OK here is a bit of a rant. So, stop now. I am sitting here this morning thinking to myself. I really am tired of feeling compelled to think/work/write like someone I am not — art-critic, literary-critic, film-critic, poet, philosopher, etc. Why can’t I think/work/write like a designer. A few years back I was introduced to a notion referred to as “design fiction.” Design fiction is a means of critically writing about design. This way of writing in my experience is done in a much broader way than we have been discussing in this course. It draws from methods used to generate critical essays written in fields of visual design. It also draws from fiction writing traditions in general and often more specifically science fiction writing. It is often quite speculative and it is almost always critical.

Denise Gonzales Crisp wrote an article about design fiction here

Julian Bleeker writes about it here

Bruce Sterling writes of it indirectly here

Don’t get me wrong. I think the frameworks and platforms we have been studying are extremely valuable. But, I wonder if design fiction might be adapted as an appropriate and more designerly way to write design criticism. After all we daily think in terms of personas and scenarios. Can we take the things we have studied so far and use them to write criticism in the form of “design fiction” addressing specific, existing artifacts? Would that be any different than writing loose, expanded persona/scenarios? I’m not trying to be rhetorical here — I really don’t know. If we write in the form of design fiction while utilizing and incorporating the frameworks we have been studying — would this be as affective as some of the examples we have read? Would it be taken seriously? And if not then why?

Dammit Jim, I’m a designer…

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