The use of Design Fiction (for me)

This first class in this course was very different for me. I have never really looked to science-fiction (or literature in general) in the way it is described in the different articles. Eindhoven is a technology orientated university, as a result of this the focus during my education was largely on prototyping and problem-solving. We could have had some classes in what Matt Malpass describes as Speculative Design, I have opted for none them.

Both Bleecker and Sterling have in depth articles about design fiction. Where I get the impression from Bleecker that she really believes in fiction designers, Sterling is more critical towards this specific design discipline. One of the advantages of design fiction is getting rid of constraints, the break  free of the chains of engineering (at least so do I interpret Bleecker). To be able to not solve todays problems, but starting designing tomorrow. I cannot help but wondered whether this is a sole design discipline. When reading both Bleecker and Sterling I get the impression that design fiction is a means rather than an end. Indeed like Bleecker states; design fiction communicates a possible future to a large audience but probably the most interesting thing about design fiction is the reaction of this audience, when taking this further one could try to prepare society for a certain technology. I do not think it is about designing the future, but rather the impact of future designs.

Actually while writing this, I started to wonder on why one actually should use science fiction for design. The way I read about design fiction it is mainly about achieving a certain mindset, to get rid of societal borders and technological limitations. But I cannot help but wonder whether design fiction is the way to achieve this, certainly is has its uses and can be extremely useful to some people. When pulling this topic more towards myself; I am not educated in design fiction, I have no history in science fiction (I do not even like it) and still I would like to regard my own mind as open. When I compare it with, especially non-design, people around me I notice a difference in the way of thinking. This openness can have different causes; starting with the most unlikely, it is actually open. I think that, having never experienced design fiction, makes it impossible for me to judge whether it will remove the boxes from my mind further, I am certainly hoping to experience this in class.


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