Speculative design is a methodology for training one's ability to look to the future and explore complex problems. Working with speculative design helps us explore new perspectives and gives us tools and support to use our imagination to both imagine and shape possible futures.
Why speculative design?
In an environment that is constantly changing where both society and business need to be continuously developed, it is no wonder that actors/ organizations / leaders wonder; Where are we going? What awaits in the future? What do we need to take into account and have knowledge of? What does our role or business look like in a developing world?
We need to ask ourselves these questions in order to keep up with our surroundings and continue to be relevant. But in order to be able to lead from the future and influence how we shape our world, we also need to ask; How could we live? What future do we want to create? What could we contribute? How do we want our society to function? What would our world look like if… To dare to take in perspective - What if?
The future is not an objective - it is an enrichment. - Ed Catmull
How can we use speculative design?
Speculative design (also called critical thinking) is about challenging ideas we have about how the world works, and instead exploring what the world and our society can look like. The methodology aims to think innovatively about the systems we live in, and during the process allow ourselves to deviate from the frameworks we know. With that approach, we can examine large, complex issues and challenges we face, in order to invent possible futures that do not have to relate to today's rules and truths. This gives us the opportunity to reach a higher innovative height for what our future may look like.
The value of the methodology
To understand possible futures, we need to examine but also portray them.
We can not work towards an improvement that we can not imagine. - Elise Boulding
An important part of working with speculative design is therefore about shaping possible futures in a way that can trigger / arouse / trigger emotions and thoughts about how our fictional futures would be experienced if they were real. This is done in aim to create a dialogue about how we address important long-term future issues with the help of innovation.
Try the methodology and tools for speculative design
The concept of speculative design
The term speculative design was coined by Anthony Dunne, professor and head of the design interaction program at Royal College of Art, and Fiona Raby, professor of industrial design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. The two popularized the concept in their book, Speculative Everything: Design, Dreaming, and Social Dreaming.