Reimagining the Future Using Critical Design Fiction

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Critical Design Fiction (CDF) is an emerging design approach for imagining and exploring technological futures, in a variety of contexts and by various people - researchers, practitioners, experts, professionals, and students. CDF allows us to consider, imagine, explore, and speculate on futures that are probable, possible, and even provocative and empowering.

In this half day workshop, we employ CDF to explore and imagine the future of human friendships and romance amidst a pandemic that has socially ravaged the entire world. Our changing relationship with each other and with technology is a hotbed of innovation, and an opportunity for us to reconsider and redefine human bonding and intimacy. Participants will be introduced to CDF, and during the workshop will work in small teams of 4-6 to collaboratively consider future scenarios. At the end of the workshop the teams present and discuss their work in the larger group. Overall, the workshop aims to ignite innovative, and even provocative, ideas and future scenarios, building on this year’s conference theme of emerging trends in technology design.

Schedule: Friday Nov 6th 2pm - 5pm IST (3 hours)

Indian Standard Time (IST) Agenda
2:00-2:30pm Organizers and participants introductions Introduction to the workshop
2:30-3:00pm Intro to CDF and thinking of the future
3:00-3:30pm CDF in practice
3:30-4:00pm Introduction to the empowerment framework and the team exercise
4:00-4:30pm Team work
4:30-5:00pm Team presentations, discussion, and wrap-up

Call for participation

Please register to the workshop at the IndiaHCI conference website! Also, please fill in this form after registering. The forms asks for your name, affiliation, field of research, and also a short description of your research interests, driving values and motivations, goals, your vision for the future of your own research, your expectations from the workshop, and your familiarity with design fiction and/or specualtive design. You do not need to be familair with design fiction or specualtive design to participate in the workshop. The workshop is open for all.


Dr. Grace Eden is an Assistant Professor and the head of the Living Lab at IIIT-Delhi. She is an HCI researcher with a focus on examining transformations in people’s behaviour, communication practices, and interaction when new technologies are introduced into a setting. Her research interests include human-machine interaction, human-centered artificial intelligence, Human-Computer Interaction, Fieldwork for Design, and Participatory Co-Design of Emerging Technologies.

Dr. Netta Iivari is a Professor in Information Systems and research unit leader of INTERACT Research Unit in University of Oulu. She has a background in Cultural Anthropology as well as in Information Systems and HCI. Her long-lasting research interest concerns empowerment of children in and through design and technology. Her research is strongly influenced by interpretive and critical research traditions. Currently, she is examining critical design and Making in collaboration of children.

Dr. Marianne Kinnula is an Associate Professor of human-centred design and digitalization in INTERACT Research Unit in University of Oulu. Her research focus is on how technology changes our everyday lives in many ways, at society level, organizational level, as well as at individual level. She is interested in children’s genuine possibility to affect the decisions that concern them as well as their technology-rich environment.

Dr. Sumita Sharma is a post-doc researcher at the INTERACT Research Unit at the University of Oulu. Her research work focuses on designing inclusive and collaborative technology for the classroom environment for children across the world, including children living in urban slums, children with special needs, and children in remote communities, and studying socio-technical opportunities for empowerment of children.

M.Sc. Rocío Fatás is a faculty of Human-Centered Design and Visual Communication at Srishti-Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology, where she leads the BDes HCD program. She has a background in Fine Arts and in Interactive Digital Media, and her area of research interest is the intersection of Technology, the Environment, and Human Imagination.