, and so forth [7,12,9]. Importantly these works often imagine how such interventions may fit into the present, or near future, and have a grassroots centred, rather than corporate centred approach. ...
... This workshop will bring together researchers, designers and practitioners in order to undertake speculative design work both for a post-capitalist future, and also in critique of this idea. Much in the tradition of design fiction [15] or experiential futures [6] we aim to design and prototype diegetic objects that help us suspend our disbelief about a future society. ...
... This workshop follows on from the successful "Alternate Endings" workshop at CHI 2014 [15], which explored design fiction as a way to consider implications of HCI work, but raises the stakes to consider visions at societal scale. ...
Conference Paper
The design, development and deployment of new technology is a form of intervention on the social, psychological and physical world. Whether explicitly intended or not, all digital technology is designed to support some vision of how work, leisure, education, healthcare, and so on, is organised in the future [11]. For example, most efforts to make commercial systems more usable, efficient and pleasurable, are ultimately about the vision of increased profits as part of a capitalist society. This workshop will bring together researchers, designers and practitioners to explore an alternative, post-capitalist, "grand vision" for HCI, asking what kind of futures the community sees itself as working towards. Are the futures we are building towards any different from those envisioned by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, which are typically neoliberal, absent of strict labour laws, licensing fees, tax declarations and the necessity to deal with government bureaucracy?
... It has been noted, nonetheless, that fictional design might help a broader population think of the implications of technology (Linehan et al., 2014): participants to the Steampunk subculture, for instance, use a retrofuturist perspective on Victorian society to inform a set of material values and aesthetics (Tanenbaum, Tanenbaum, & Wakkary, 2012). Recent attempts showed that different user groups can be involved in the creation of fictional prototypes (e.g., N€ agele, Ry€ oppy, & Wilde, 2018). ...
... Such a perspective somehow represents a reaction against the tendency of design to imagine near and utility-driven futures, without exploring the ambiguous long-term implications of technology (Kuznetsov, Davis, Paulos, Gross, & Cheung, 2011;Marttila, 2011). On the one hand, as Linehan et al. (2014) highlighted, the envisioning of HCI scholars has been recognized as often simplistic and short term; on the other hand, in design practice there seems to be little questioning of the assumption that technology will transform our lives into something better. ...
... Psychology students are interesting because they do not have a technological/design background and may not be aware of the multiple implications of designing technology: they thus may give insights on the outcomes we may expect when using design fictions to teach fundamentals of technology design to students that do not have prior knowledge of the discipline. Further, by exploiting their humanistic background, such students may produce design fictions focused on the "human side" of the interaction, which could be interesting to discuss within the wider HCI research community: in fact, HCI envisioning has been often noted unconvincing from a sociological, psychological, and cultural perspective (Linehan et al., 2014). ...
Article
Design fictions describe non-existing prototype devices and services, encouraging reflection on technology matters. However, until now most of the fictional design work has been carried out either by “experts” to foster critical thinking within the Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) community, or by user groups to mostly define requirements for creating novel devices. In this article, we aim to use design fictions as a method for supporting students in thinking of the assumptions and consequences of emerging technologies. We report a multi-year experience in using fictional design in the context of academic education to show that such method can be employed to both teach fundamental elements of technology design and HCI and, at the same time, elicit a critical thinking, helping students reflect on the ramifications of their creations and their role as designers. We discuss the methodological implications, pointing out the opportunities this method opens as well as its weaknesses. Finally, we propose a series of methodological suggestions addressed to facilitate the use of design fictions as a “tool for reflection.”
... According to Marcuse, artistic creativity facilitates creating designs that can truly challenge the current reality of what is possible and allows us to consider directions we might have been blind to consider otherwise. Based on these ideas, we plan to engage participants of our workshop in 'creative artistic co-design sessions' where they use fictional narratives to design 'alternative realities' to contemporary digital labour platforms and tools [20,35]. ...
... In these breakout discussions and informal groupings in person participants will receive fiction prompts to start co-designing with workers, academics, and industry actors new crowdsourcing interfaces. In specific, we use the context and concepts of design fictions to enable workshop participants to conceptualise, explore, and critique new design ideas for crowdsourcing platforms [34,35,57]. Here we will build off our research studying and organising hybrid events [19], 6 especially with minorities, to now leverage the crowd in different ways (the people in-person could build and hack things, while the audience online could search for information, such as needs and facts of the region to help motivate the design. ...
... Design scenarios usually describe use in order to guide future implementation [13]. The narrative value of design scenarios is generally rather limited [42]. Largely descriptive, they do not account for further questions regarding the inherent values and potential implications of design scenarios. ...
... Design fiction as a practice has gained significant attention [8,9,15,16,35,41,42,56,58]. And while it is still open to debate whether it is a narrative practice [9,56] or a design practice [8,35], it aims to explore the implications of possible futures. ...
Conference Paper
Stories on the home materialize in many different ways. Simple design scenarios of more efficient smart homes exist alongside more articulated design fictions narrating complex domestic futures. IoT toolkits can be used in co-design to narrate design stories together with people. However, there is little attention on the stories captured in the co-creation process. This paper presents a framework describing, comparing, and assessing design stories. We illustrate the framework through the comparison of the design stories captured from three divergent IoT toolkits in co-design workshops. Three dimensions characterize the design stories emerging from our inquiry: complexity (resolution and scope), likeliness (conceivability and feasibility), and implications (acceptability and consequentiality). This framework contributes towards understanding which properties of IoT toolkits support the emergence of what kind of design story. Our findings help designers to frame expectations when using IoT toolkits and to conceive IoT toolkits that support underexplored qualities of design stories.
... Recently, interaction design and human-computer interaction (HCI) have established stronger links between research and design practices through Research through Design (RtD) [6,24,25,65], where critical design practice has been one of the focal points, e.g., [4,5,23,34,49]. Increasingly intertwined with such critical design practices are experiential futures [12], design fiction [10,44,49], design futures and futurescapes [45], and speculative design [4,23,48], all allowing for articulation of alternate futures and diverse experiences and perspectives around those futures. These design approaches facilitate a better understanding of how pathways to the future are established in the present and advocate open debates around alternate futures through material objects and installations, often in public cultural spaces. ...
... As well as approaching user-centred design from the standpoint of shape-changing interfaces, we are also attempting to consolidate research in this area, and encourage the organised advancement of specific interfaces. HCI as a field has been accused of an unfocused attitude toward research, rarely developing topics so that they enter the mainstream [25], or criticised for focusing on short-term utility [32], so by offering up a methodology to engage with possible end users and suggest constructive avenues to pursue we attempt to counteract this view. As an extension to this, some researchers suggest reaching even further into the future to explore not only the adoption of technology, but the implications of that adoption [31] -how might domesticating technology affect people in both positive and negative ways? ...
Chapter
Shape-changing interfaces use physical change in shape as input and/or output. As the field matures, it will move from technology-driven design toward more formal processes. However, this is challenging: end-users are not aware of the capabilities of shape-change, devices are difficult to demonstrate, and presenting single systems can ‘trap’ user-thinking into particular forms. It is crucial to ensure this technology is developed with requirements in mind to ensure successful end-user experiences. To address this challenge, we developed and tested (n = 50) an approach that combines low-fidelity white-box prototypes and high-fidelity video footage with end-user diagram and scenario sketching to design context dependent devices. We analysed the outputs of our test process and identified themes in device design requirements, and from this constructed a shape-change stack model to support practitioners in developing, classifying, and synthesising end-user requirements for this novel technology.
