Designing future experiences of the everyday: Pointers for methodical expansion of sustainability transitions research

Claudia Garduño García*, İdil Gaziulusoy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

It is critical now that we direct all our efforts at transitions to post-carbon and sustainable futures. Currently, transitions are mostly handled by select expert groups who generate transition visions, scenarios and pathways, feed their findings into policy-making processes, thereby locking-in “futures” on behalf of the wider public. Scholars from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds are searching for more effective means to engage and empower citizens to effectively comprehend and actively take part in futuring processes. Experiential futures is an emerging field that connects experience design and futures studies. Experiential scenarios aim to create real memories of virtual events so that alternative futures can be understood and deliberated better by publics. This article maps contributions belonging to different disciplinary fields (including speculative design, literature studies, and psychology) to explore the means by which the everyday in futures could be virtually or vicariously experienced, aiming to contribute into the theoretical and methodological base of experiential futures. Our findings suggest that people's ability for being immersed into a story is positively correlated with their empathic capacity. Immersion seems to be most successfully achieved when the experience shares some level of familiarity with people's everyday reality and when the narrative is logically convincing. In addition, our findings indicate that avid fiction readers are more easily immersed in alternative scenarios than those who are not. Our findings have significant implications for designing future experiences of the everyday, therefore, on theory and methods of sustainability transitions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102702
Number of pages12
JournalFutures
Volume127
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Design for sustainability
  • Everyday experience
  • Experiential futures
  • Immersion
  • Sustainability transitions

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