Specialized Reflection and Trust

1. How can design fiction “support public dialogue about emerging technologies”?: I think that design fiction can support public dialogue through the combined forces of an effective narrative as well as a constructed opportunity for reflection; a moment that will cause/encourage an individual to analyze and reflect on the implications of that technology on their own specific lives. I also think colloquial critique of these narratives is an important element of public dialogue as well. Writings like Vanhemert’s on her, is something that comes to mind. Ideally, if design fiction can allow people to feel that they are capable of offering their opinions without the feeling of being versed in the field of “design fiction”, then public dialogue about such futures can flourish. That is why I think that when people have the opportunity to draw on their own lives as a canvas for design fiction, it is most effective in on-boarding the public to discuss such technologies.

2. Which methodological features of mediated scenarios are most important to consider?: Trust. Although we have often discussed in class our apprehension with workshops and the effectiveness of stark structure of future building practices, one of the most compelling points mentioned in the text about the reasons for or the intentions behind such methodologies was Selin’s notion of trust. Selin states that what is lacking and hard to attain in scenario building is the trust in being vulnerable in oneself, trust in knowing there is no mistake, and finally trust within a group that it is okay to veer toward the illogical. Such scenario planning and fiction prototyping workshops provide the safety net that allows the creators to be bold and trusting in one another through the process of materializing the invisible. Similarly, this trust must be on the viewers side as well. Viewers/the public must be trusting in each other that a retort does not need to be in favor or against/ right or wrong.  Instead, viewers should trust that these scenario serve as a point to be critical of the direction in which we invest in our future and not a prediction.

Overall, I thought the notion of scenario planning under the guise of fiction prototyping was an interesting concept especially on how constructing scenarios “serve as a way of a method for turning the unknown into a resource for strategic planning.”


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