... In HCI, design fictions [4-6, 19, 21], speculative research visions [3], futures studies [12,16,17], and workshops using fictions [11,14] considering the societal consequences of technologies are becoming increasingly popular. The narratives and fictional scenarios presented in this literature have facilitated discussions of alternative presents and futures, helping recognise and steer the development of digital technology away from unforeseen consequences on society. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this article we explore near-future of the pervasive computing, AI, and HCI in the context of the disruptive potential of technologies on workers in the on-demand gig economy. Using fictional abstracts, the authors muse on dystopian case studies of: independent contractors, last-mile couriers, teachers, and creative professionals. This article serves as base for critical reflections on: 1) the need for multidisciplinary approaches when tackling broader and far-reaching societal implications of digital technology in the gig economy, and 2) the potential role of fictional abstracts in the design process of future digital technologies.
... Design fiction is often built around narratives [5], and can tell us about products, scenarios and worlds which do not yet exist [49]. The drawn image can be a pivotal part of a Design Fiction's worldbuilding. ...
Conference Paper
Creating visual imagery helps us to situate ourselves within unknown worlds, processes, make connections, and find solutions. By exploring drawn ideas for novel technologies, we can examine the implications of their place in the world. Drawing, or sketching, for future inquiry in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) can be a stand-alone investigative approach, part of a wider ‘world-building’ in design fiction, or simply ideation around a concept. By examining instances of existing practice in HCI, in this paper we establish recommendations and rationales for those wishing to utilise sketching and drawing within their research. We examine approaches ranging from ideation, diagramming, scenario building, comics creation and artistic representation to create a model for sketching and drawing as future inquiry for HCI. This work also reflects on the ways in which these arts can inform and elucidate research and practice in HCI, and makes recommendations for the field, within its teaching, processes and outcomes.
... We applied Design fiction [2,3,9,12,15,18,20,22,24] as a participatory method [7,25] for future configurations of DEs teaching AI-powered robots in physical spaces. In this fiction, we describe a scenario in which museum managers buy AI robots for acting as helpers and/or guides to answer visitor requests and how those robots would be expected to learn from DEs guides that currently work in the museum. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper reflects on the expectations of museum guides regarding companion AI-powered robots in a science museum space. We employed Design Fiction as a technique to explore machine teaching of future technologies in public spaces. The fiction is illustrated by an open-ended “imaginary abstract” which showcases the dilemma of buying AI robots to work as floor guides in a science museum. Forty-seven museum guides participated in a study in which they were asked to write the end of a fictional story. Participants described their impressions and implications of teaching robots who would do their jobs. This design fiction activity is expected to help grounding the debate on machine teaching paradigms, values, and social dilemmas which new technologies bring to physical spaces.
... We applied Design fiction [2,3,9,12,15,18,20,22,24] as a participatory method [7,25] for future configurations of DEs teaching AI-powered robots in physical spaces. In this fiction, we describe a scenario in which museum managers buy AI robots for acting as helpers and/or guides to answer visitor requests and how those robots would be expected to learn from DEs guides that currently work in the museum. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper reflects on the expectations of museum guides regarding companion AI-powered robots in a science museum space. We employed Design Fiction as a technique to explore machine teaching of future technologies in public spaces. The fiction is illustrated by an open-ended "imaginary abstract" which showcases the dilemma of buying AI robots to work as floor guides in a science museum. Forty-seven museum guides participated in a study in which they were asked to write the end of a fictional story. Participants described their impressions and implications of teaching robots who would do their jobs. This design fiction activity is expected to help to ground the debate on machine teaching paradigms, values, and social dilemmas which new technologies bring to physical spaces.
... These are explorations of particular design spaces made possible by combining current and emergent technological advances with society's slow-changing social, legal and ethical practices. However, they do not claim to predict the future, but instead place potential futures within our imaginative reach for consideration as to their preferability, and in so doing they take advantage of the fictional paradigm to catalyse debate about potential futures (Linehan et al., 2014). To that end, various forms of speculative design, including co-designed design fiction (Darby et al., 2016;Tsekleves et al., 4 2017a), have been tested by the UK government to assess their potential to contribute to real-world policy development (Kimbell, 2015). ...
Article
Full-text available
The paper aims, firstly, at presenting cross-cultural design-driven research responses that explore alternative ways of conceptualising the delivery of healthcare, through participatory speculative design. Secondly, it aims at offering a comparative study, which explores this approach in the theme of ageing in place, with different groups of senior citizens in the UK and Malaysia.In a series of co-design workshops, speculative design served as a safe and creative environment for participants in the UK and Malaysia to explore new ideas for health and well being. Our findings reveal that aside from the high interest in healthcare demonstrated by participants, the feasibly of adopting speculative design as a tool to engage with vulnerable groups (in non-Western contexts) is supported. Moreover, evidence of how such an approach encourages involvement, gives voice and expanses imagination, could be adopted by policy-makers and governments to enhance engagement with hard to reach groups such as senior citizens.
... In the realm of speculative design and design fiction, the role of the future narrative in the form of scenarios is fundamental. The envisioning of the futures and the creation of stories that revolve around a possible future is the key to envision innovation (Linehan et al., 2014;Blythe, 2014). The use of sci-fi narratives to stimulate creativity and understand the possibilities and consequences of choices made in the present is supported by scholars within the field of design fiction to create for unreality (Sterling, 2009) Furthermore, physical speculative props are used by designers to trigger "an imaginative response in the viewer" (Dunne & Raby, 2013).s ...
Thesis
Full-text available
In a context where the development of data-based technologies and systems opens new domains for the design of interactive and responsive solutions, the management of personal information has become a significant issue. It’s a critical concern for both the user’s management, and the designed system’s one. The research aims to investigate on the use personal information as signifiers that contribute to the creation of the meaning. The initial purpose is to individuate the issues that the use of personal information raises in the form of impacts on individuals and society. Then the investigation on the impacts leads to the creation of tools to support the design process introducing critical thinking so to help designers in creating responsible and robust solutions. The research approach, defined following the DRM framework, starts with the identification of the background knowledge through review-based activities representing the starting point for the addressing of the first specific question (How is it possible to create updated knowledge about the impacts of the use of personal information in digital and interactive solutions considering both the societal point of view and the technologies’ rapid evolution?). The question has been then answered in the second stage of the research, the Descriptive Study I, through the definition of the protocol of data gathering from online sources. The second specific question (How this knowledge can be used in the design process so to elicit critical thinking in the designers?) has been addressed in the third and fourth phase of the research (the Prescriptive Study and the Descriptive Study II) through the initial assumption and the subsequent refining of the Impact Anticipation Method. The third and fourth phase of the research addressed also the third specific question (What are the results of the use of the knowledge in the different phases of the design process?) providing results for each application of the tools in design processes. The fourth and last specific question (What is the role of design and designers on the discussion about the consequences of the use of personal information?) has been addressed starting from the second phase of the research through the review-based knowledge acquired during the comprehensive studies and the final results of the application of the method in the design processes. The dissertation reports the path, the activities and the results of the PhD research providing in PART I the initial context and background in which the research is set and the clarification of the general and specific objectives. PART II provides the systematization of the theoretical background and the findings that comes from case studies analyses framing the state of the art of the use of personal information in digital and interactive solutions starting the discussion on the possible impacts that the use of such information could have on the individual and the society. Starting from the formulation of the hypothesis, to the validation of the tools through the application on use cases, PART III reports the development of a method for the anticipation of the impacts of personal information during the design process. Then PART IV illustrates the final version of the tools of the Impact Anticipation Method as well as the discussion on: i) the results obtained by its application in design processes in terms of raising of designers’ awareness and changes in design choices and output; ii) perspectives of the active role of the design in the discussion on the consequences of the use of personal information; iii) future developments of the method and its tools.
