Thomas Markussen’s lecture ‘Design fiction in co-design’

Guest lecture by Thomas Markussen

“Design fiction as a resource for researching the social”

16-17, Thu, 18 May
Room 885, 8th floor, Hämeentie 135 C

Design fiction has attracted increasing interest in the design research community as a method of inquiry that allows researchers to make sound analysis of power, ideology and politics in design. Being closely aligned with critical design and speculative design, in this talk Markussen will try to point out some of the ways in which design fiction can be distinguished from these “sister arts”.Designers has heralded design fiction as a resource for liberating design practice from narrow commercial thinking and market-driven forces; it has been seen as a resource for spurring a new DIY-culture in opposition to corporate culture; and design fiction is also sometimes introduced in interaction design as a critique of techno-futuristic approaches’ lack of concern of socio-cultural implications of new technologies.

In this talk, however, Markussen will address examples of how design fiction can ideally be coupled with socially oriented co-design to engage citizens and practitioners in a mutual inquiry into the messiness of everyday practices. In particular, he will focus on how fiction has been applied in two on-going research projects. One project is focusing on the role of fiction in patients and health practitioners’ co-production in care and patient democracy at Danish hospitals, while, in the other, fiction is vital for co-designing game-based interventions for children and their incarcerated fathers in maximum-security prisons.

Thomas Markussen is associate professor of social design at the University of Southern Denmark. In his research and work, Markussen is interested in how design and art practices may be used to re-distribute power and orders of control so that marginalized and vulnerable groups in society can be empowered to have a say in processes of societal change. Among his primary research interests is social design, design activism, social games as well as design fiction.