Designing a Future City – Applying Design Fiction with High School Students

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Conference Proceedings
Authors: Marie SjölinderJonas Söderberg

Abstract: This work was conducted in the framework of Viable Cites, which is a national strategic innovation program in Sweden with a focus on the change towards climate-neutral and sustainable cities. Viable Cities is catalyst for new ways of collaboration between cities, industry, academia, research institutes and the civil society. The overall goal is to provide support to the cities to convert to a way in line with national and international climate goals. The work described in this paper was one project within this framework. The project consisted of the City of Enköping, RISE Research Institute of Sweden and Europan with is an Pan-European architect organization witch organise a biennial competition for young architects. As a part of this project, a collaboration was conducted together with Westerlundska gymnasiet, a high school in Enköping. The overall goal was to engage young people, and to get their ideas about how to achieve a sustainable environment and to develop sustainable products and services. It is this group that both will be forced to handle the decisions that are made today, and they are also the generation that knows best how the want to live their lives in the future. The aim with this work was both to get ideas and suggestions from high school students about how they wanted their future city to be designed, and to explore how high school students could apply and use the method “Design Fiction” when conducting work with designing future cities.According to Bleeker (2009), Design Fiction is a mix of science fact, design and science fiction. It combines the traditions of writing and story telling with the material crafting of objects. It is a creative process that encourages human imagination and give support in telling stories that provoke and raise questions (Bleeker, 2009). Design Fiction is a method to explore future possible scenarios or contexts. A concept could be described in several ways by using narratives and prototypes. The story can be told and the concept can be visualized in many different ways (Wakkary et al, 2013).In the project there were about 20 students from the school’s technology program. They had all chosen architecture as their special focus during their last year. The students both participated in a Design Fiction workshop and organsied Design Fiction workshops themselves with first-year students as participants. Results from the workshops and insights related to the design process are presented in this paper.ReferencesBleecker, J. (2009). Design Fiction: A short essay on design, science fact and fiction. Near Future LaboratoryWakkary, R., Desjardins, A., Hauser, S., & Maestri, L. (2013). A Sustainable Design Fiction: Green Practices . ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, Vol. 20, No. 4, Article 23, Publication date: September 2013.

Keywords: Sustainable cities, Future technologies, Design fiction, Design methods

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1002723

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