... Design fictions can be summarized by three components: a story world, prototypes reflecting the story world, and a discursive space resulting from both [24]. There have been numerous descriptions on the future of design provoked and inspired by the use of a story world [4,8,21,49] and diegetic prototypes [7,38,48]. However, the pragmatics of how design fiction is-or should be-used remains ambiguous [42,45]. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The adoption of design fiction into design research has recently been expanding within the HCI community. Design fiction workshops have fruitfully facilitated users and researchers discussing and creating future technologies by exposing differing viewpoints. Yet, most scholarship focuses on the ostensibly successful outputs of these workshops. It remains unclear exactly what sort of interaction dynamics are instigated by design fiction in collaborative design. How might design fiction affect what we consider in design, and how is this reflected in the ensuing design? To fill this gap, our study examines design fictions across five workshops where diverse participants created futuristic autobiographies, a method to elicit values, and built diegetic prototypes both individually and collaboratively. We detail their design processes and unpack three kinds of soft conflicts that arose between participants and allowed them to bring up and discuss differing values regarding technology in society. Reflecting on our workshops, we discuss their implications on how one might employ design fiction in collaborative design.
... For instance, they foregrounded the contrast of what a smart home promises and what it could actually mean, critically appraising the technology in a very lighthearted manner, something that could not be captured by a SWOT analysis. In this study, we created four design fiction narratives with a graphically designed backdrop as workshop prompts, which is a common way of using design fictions (Blythe and Wright 2006;Linehan et al. 2014;Huusko et al. 2018). It would, however, be interesting to explore more participatory forms of design fiction creation, as suggested by Prost et al. (2015) and as initiated with the product boxes and system mockups. ...
Article
Full-text available
The ‘Smart Home’ is a strongly technology-driven field. While user-centered requirements have been reported for specific features, a considerable gap persists for design based on an everyday home context and the social and emotional nature of the home. To address this, we present a user-centered design process to question and expand narrow framings of energy-efficiency and smart control and consider the richness and variety of the domestic context as design space for smart homes. Our three-step investigation employs cultural probing, participatory design fiction, and focus groups to progress from the home context “as-is” towards a blending of values with technological responses. Our findings highlight the home as a complex construct imbued with organically grown practices and individual and collective needs, values, and emotions. Based on empirical, real-user data we present features and system expectations that address this multifaceted overall picture. This paper advises the design process of future smart home solutions in three facets: first, we discuss the value of the design process applied in this study and future possibilities to expand. Second, we show design dimensions , namely time, space, relations, individual factors, and values that allow design for a heterogeneity of users and situations. Third, we derive specific design goals to highlight directions of smart home system design: design for control, low effort, integration, evolvability, identity, sociability, and benefits.
... Design fictions are explorations of particular design spaces made possible by combining current and emergent technological advances with society's slow-changing social, legal and ethical practices. However, they do not claim to predict the future, instead they place potential futures within our imaginative reach for consideration as to their preferability, and in so doing they take advantage of the fictional paradigm to catalyse debate about potential futures (Linehan et al., 2014). To that end, various forms of speculative design, including codesigned design fiction (Darby et al., 2016;Tsekleves et al., 2017), have been tested by the UK government to assess their potential to contribute to real-world policy development (Kimbell, 2015). ...
... These are explorations of particular design spaces made possible by combining current and emergent 4 technological advances with society's slow-changing social, legal and ethical practices. However, they do not claim to predict the future, but instead place potential futures within our imaginative reach for consideration as to their preferability, and in so doing they take advantage of the fictional paradigm to catalyse debate about potential futures (Linehan et al., 2014). To that end, various forms of speculative design, including co-designed design fiction (Darby et al., 2016;Tsekleves et al., 2017a), have been tested by the UK government to assess their potential to contribute to real-world policy development (Kimbell, 2015). ...
Conference Paper
The paper aims, firstly, at presenting cross-cultural design-driven research responses that explore alternative ways of conceptualising the delivery of healthcare, through participatory speculative design. Secondly, it aims at offering a comparative study, which explores this approach in the theme of ageing in place, with different groups of senior citizens in the UK and Malaysia. In a series of co-design workshops, speculative design served as a safe and creative environment for participants in the UK and Malaysia to explore new ideas for health and wellbeing. Our findings reveal that aside from the high interest in healthcare demonstrated by participants, the feasibly of adopting speculative design as a tool to engage with vulnerable groups (in non-Western contexts) is supported. Moreover, evidence of how such an approach encourages involvement, gives voice and expanses imagination, could be adopted by policy-makers and governments to enhance engagement with hard to reach groups such as senior citizens.
... There is real potential, however, for SCHI to not only sketch a future that the public can aspire to, but also by freeing ICTs from the norms currently operating on HCI, SHCI may affect change toward fundamentally different, sustainable futures (cf. [58]). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
More than a decade into Sustainable HCI (SHCI) research, the community is still struggling to converge on a shared understanding of sustainability and HCI's role in addressing it. We think this is largely a positive sign, reflective of maturity; yet, lacking a clear set of aims and metrics for sustainability continues to be the community's impediment to progressing, hence we seek to articulate a vision around which the community can productively coalesce. Drawing from recent SHCI publications, we identify commonalities that might form the basis of a shared understanding, and we show that this understanding closely aligns with the authoritative conception of a path to a sustainable future proffered by Naomi Klein in her book emphThis Changes Everything. We elaborate a set of contributions that SHCI is already making that can be unified under Klein's narrative, and compare these categories of work to those found in past surveys of the field as evidence of substantive progress in SHCI.
... There is a long history that suggests scifi and other forms of speculative art are critical vehicles for reaching the broader public and raising awareness about the problems the future may bring [18,24,51,8,3,44]. This history of interaction between technology and art has given rise to an appreciation of the influence and impact by researchers [35,36,29,38,31]. Knowing the affordances of art for technological and scientific discourse, Bruce Sterling formalized the idea of design fiction in order to establish creative methods for researchers to employ imagination and pose questions about technology where social, political, and emotional content is integrated [46,7]. ...
Conference Paper
Devising strategies to engage the public in discussions around the design and development of technology is critical to building a future that works for everyone. This paper presents a novel case study, an immersive theater experience, "Quantified Self," that combines aspects of design fiction and user enactments to construct a public engagement opportunity about technology ethics. Our audience supplied their social data (Facebook, Twitter...) and received a personalized experience where they interacted with a narrative and technology exhibits. We used a design model targeting goals of engagement, education, and discussion. Here we overview the design and production of Quantified Self and report on the results (240 participants over 6 performances) and findings from audience surveys (n=179/240) and cast/crew interviews (n=15/22). We found our approach attracted a wide audience interested in different elements of the show. Affordances and challenges of our model are discussed in detail.
