© 2013 ellathompson


This week’s class was a rainbow of emotion.

Firstly, I broke ma jumper. My new jumper. My new favourite jumper. Walking to find a seat, thread got caught on the corner of something. Ended up with quite a long, lone thread sticking out. Yes, you impatient reader, it is necessary to include this story in this week’s post about the class. Deal with it. I am sad.


Secondly, Eddie was vastly overwhelmed by joy when he discovered how to upload photos from his phone straight onto his blog. This was a mind-blowing moment for him. Which rapidly developed into a general enthrallment with life. And his new-found optimism and enthusiasm lasted the whole class. And interfered with me being in mourning of my jumper’s former perfection.

Here is the blasted photo, the successful upload of which was the cause of such brain-spasm and bloody cheerfulness. Pfft. Don’t be fooled by my appearance of jolliness. I was in pain on the inside.



ANYWAY, time to get into it!

Class this week was centred on speculating about design fiction. This meant that Adrian decided to bombard us all with what-if questions.

What if journalism was invented today?

What if the iPad was the main viewing screen?

What if the iPhone was the chief platform for cinema consumption?

BAM. KAPOW. KABLAMMO. My brain did flips as I thought about these things.

What would be different about journalism if it was ‘invented’ today?

What would it alter about our consumption if the iPhone was the major platform for cinema? What would we have to change about cinema-making?

What would it change if the iPad was the main screen for viewers? Well, the iPad is small. Viewing the screen is somewhat like reading a book, a short story. Intimate. Easy. Adrian suggested that these things would change the type of content produced for viewers. Feature films would not be so suitable. Instead, there would be small, intimate stories. The cinema short story. Long-form television would flourish.


Adrian showed us how the process begins.

Start with a problem / a current change.

For example, a current change is the declining TV and cinema audiences, and the rise of informal media-making.


He then asked the question: Imagine it’s the year 2030. You’re a filmmaker. How?

BAM. KAPOWEE. Whoa. I felt confronted by the scope of this question.

Then he specified factors relevant to the how:

What are screens?

What are audiences? Who is watching what?

What are actors (e.g. synthetic)?

How do we work with this?


All of this blew my mind. Questions about the unknown are challenging. Questions about the unknown in the future are confronting. I, personally, found these questions quite fascinating, since I want to work in filmmaking.


What else? Oh, yeah. My question about the reading was kinda answered. What sort of professional settings is this concept of ‘design fiction’ used in? How?

Think tanks.

Answering Qs like, ‘what if we want to make the city more bicycle friendly?’, ‘what if the sea level rises half a metre?’…

Development/planning. Methods to imagine / play through scenarios. Take one idea, run with it, think it through, consider possibilities. ‘What might happen if… ?’


Yeah, it sorta helped. Not as specific as I would have liked. I would have liked to identify specific professionals who might use design fiction. What industry areas? How would they use it? What are the steps? But I understand that the concept is still new, so the specifics are not yet fully-formed / clearly defined. S’all good. I have a decent idea of it all, despite not knowing these solid specifics.

After the class, I went and researched some YouTube vids to help myself understand design fiction in a little more depth, and I found this snazzy li’l thing. It’s Microsoft’s ‘Productivity Future Vision’, released in 2011. It also has a brother (which I shall share with you in a later blog post). Take a glance at this thingo.


But nyesss, the class was a rainbow of emotion and mind-blowing intellectual discoveries.

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