Concepts of speculative design

New collaborative teaching project with the University of Southern Denmark.

A new joint teaching project brings together 35 students from Design School Kolding and the University of Southern Denmark. In the project the students will learn methods for practicing Design Fiction and Speculative Design. The expected outcome is a series of speculative design concepts which propose new ways of producing energy and electricity in the future, from local resources. Design fiction is about liberating design practice from narrow market-driven values, consumerist ideologies and the technological possibilities of the here and now. It is about using fiction in design as a technique for prototyping new materials, technologies, speculative objects and interactions, which radically change how people live, think and communicate.

 - The project shows great potential for education based research. The ambition is to let researchers and students work closely together and to explore vital questions of how designers can use fiction and speculations to help us imagine sustainable futures. Too often, novelty products and technologies are introduced in our society without ever questioning the negative impact they may have on people’s lives. Through Design Fiction we want to raise public debate about the future to come, giving people a chance to consider whether the future we are heading into is preferable or not, says Eva Knutz.


The teachers and researchers in charge of this pilot project are Thomas Markussen and Eva Knutz from Design School Kolding who have Design Fiction as one of their primary research interests. They have previously given Design Fiction courses in London at Central Saint Martins and London College of Communication, but this time they are accompanied by three design researchers from the SDU campus: interaction designer Laurens Boer, design anthropologist Mette Kjærsgaard and professor at SDU Design Jacob Buur.

 The students participating in the project are MA design students from the disciplines graphic design, illustration, interaction design, communication design, industrial design, fashion and textile.