... Here we chose an approach to think about how these conditions might change the way prisoners use and perceive ICT in their daily structures: design fiction. The interest around and about 'design fiction' is increasing in HCI [14,32,37,38,46] and the technique is seen as a way to explore the value and potential of new technologies or even directions of research [6]. The term itself was mentioned by Bruce Sterling, who offers an early account of design fiction and compares it very closely to science fiction. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
There is currently uncertainty in the research community as to how ICT can and should be designed in such a way that it can be convincingly integrated into the everyday lives of prison inmates. In this paper, we discuss a design fiction that closes this research gap. The descriptions and results of the study are purely fictitious. Excluded is the State of the Art as well as the description of the legal situation of prisons in Germany. The analysis of the fictional study data designed here thus refers to the real world in order to derive ethical guidelines and draw practical conclusions. It is our intention to use these results as a possible basis for further research. The paper presents results of an explorative study dealing with the design, development and evaluation of an AI-based Smart Mirror System, Prison AI 2.0, in a German prison. Prison AI 2.0 was developed for daily use and voluntarily tested by eight prisoners over a period of 12 months to gain insight into their individual and social impact, with an emphasis on its ability to actively support rehabilitation. Based on qualitative data, our findings suggest that intelligent AI-based devices can actually help promote such an outcome. Our results also confirm the valuable impact of (Psychosocial) ICT on the psychological, social and individual aspects of prison life, and in particular how prisoners used the Smart Mirror system to improve and maintain their cognitive, mental and physical state and to restore social interactions with the outside world. With the presentation of these results we want to initiate discussions about the use of ICT by prisoners in closed prisons in order to identify opportunities and risks.
... One way of fostering this skill is by creating design fictions (i.e. fictional scenarios about what designed artifacts may exist in the future and what effects those artifacts will have on the world) [88]. Design fictions have been used as a tool for exploring the effects of AI on future cities with citizen stakeholders [143], for understanding children's perceptions of AI devices [43], and in K-12 AI ethics education [6]. ...
Article
Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly integrated in user-facing technology, but public understanding of these technologies is often limited. There is a need for additional HCI research investigating a) what competencies users need in order to effectively interact with and critically evaluate AI and b) how to design learner-centered AI technologies that foster increased user understanding of AI. This paper takes a step towards realizing both of these goals by providing a concrete definition of AI literacy based on existing research. We synthesize a variety of interdisciplinary literature into a set of core competencies of AI literacy and suggest several design considerations to support AI developers and educators in creating learner-centered AI. These competencies and design considerations are organized in a conceptual framework thematically derived from the literature. This paper's contributions can be used to start a conversation about and guide future research on AI literacy within the HCI community.
... Critically oriented speculative practices use the process of design to surface values, critique social issues, and present alternative visions of the future by creating conceptual proposals and artifacts [48]. These include practices such as critical design [2,26,73], speculative design [1,27,35,104], adversarial design [22], and design fiction [5,7,52,56]. Each of these research approaches creates objects, representations, or depictions of possible or alternate futures, often removed from immediate practical concerns of implementation and commercial viability [104]. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper introduces “infrastructural speculations,” an orientation toward speculative design that considers the complex and long-lived relationships of technologies with broader systems, beyond moments of immediate invention and design. As modes of speculation are increasingly used to interrogate questions of broad societal concern, it is pertinent to develop an orientation that foregrounds the “lifeworld” of artifacts—the social, perceptual, and political environment in which they exist. While speculative designs often imply a lifeworld, infrastructural speculations place lifeworlds at the center of design concern, calling attention to the cultural, regulatory, environmental, and repair conditions that enable and surround particular future visions. By articulating connections and affinities between speculative design and infrastructure studies research, we contribute a set of design tactics for producing infrastructural speculations. These tactics help design researchers interrogate the complex and ongoing entanglements among technologies, institutions, practices, and systems of power when gauging the stakes of alternate lifeworlds.
... By using the method of Design Fiction [8,9,15,24,43] we want to create a creative environment to gain utopian and/or dystopian visions of smart city concepts. Here the participants can choose in their groups to write positive or negative stories/abstracts, or both. ...
... The Design Fiction method was first defined by Sterling [57] as "the deliberate use of diegetic prototypes to suspend disbelief about change. " Design fiction can be described as making use of practices such as prototyping and narrative elements to envision and explain plausible futures, while reflecting upon the present world [5,20,26,35,36,38,43]. Researchers have been employed this method in an Figure 1: Overview of the Research Design empirical way to elicit information from participants [8,49] and communicate their insights [23,31]. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Software bots automate tasks within Open Source Software (OSS) projects' pull requests and save reviewing time and effort ("the good"). However, their interactions can be disruptive and noisy and lead to information overload ("the bad"). To identify strategies to overcome such problems, we applied Design Fiction as a participatory method with 32 practitioners. We elicited 22 design strategies for a bot mediator or the pull request user interface ("the promising"). Participants envisioned a separate place in the pull request interface for bot interactions and a bot mediator that can summarize and customize other bots' actions to mitigate noise. We also collected participants' perceptions about a prototype implementing the envisioned strategies. Our design strategies can guide the development of future bots and social coding platforms.
... Similarly, we believe there is value in drawing on scholarship that has studied the link between fiction and design [27,35,79,115]. Here we envision we could engage researchers, workers, platform owners, and practitioners to use fictional narratives to design "alternative realities" to contemporary digital labor platforms and tools [34,80]. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Crowdsourcing markets provide workers with a centralized place to find paid work. What may not be obvious at first glance is that, in addition to the work they do for pay, crowd workers also have to shoulder a variety of unpaid invisible labor in these markets, which ultimately reduces workers' hourly wages. Invisible labor includes finding good tasks, messaging requesters, or managing payments. However, we currently know little about how much time crowd workers actually spend on invisible labor or how much it costs them economically. To ensure a fair and equitable future for crowd work, we need to be certain that workers are being paid fairly for all of the work they do. In this paper, we conduct a field study to quantify the invisible labor in crowd work. We build a plugin to record the amount of time that 100 workers on Amazon Mechanical Turk dedicate to invisible labor while completing 40,903 tasks. If we ignore the time workers spent on invisible labor, workers' median hourly wage was $3.76. But, we estimated that crowd workers in our study spent 33% of their time daily on invisible labor, dropping their median hourly wage to $2.83. We found that the invisible labor differentially impacts workers depending on their skill level and workers' demographics. The invisible labor category that took the most time and that was also the most common revolved around workers having to manage their payments. The second most time-consuming invisible labor category involved hyper-vigilance, where workers vigilantly watched over requesters' profiles for newly posted work or vigilantly searched for labor. We hope that through our paper, the invisible labor in crowdsourcing becomes more visible, and our results help to reveal the larger implications of the continuing invisibility of labor in crowdsourcing.
... Concerning the adaptation of the course of the story to the past interactions of the readers, decisions and conditions were introduced. Decisions allow the reader to select one option from among a set of possible choices [39]. The content associated with the choice selected is remembered by the system and can be used subsequently to adapt the story. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents an approach to the production of web-based interactive fiction, which is grounded in the requirements posed by an expert focus group, and which integrates a domain-specific language (DSL) for interactive fiction (HEXIFE) and an authoring tool for this DSL (IFDBMaker). HEXIFE is an extension of HMTL5 that includes markup specifically devoted to different aspects of interactive fiction, such as hyperlinking, choice points, personalization, stretchtext, annotations, conditional content, and gamification. This DSL, which can be easily extended with new interactive fiction behaviors, is supported by a runtime environment based on conventional web technologies (HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, Web Components, PHP, and MySQL). IFDBMaker, in turn, piggybacks in a widely used web-based HTML editing framework (TinyMCE) to allow the creation of interactive HEXIFE fiction through a user-friendly approach. A postmortem evaluation shows how: (i) the approach makes the feasibility of supporting interactive fiction on conventional web technologies apparent; and (ii) the approach is a feasible one to actively involve writers in the final production of interactive fiction that are distributed and played through the web.
