Speculative Futures. Design, Fiction and Social Dreaming

Fiona Raby

Lecture by Fiona Raby, co-author of the book "Speculative Everything. Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming".

In design, when a project steps away from the ‘here and now’ it is automatically relocated to the future, often a ‘possible’ (realistic) one. Is ‘The Future’ the only space we are allowed to imagine within? Futures as a narrative framework feel far too limiting.

The binary view which divides the world of ideas, things, and thoughts into ‘real’ and ‘not real’ is extremely damaging to the fostering of imagination and its ability to uncover alternatives to how things are now. Especially when the word ‘unrealistic’ often simply means ‘undesirable’ to those in charge, rendering alternative realities impossible for everyone else.

If reality is not given but made, then it can be unmade, and remade. This is not simply about the re-imagining of everyday life, there are plenty of examples of this, it is about using unreality to question the authority of a specific reality in order to foreground its assumptions and ideology.