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Vapourworlds and Design Fiction: The Role of Intentionality

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>6/09/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>The Design Journal
Issue numberSuppl. 1
Volume20
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)S4632-s4642
<mark>State</mark>E-pub ahead of print
Early online date6/09/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventEAD 2017 - Rome, Italy

Conference

ConferenceEAD 2017
CountryItaly
CityRome
Period11/04/1714/04/17

Abstract

There is a long tradition of designers creating visions of technological futures. We contrast the properties of two related types of future envisionment, whose commonality is using ‘world building’ to showcase or prototype technological concepts. We consider commercial visions that depict potential future products within possible future worlds, and by extending the concept of Vapourware we term these ‘Vapourworlds’. We contrast Vapourworlds with Design Fictions, a class of envisionment that inherits qualities of criticality and exploration from its familial antecedents’ radical design and critical design. By comparing these two approaches we intend to shed light on both. Superficially these world building endeavours appear similar, yet under the surface an underlying difference in intentionality permeates the substance of both practices. We conclude with a position that by highlighting the contrasts between these practices, mutually beneficial insights become apparent.