... We borrowed this method due to its well-documented history of use in academic research, including those within HCI. These include peer-reviewed publications that 1) guide the crafting process of speculation [2]; 2) illustrate a workshop format implementing design fiction techniques (e.g., [20], [17]), 3) demonstrate in-the-wild case studies of design fiction in action (e.g., [5,11,13,18,21]); and 4) offer evaluation frameworks to constructively assess the validity of design outcomes (e.g., [3,4]). These will serve as useful references to fine tune the workshop delivery, to position and meaningfully assess the outcomes in the context of existing HCI research, and to extend the field with our outputs. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Continuing developments in DNA-based digital data storage systems promise us a sustainable, techno-utopian future; proposition-ing bio-digital solutions addressing the ever-increasing global data production, and inadequacies of conventional storage infrastructure to meet the demand. Distinct attributes of DNA make it an attractive archival medium. With its ability to retain high density of digital information cheaply, and to do so over multi-lifespans, DNA-based storage systems are seen as able to radically shape how we archive and use data, across wide-ranging applications. However, while the stakeholders continue to refine and race towards commercialization of the emerging technology, its sociocultural and ethical implications remain unexplored, limiting opportunities to generate insights on how such systems could be better designed and experienced. This workshop begins to explore what our DNA-mediated archival futures may hold. We learn about the fundamental principles governing the new technology and create stories about its pervasion in our lives, mediated through design fiction and structured discourse. While DNAs are most widely recognized as naturally occurring organic molecules that carry genetic information, they can also be synthesized artificially, and to encode non-genetic, digital data as well. The distinct biochemical and physical attributes of DNA make them an ideal candidate for data storage: 1) The ability to store high density of information (10 18 bytes per mm 3 of DNA [6]), 2) Low energy cost required for maintenance [8], and 3) Durability (outside living organisms, it can be stable for thousands of years, e.g., [1]). As such, DNA-based digital data storage systems (Figure 1) are currently being developed as a sustainable solution, that could address issues of exponentially increasing amount of global data production and the inadequacies of existing methods to store them all [6]. With a total of 175 trillion gigabytes expected to be generated worldwide by year 2025 [22], the global storage demand will outnumber the projected growth of mainstream storage (e.g., magnetic, optical, and solid state). Yet when encoded in DNA, some estimate that the world's data could be stored in just a single kilogram of DNA [12].
... Recent years have seen a flourishing of interest in design fiction within HCI and related areas [6,[10][11][12]16,26,29]. This development is perhaps unsurprising, given the multitude of purposes that design fiction can serve. ...
Conference Paper
Design fiction can be highly effective at envisioning possible futures. That envisioning enables, among other things, considering ethical implications of possible technologies. This paper highlights that capacity through a curated collection of five short design fiction pieces, each accompanied by its own author statement. Spanning multiple genres, each piece highlights ethical issues in its own way. After considering the unique strategies that each piece uses to highlight ethical issues, the paper concludes with considerations of how design fiction can advance broader discussions of ethics in computing.
... In this sense, in recent years, different developments have emerged with this objective, such as the free source interactive fiction editors [17] Twine [18], Quest [19], Squiffy [20], TADS [21], Ren'Py [22], and others under licenses such as Inform [23]. In general, these tools have [24] the same structure as a normal text editor, except that in addition to offering standard text formatting elements (bold, underlined...), they also facilitate the possibility of including interaction elements within the content in a user-friendly way. The main advantage of this type of editor is that it is within the reach of most writers, since only user knowledge is required to be able to use them. ...
Article
Full-text available
In recent decades, electronic books have revolutionized the publishing world. In this sense, an area of application is education, where electronic books can be used as educational resources to implement learning strategies about content and in eLearning environments. For this, it is necessary to introduce interactive elements in the electronic books that turn the reader into an active actor in the reading process. However, ebooks have a limitation regarding their creation process. In this sense, the tools can be user-oriented or programmer-oriented. The former are intuitive to use and have user-friendly interfaces, but they offer a reduced number of functionalities to add to books. The second are aimed at programmers, allowing for the implementation of any functionality, but limiting the number of content creators who can use them. The main motivation of this work is to propose an intermediate solution that offers a wide number of functionalities while not requiring deep programming knowledge to use them. In this sense, the solution of this article is novel since it proposes the use of extensible markup language (XML) documents to specify the structure of the electronic book in such a way that its processing will lead to the electronic book.
Thesis
Full-text available
Zusammenfassung Zukunft gestalten – unter diesem Titel untersucht die vorliegende Arbeit den Einsatz von Design Fiction als Methode für partizipative Foresight-Prozesse und eine bidirektionale Wissenschaftskommunikation. Der im Design und der Designwissenschaft entwickelte Ansatz Design Fiction wird damit im Kontext von Forschungsfeldern untersucht, die sich zumeist auf forschungsstrategischer Ebene mit der Schnittstelle von Technologie und Gesellschaft beschäftigen. Der Begriff „Zukunft gestalten“ beinhaltet sowohl die Möglichkeit, durch Design Fiction konkrete und haptische Gestaltungsoptionen für zukünftige Technologie darzustellen, als auch das Ziel von Foresight-Prozessen, Szenarien für zukünftige soziotechnische Lebenswelten zu entwerfen und (den wünschbaren Zukünften) entsprechende Ressourcen in der Gegenwart zu mobilisieren. Das Ziel, Design Fiction als Methode der Wissenschaftskommunikation zu nutzen, bezieht sich vor allem auf die Kommunikation neuer Technologien und Forschungsfelder – das heißt Bereiche, die von Unsicherheit, Komplexität und Ambivalenz geprägt sind. Für beide Bereiche, Foresight und Wissenschaftskommunikation, wird Design Fiction als Methode betrachtet, mögliche technologische Entwicklungspfade anhand von Prototypen zu materialisieren und diese als Basis für „ernsthafte Spekulationen“ zu nutzen – und das nicht nur im Kreis von Technologie-Expertinnen und -experten, sondern auch unter Einbezug der Gesellschaft. Indem die Dissertation die Bedeutung der Gesellschaft in der Entwicklung zukünftiger Technologien hervorhebt, folgt sie Theorien und Ansätzen, die das Verhältnis von Technologie und Gesellschaft, beziehungsweise von Mensch und Technik als interdependent, co-evolutiv und co-konstruktiv beschreiben. Sie geht davon aus, dass Technologien und soziale Praktiken in soziotechnischen Systemen eng miteinander verwoben sind und dass die Gesellschaft deshalb auch in die Entwicklung zukünftiger Technologien eingebunden werden muss. Dafür, das ist die zentrale These dieser Arbeit, bietet Design Fiction zwei Ansatzpunkte: Erstens, indem es als Methode partizipativer Foresight-Prozesse „forschungsfernen“ Menschen ermöglicht, ihren Bedarfen und Perspektiven in Bezug auf neue Technologien eine Gestalt zu geben; und zweitens, indem es technologischen Entwicklungspfaden eine Form geben kann, mit der technologische, aber auch soziale und ethische Implikationen frühzeitig an die Gesellschaft kommuniziert und mit dieser diskutiert werden können. Die Neuartigkeit des in dieser Dissertation entwickelten Ansatzes kann anhand von drei Punkten herausgestellt werden: Erstens in der Verknüpfung interdisziplinärer, theoretischer und praktischer Ansätze aus der Technikphilosophie und der Techniksoziologie, der Innovations- und Governance-Forschung und der Designwissenschaft zu einem neuen designbasierten Ansatz für eine bidirektionale Wissenschaftskommunikation anhand von Design-Fiction-Prototypen. Zweitens in der praktischen Anwendung und empirischen Untersuchung von Design Fiction in partizipativen Workshops und in einer Ausstellung, die den bisher meist konzeptionellen Ansatz Design Fiction empirisch untersucht, Handlungsempfehlungen ableitet und ihn somit validiert. Und drittens am Zeithorizont des Ansatzes, der über die Entwicklung konkreter Produkte und Dienstleistungen – wie sie im Bereich des partizipativen Design bereits etabliert ist – hinausgeht und Design-Methoden auch im Bereich von Technologie-Foresight-Prozessen nutzt.
