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Speculative designs in educational settings: Tension-patterns from a (mostly) European perspective

Encinas, Enrique; Helgason, Ingi; Auger, James; Mitrović, Ivica; Hanna, Julian


Enrique Encinas

James Auger

Ivica Mitrović

Julian Hanna


The study of speculative designs (such as futures, critical design alternatives, or catalysts for reflection) is well documented in the design research community but the literature lacks attention to speculative designs in the service of a pedagogical practice. This paper reports on a two-year cross European research project investigating speculative designs in higher education contexts. We reflect on a broad data set including interviews, surveys, case studies and workshops involving educators and students. Our contribution draws on the results of this study to propose eight tension-patterns, each an interplay between opposing tendencies that educators and students need to address, more or less explicitly, when creating speculative designs. We then discuss how these tension-patterns can support the design and analysis of speculative designs in educational settings while accommodating different disciplinary, methodological and material constraints. Finally, we conclude by examining two important challenges: balancing creativity and criticism and moving beyond specialized courses.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (Published)
Conference Name Nordes 2023: This Space Left Intentionally Blank
Start Date Jun 12, 2023
End Date Jun 14, 2023
Acceptance Date Apr 3, 2023
Online Publication Date Jun 12, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date May 26, 2023
Publicly Available Date May 29, 2023
Keywords Speculative Design, Design Patterns


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