Cloak of Fiction

Morgan Fritz

A Method Toolbox for Design Research

“Engineering, medicine, business, architecture and painting are concerned not with the necessary but with the contingent – not with how things are but with how they might be – in short, with design“ (Simon, 1969, p. xii).

In all of these fields, why is design practice and design research not more commonly explored? Although funding may be a very large factor, it seems that, in a long term timeline, these considered future-forward thinking methods would be the most beneficial means of discovery to the discipline. Even simple questioning and visualizing of what could be opens a much broader form of approaching a topic, specifically in the actual application of design fiction. Shouldn’t intuitive perceptions be given a higher level of thought? Especially if beginning ponderings in scientific research  stemmed from design fiction.

Similarly, the paper also addresses how design can benefit from these science studies as well. By adding a level of realism through science research’s process and systems of research, the level of realism is immensely greater, and develops a much stronger medium of creative experimentation.

Science Fiction Prototypes

“As I see it, a successful story of any kind should be almost like hypnosis: You fascinate the reader with your first sentence, draw them in further with your second sentence and have them in a mild trance by the third. The important thing is that the reader should not wake up until you want them to…” -Moore

So in speculative design works such as the Audio Tooth Implant from the first reading, was the intent to not wake up the reader, and instead leave them in this “hypnosis” of a fictional reality created around this product? As Moore believes, the success of the Audio Tooth was in its cloak of fiction. It captured the audience in engaging them to believe its imagined future as plausible and acceptable. but where does the gradient lie of what forms of design fiction are considered story telling and what are deceit?

Regardless, it’s interesting to see what reactions or further realities can spark from this first “deception.”


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