Article
Full-text available
Historically, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) and Human-Computer Interaction for Development (HCI4D) researchers in the Global South have advocated for a community-based approach to technology design and development. However, even with this "bottom-up" emphasis, the sustainability and scalability of the resulting innovations remain major challenges, and are poorly understood. To address this gap, we take the case of Bangladesh as a typical Global South context in which development work is carried out by a complex intertwined network of stakeholders across governments, NGOs, donors, and industries. To better understand the current development landscape and its priorities for digital technologies, we conducted interviews with 14 influential decision-makers in Bangladesh who play significant roles in the development of nutrition strategies. Our findings highlight a disconnect between the Bangladesh government's "digital mandate" and the reality of digital innovation practice within the nutrition development sector. Our paper contributes to the debate on factors that affect decision-making processes. We explore the dynamics of diverse actors and institutions who are intended to participate in, but can act as obstacles to sustained bottom-up innovations. Our findings expand understanding of institutional priorities, the dynamics of intermediaries, techno-solutionism, postcolonialism, bureaucracy, competition, and other important topics in CSCW scholarship. We suggest understanding the factors that guide the decision-making process of digital innovation practices in terms of four dimensions: internal, external, vertical, and horizontal. Consequently, we recommend CSCW and HCI researchers become mediators to connect decision-makers and communities and bring their voices in ICT innovations for global development. Finally, we offer recommendations for proactive engagement with decision-making stakeholders, enabling researchers to design community-centered sustainable digital innovations for development.
Article
Privacy policy and term agreement documents are considered the gateway for software adoption and use. The documents provide a means for the provider to outline expectations of the software use, and also provide an often-separate document outlining how user data is collected, stored, and used--including if it is shared with other parties. A user agreeing with the terms, assumes that they have a full understanding the terms of the agreement and have provided consent. Often however, users do not read the documents because they are long and full of legalistic and inconsistent language, are regularly amended, and may not disclose all the details on what is done to the user data. Enforcing compliance and ensuring user consent have been persistent challenges to policy makers and privacy researchers. This design fiction puts forward an alternate reality and presents a policy-based approach to fording the consent gap with the TL;DR Charter: an agreement governing the parties involved by harnessing the power of formal governments, industry, and other stakeholders, and taking users expectation of privacy into account. The Charter allows us as researchers to examine the implications on trust, decision-making, consent, accountability and the impact of future technologies.
Book
Full-text available
Any design process involves an imaginative act, a picturing of the world as other than it is. Fiction has long played a part in design research in the form of scenarios, personas, sketches, paper-based prototypes, simulations, prototypes, and speculative design. The term “design fiction” has been recently adopted to describe more elaborate and detailed representations of products and services that do not exist yet. Design fiction is an emerging practice and there are several competing definitions and forms. Research Fiction and Thought Experiments in Design traces design fiction from the Italian radical design of the 1960s through British Art Schools in the late 1990s to contemporary adaptations of the practice by companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook. Design fiction is now produced regularly by individuals launching Kickstarter campaigns, corporations selling visions of future products and governments imagining new digital services. But there is little agreement about the status of such fictions: what constitutes a good fiction? How does fiction relate to research? In what sense does fiction contribute to existing knowledge? Although fiction can sometimes result in accurate prediction, this is not its main value. It is rather the creation of ambiguous artefacts that help us think carefully about emerging technologies and their potential impact. Fiction may seem to be the antithesis of empirical enquiry but it is often employed in the form of “thought experiments” in Physics, Mathematics, Ethics and Philosophy. Research Fiction and Thought Experiments in Design argues that design fiction can also be considered as a form of thought experiment. Excerpts from a fictional Wikipedia article about Valdis Ozols, a Latvian historian and author writing design fiction in the 1940s, precede each section as think pieces about the nature and value of fiction. The text is illustrated with pages from a fictional design workbook written in an invented language.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The goal of this one-day workshop is to open space for disruptive techniques and strategies to be used in the making, prototyping, and conceptualizations of the artifacts and systems developed and imagined within HCI. Specifically, this workshop draws on strategies from art, speculative design, and activism, as we aim to productively "trouble" the design processes behind HCI. We frame these explorations as "disruptive improvisations" - tactics artists and designers use to make the familiar strange or creatively problematize in order to foster new insights. The workshop invites participants to inquire through making and take up key themes as starting points to develop disruptive improvisations for design. These include modesty, scarcity, uselessness, no-technology, and failure. The workshop will produce a zine workbook or pamphlet to be distributed during the conference to bring visibility to the role these tactics of making in a creative design practices.
Article
Full-text available
Any design process involves an imaginative act, a picturing of the world as other than it is. Fiction has long played a part in design research in the form of scenarios, personas, sketches, paper-based prototypes, simulations, prototypes and speculative design. The term “design fiction” has been adopted to describe more elaborate and detailed representations of products and services that do not exist yet. Design fiction is an emerging practice and there are several competing definitions and forms. This article traces design fiction from the Italian radical design of the 1960s through British Art Schools in the late 1990s to contemporary adaptations of the practice by companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook. Design fiction is now produced regularly by individuals launching Kickstarter campaigns, corporations selling visions of future products and governments imagining new digital services. But there is little agreement about the status of such fictions: what constitutes a good fiction? How does fiction relate to research? In what sense does fiction contribute to existing knowledge? Although fiction can sometimes result in accurate prediction this is not its main value. It is rather the creation of ambiguous artefacts that help us think carefully about emerging technologies and their potential impact. Although fiction may seem to be the antithesis of empirical enquiry it is often employed in the form of “thought experiments” in Physics, Mathematics, Ethics and Philosophy. This article argues that design fiction can also be considered as a form of thought experiment. Excerpts from a fictional Wikipedia article about Valdis Ozols, a Latvian historian and author writing design fiction in the 1940s precede each section as think pieces about the nature and value of fiction. The text is illustrated with pages from a fictional design workbook written in an invented language.
Article
Understanding the expectations of future mainstream users will promote innovation in user studies and guide the process of producing original designs. With a focus on Chinese Generation Z, this paper focuses on the features of future kitchens as a case study with the aim of understanding the future expectations of the younger generation. An exploratory laboratory experiment was conducted to elicit users’ expectations via a setting the stage method involving 51 participants. The participants were asked to imagine the future kitchen and draw conceptual sketches of interactive interfaces. The results reveal a four-factor 17 index instrument for exploring the anticipated features of kitchens in terms of expansibility, sustainability, smart technology and interactivity, and emotional connection. The study develops a comprehensive model highlighting and describing the temporal aspects of future expectations. Valuable insights into the expectations of Chinese Generation Z are discussed, and important implications for the design of smart kitchens are proposed based on the results obtained.
