« Selfie Mode » designed by Vanesa Toquero Lorenzo and Hind Chammas for our design ethnography class at HEAD – Genève in 2016. After few days of fieldwork, survey and interviews with users of the selfie stick and social networks like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, etc., Vanesa and Hind speculated about a logical evolution of selfie practices. They designed a software assistant that help you to capture the best selfie. Bordering on rudeness but still polite, the system guides you with robotic voice, for the different steps, today marked by the gurus of cyber-ego.
A canvas proposed by The Extrapolation Factory for futurecasting activities.
In his book called « The Art of the Long View » (1991), Peter Schwartz has some good tips, which can prove useful for the futurecasting phase of Design Ethnography/Design Fiction projects:
« Scenarios are not about predicting the future, rather they are about perceiving futures in the present. »
« Scenario researchers train themselves to look at the world as horses do; because new knowledge develops in the fringes. »
« Stories are about meaning, they help explain why things could happen in a certain way. They give order and meaning to events – a crucial aspect of understanding future possibilities. »
« All that [scenario-building] was in preparation. The true work took place in the last step, rehearsing the implications. How would such a business fare in each of the three worlds? […] It is a matter of training yourself to think through how things might happen that you might otherwise dismiss – to get to know the shape of unfolding reality. To have at hand the answer to the question, ‘What if…?' »
« Consider several plots […] The trick is deciding where, in the story, to start the diverging alternative futures. In scenarios for a company, you should design at least one alternative that frightens the management enough to think–but not so much that they shut down. »
The « view from the future » of past objects is always an intriguing move in order to question the relationships between objects shapes and their purpose. It’s the opportunity to discuss the use of certain objects and how their appearance may reveal other possibilities. In this case – from Constellations, a graphic novel by Popcube and Daryl – these short descriptions are located at the end of the book, in order to provide the readers with a perspective on the cultural expectations of the future.
A pragmatic quote from Julian Bleecker’s deck of slides. It basically describes one the purpose of design fiction work, i.e. the specifications of the social/material/cultural context in which the « stuff » of the future is supposed to be used. While ethnography consists in going into depth on the everyday lifes of people in the past or present, the speculations that happens in design fiction projects generally focuses on describing the (near) future of such experiences.