Research Output

Ethnographic Fictions: Research for Speculative Design

  Ethnographically informed research that investigates people's lived experiences, emotions, attitudes and behaviours inevitably draws primarily on current and past situations. Design practice is naturally concerned with using research to inform the creation of products, services, and interventions that are intended to change the future. Speculative Design has a particular interest in future scenarios that address essential human attitudes, assumptions and concerns. This raises the question of whether alternative design research methods should be used for Speculative Design projects. This paper presents one such adaptation; Fictional Ethnography, that has been trialled in an educational workshop setting. The paper describes the rationale behind the approach, situates it in relation to previous work, and sets out intentions for developing the work further.

  • Date:

    06 July 2020

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  • Funders:

    European Commission Erasmus +


Helgason, I., & Smyth, M. (2020). Ethnographic Fictions: Research for Speculative Design.



Speculative design; ethnography; design methods; design fiction; user research; narratives.

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