Article
The objective of this work is to position speculative fiction as a broader framework to stimulate, facilitate, and study engineering design ideation. For this, we first present a comprehensive and detailed review of the literature on how fiction, especially science fiction, has played a role in design and decision-making. To further strengthen the need for speculative fiction for idea stimulation, we further prototype and study a prototype workflow that utilizes excerpts from speculative fiction books as textual stimuli for design ideation. Through a qualitative study of this workflow, we gain insights on the effect of textual stimuli from science fiction narratives on design concepts. Our study reveals that the texts either closely related to the problem or consisting of the terms from the design statement boost the idea generation process. We further discover that less directly related stimuli may encourage out-of-the-box and divergent thinking. Using the insights gained from our study, we pose critical questions to initiate speculative fiction-based design ideation as a new research direction in engineering design. Subsequently, we discuss current research directions and domains that will be necessary to take the technical, technological, and methodological steps needed for future research on design methodologies based on speculative-fictional inspiration. Finally, we present a practical case to demonstrate how an engineering design workflow could be operationalized by investigating a concrete example of the design of automotive user interfaces (automotive-UI) through the lens of speculative fiction.
Article
Interaction design is increasingly taking part in privileged history-making activities of our society. These activities require a responsible attitude to temporality, considering multiple courses of time and different ways of being in the world. This research introduces the concept of existential time drawn from the work of Álvaro Vieira Pinto to understand interaction design in the production of existence and its denial. The concept is applied to explain a couple of design fiction projects that strived for the liberation of underdeveloped existences in an educational interaction design studio. The students experimented with handling existential time’s fundamental quality — historicity, or the possibility of making history — through several conjunctural artifacts. The reflection on these experiments suggests that increasing students’ consciousness of historicity is an effective way of countering the domestication of the future, an imperialist strategy that undermines history-making activities in underdeveloped nations.
Article
Full-text available
Literary criticism places fictional work in historical, social and psychological contexts to offer insights about the way that texts are produced and consumed. Critical theory offers a range of strategies for analysing what a text says and just as importantly, what it leaves unsaid. Literary analyses of scientific writing can also produce insights about how research agendas are framed and addressed. This paper provides three readings of a seminal ubiquitous computing scenario by Marc Weiser. Three approaches from literary and critical theory are demonstrated in deconstructive, psychoanalytic and feminist readings of the scenario. The deconstructive reading suggests that alongside the vision of convenient and efficient ubiquitous computing is a complex set of fears and anxieties that the text cannot quite subdue. A psychoanalytic reading considers what the scenario is asking us to desire and identifies the dream of surveillance without intrusion. A final feminist reading discusses gender and collapsing distinctions between public and private, office and home, family and work life. None of the readings are suggested as the final truth of what Weiser was “really” saying. Rather they articulate a set of issues and concerns that might frame design agendas differently. The scenario is then re-written in two pastiches that draw on source material with very different visions of ubiquitous computing. The Sal scenario is first rewritten in the style of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In this world, technology is broken, design is poor and users are flawed, fallible and vulnerable. The second rewrites the scenarios in the style of Philip K Dick’s novel Ubik. This scenario serves to highlight what is absent in Weiser’s scenario and indeed most design scenarios: money. The three readings and two pastiches underline the social conflict and struggle more often elided or ignored in the stories told in ubicomp literature. It is argued that literary forms of reading and writing can be useful in both questioning and reframing scientific writing and design agendas.
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we argue that an approach informed by practice theory coupled with design fiction provides useful insights into the role of interaction design with respect to environmental sustainability. We argue that a practice-oriented approach can help interaction designers step away from models of individual behavior and studies of artifacts towards seeing sustainable behaviors as part of multidimensional and interrelated practices and practice elements. We analyze two previously conducted studies. The first study of everyday repair focuses on how people repair their broken objects. The second study of green-DIY examines how green enthusiasts facilitate their practices of making sustainable DIY (do-it-yourself) projects. We describe the practices of everyday repairers and green enthusiasts in terms of materials, competences, and meanings, and the interrelations among those elements, using the framework of Shove et al. (2012). We argue that understanding the dynamics of practice and their unique configurations is a starting point to redefine the roles of sustainable interaction design (SID). We propose that designers design towards resources and tools in ways that reflect on the challenges of intelligibility of their design interventions in practices. In addition to considering SID in the light of practice theories, we reveal how design fictions are readily incorporated into green practices in ways that transform those practices and hold implications for transformations of design as well. We bring forward opportunities for designers to co-design with DIY enthusiasts, targeted as practitioners in their own right, designing toward or within a design fiction. As a result, we conclude with the possibility for sustainable interaction designers to become practice-oriented designers who design with transparent open strategies and accessible materials and competences.
Article
Full-text available
Scholarship in the history and sociology of technology has convincingly demonstrated that technological development is not inevitable, pre-destined or linear. In this paper I show how the creators of popular films including science consultants construct cinematic representations of technological possibilities as a means by which to overcome these obstacles and stimulate a deisre in audiences to see potential technologies become realities. This paper focuses specifically on the production process in order to show how entertainment producers construct cinematic scenarios with an eye towards generating real-world funding opportunities and the ability to construct real-life prototypes. I introduce the term 'diegetic prototypes' to account for the ways in which cinematic depictions of future technologies demonstrate to large public audiences a technology's need, viability and benevolence. Entertainment producers create diegetic prototypes by influencing dialogue, plot rationalizations, character interactions and narrative structure. These technologies only exist in the fictional world – what film scholars call the diegesis – but they exist as fully functioning objects in that world. The essay builds upon previous work on the notion of prototypes as 'performative artefacts'. The performative aspects of prototypes are especially evident in diegetic prototypes because a film's narrative structure contextualizes technologies within the social sphere. Technological objects in cinema are at once both completely artificial – all aspects of their depiction are controlled in production – and normalized within the text as practical objects that function properly and which people actually use as everyday objects.
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses the use of theatrical techniques to communicate to designers the user requirements for IT interfaces – particularly those of “extreme users” such as older people. The methodology and processes of producing such material in a video form are described, together with the strengths and weaknesses of this approach. The paper concludes by suggesting the various roles live theatre can play in user centered design. Although the research, on which this paper is based, focuses on the challenges presented by older and disabled users, the techniques described are applicable to a wider range of users.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper documents the design process for an augmented children's play environment centred on that most ubiquitous and simple of objects, the cardboard box. The purpose of the exercise is to show how computer technology can be used in innovative ways ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The design, development, and deployment of interactive systems can substantively impact individuals, socie ty, and the natural environment, now and potentially well into the future. Yet, a scarcity of methods exists to support long-t erm, emergent, systemic thinking in interactive design p ractice. Toward addressing this gap, we propose four envisio ning criteria - stakeholders, time, values, and pervasiv eness - distilled from prior work in urban planning, design noir, and Value Sensitive Design. We characterize how the cr iteria can support systemic thinking, illustrate the integrati on of the envisioning criteria into established design practi ce (scenario- based design), and provide strategic activities to serve as generative envisioning tools. We conclude with suggestions for use and future work. Key contributions include: 1) four envisioning criteria to support systemic thinking, 2) value scenarios (extending scenario-based design), and 3) strategic activities for engaging the envisioning criteria in interactive system design practice.
Article
Full-text available
Ubiquitous computing is unusual amongst technological research arenas. Most areas of computer science research, such as programming language implementation, distributed operating system design, or denotational semantics, are defined largely by technical problems, and driven by building upon and elaborating a body of past results. Ubiquitous computing, by contrast, encompasses a wide range of disparate technological areas brought together by a focus upon a common vision. It is driven, then, not so much by the problems of the past but by the possibilities of the future. Ubiquitous computing’s vision, however, is over a decade old at this point, and we now inhabit the future imagined by its pioneers. The future, though, may not have worked out as the field collectively imagined. In this article, we explore the vision that has driven the ubiquitous computing research agenda and the contemporary practice that has emerged. Drawing on cross-cultural investigations of technology adoption, we argue for developing a “ubicomp of the present” which takes the messiness of everyday life as a central theme.
