Week 2.1 Reflection – Design Fiction

Before this lecture, I had no idea what design fiction is, was or ever will be(last one not true). But then I came to realise the very thing that i was reading about design fiction through, was an actual actualisation of design fiction.

My humble iPad (or something curiously similar to it) featured in the 1969 cult classic ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. The tablet computer turned out to be a product derived from this concept called design fiction. Design Fiction takes place in a world not yet established. I learnt that all designers design for the future. Same goes with fictional designers. The concept that all design is idealogical, that it is only the relevant in the parameters that have been set (the current world) is a key to testing if certain design would have a welcome existence or not. I discovered that designers of these fictitious items will use the current real world conditions to craft and tweak there creation so that it will have relevance.

As I was on my commute home I noticed that there were many things that had crossed over the fiction to reality border. Such things the digital watch, and the geo/fitness band. But the technology was not just limited to electrical devices. Dri-Fit, a polymide containing fabric used to move sweat away from the body and into itself and in turn making a breathable, lightweight and comfortable clothing item. The latter would have gone through a long design process due to an already existing competitor, lycra, but unlike lycra, dri fit does not get wet or damp.

It is then when the real world application of the item then starts to improve our lives, even though we did not know it needed improving. The concocting of a product in an imaginary existence can bring humanity closer together if the application is well executed.

– J

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