Article
Full-text available
A number of academic and industrial researchers participated in a workshop, held in Seville, Spain in March, 2007, to present their views and discuss issues that were essential for the future of human-computer interaction (HCI). The participants participated in the workshop, entitled 'HCI in 2020', expressing a wide range of opinions regarding the the scope and methods relevant to HCI. Researchers participating in the event highlighted the changes being introduced in human values, due to increased interaction with computers and stated that these values needed to be considered as an integral part of HCI technologies. The latest technologies had a significant impact on the transformation of HCI and led researchers to adopt a different approach towards it. These changes and technologies changed the relationship between human values and HCI, including transformation in the end of interface scalability and increasing dependence on technology.
Chapter
Opening up the design process to the intended users and descriptions of their projected use entail many technical issues. People need to develop new vocabularies for discussing and characterizing designs in terms of the projected activities of the intended users. These vocabularies should be accessible to the users, so that they can help define the technology they will use. People also need to be able to integrate and coordinate such use-oriented design representations with other representations produced in the course of system development. Further, people need to be able to assess design alternatives with use-oriented criteria and to integrate and coordinate such assessments with those that they make on traditional grounds, like correctness, reliability, efficiency, and maintainability. People need to develop new sorts of tools and techniques to support the development and use of use-oriented representations and methods in design. People also need to produce education to help system developers understand the need for use oriented approaches and adopt such methods in their work. This is a lot to ask for, but to do anything less is to risk losing sight of the line among human beings using and controlling their technology and its antithesis.
Conference Paper
As robots from the future, we are compelled to present this important historical document which discusses how the systematic investigation of interactive technology facilitated and hastened the enslavement of mankind by robots during the 21st Century. We describe how the CHI community, in general, was largely responsible for this eventuality, as well as how specific strands of interaction design work were key to the enslavement. We also mention the futility of some reactionary work emergent in your time that sought to challenge the inevitable subjugation. We conclude by congratulating the CHI community for your tireless work in promoting and supporting our evil robot agenda.
Article
Design-oriented research is an act of collective imagining—a way in which we work together to bring about a future that lies slightly out of our grasp. In this paper, we examine the collective imagining of ubiquitous computing by bringing it into alignment with a related phenomenon, science fiction, in particular as imagined by a series of television shows that form part of the cultural backdrop for many members of the research community. A comparative reading of these fictional narratives highlights a series of themes that are also implicit in the research literature. We argue both that these themes are important considerations in the shaping of technological design and that an attention to the tropes of popular culture holds methodological value for ubiquitous computing.
Article
Visions of the future are a common feature of discourse within ubiquitous computing and, more broadly, HCI. 'Envisioning', a characteristic future-oriented technique for design thinking, often features as significant part of our research processes in the field. This paper compares, contrasts and critiques the varied ways in which envisionings have been used within ubiquitous computing and traces their relationships to other, different envisionings, such as those of virtual reality. In unpacking envisioning, it argues primarily that envisioning should be foregrounded as a significant concern and interest within HCI. Foregrounding envisioning's frequent mix of fiction, forecasting and extrapolation, the paper recommends changes in the way we read, interpret and use envisionings through taking into account issues such as context and intended audience.
Conference Paper
In this paper we look at the Steampunk movement and consider its relevance as a design strategy for HCI and interaction design. Based on a study of online practices of Steampunk, we consider how, as a design fiction, Steampunk provides an explicit model for how to physically realize an ideological and imagined world through design practice. We contend that the practices of DIY and appropriation that are evident in Steampunk design provide a useful set of design strategies and implications for HCI.
Conference Paper
As computing moves into every aspect of our daily lives, the values and assumptions that underlie our technical practices may unwittingly be propagated throughout our culture. Drawing on existing critical approaches in computing, we argue that reflection on unconscious values embedded in computing and the practices that it supports can and should be a core principle of technology design. Building on a growing body of work in critical computing, reflective design combines analysis of the ways in which technologies reflect and perpetuate unconscious cultural assumptions, with design, building, and evaluation of new computing devices that reflect alternative possibilities. We illustrate this approach through two design case studies.
Conference Paper
Are you an inmate? What if we switched the metaphor to, “the building contractors are telling the architects where to put the windows?“Strike a little closer to home? The mechanics of building an application often end up taking precedence over the aims of the project, to the point where nobody—user, designer, programmer or manager—ends up getting what they want. Alan Cooper, the “Father of Visual Basic“and author of About Face: The Essentials of User Interface Design, sees a cure for this craziness in a new way to design interaction. Applications created using his Goal-Directed ® Design process provide users with power and pleasure. His keynote presentation will give you some much-needed perspective on design issues and show a case study of how a leading vendor has adopted Cooper’s approach. He’ll also offer tips on how you can make the business case for effective design to your managers. Alan is a motivating, thought-provoking, and original speaker. Come prepared to toss out some old ideas, hear some new ones and perhaps even escape from the asylum.
Article
The concepts underlying ?scenario-based? design are introduced and put forward as a computationally-supportable alternative to sketching in early-stage design. From the analysis of a number of structured interviews with practicing designers, key design scenarios are identified. These scenarios are then generalised and outline guidelines developed for structuring early stage design, making use of TRIZ methodologies.
Human-computer interaction in management information systems
  • B Friedman
  • P H Kahn
  • A Borning
Friedman, B., Kahn Jr, P. H., and Borning, A. (2006). Value sensitive design and information systems. Human-computer interaction in management information systems: Foundations, 5 (2006), 348-372.
Design fiction: A short essay on design, science, fact and fiction
  • J Bleecker
Bleecker, J. Design fiction: A short essay on design, science, fact and fiction. Near Future Laboratory, 29, 2009.
Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction Steampunk as design fiction
  • N Shedroff
  • C J Noessel
  • K Tanenbaum
  • R Wakkary
[19] Shedroff, N., and Noessel, C. Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction. Brooklyn, New York, USA: Rosenfeld Media, 2012. [20] Sterling B. Shaping Things. MIT Press. Cambridge, MA, 2005. [21] Sterling B. 2013. Fantasy Prototypes and Real Disruption. Keynote NEXT Berlin 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VIoRYPZk68 [22] Tanenbaum, J., Tanenbaum, K., and Wakkary, R. (2012, May). Steampunk as design fiction. In Proc CHI 2012, ACM Press (2012), 1583-1592.
Fantasy Prototypes and Real Disruption
  • B Sterling
Sterling B. 2013. Fantasy Prototypes and Real Disruption. Keynote NEXT Berlin 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VIoRYPZk68
Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction
  • N Shedroff
  • C Noessel
Shedroff, N., and Noessel, C. Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction. Brooklyn, New York, USA: Rosenfeld Media, 2012.
Building the future with envisioning
  • S Reeves
Reeves, S. Building the future with envisioning. Interactions, 20 (2013), 26-29.
Cambridge MA 2005. Sterling B. Shaping Things
  • B Sterling
Value sensitive design and information systems. Human-computer interaction in management information systems
  • Friedman B.
Design fiction: A short essay on design science fact and fiction. Near Future Laboratory 29 2009. Bleecker J. Design fiction: A short essay on design science fact and fiction
  • J Bleecker