Structuring and Engaging – The Roles of Design Fictions in a Co-design Workshop

Maria Huusko, Yiying Wu, Virpi Roto

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Fictions present speculative and provocative stories to create space for discussion and reflection. Through building a story world, they provide a space for prototyping and presenting new ideas and perspectives. In a workshop context, they can play a role in creating an engaging experience and insights for further use. This paper presents a case study of a co-design workshop ‘2030– An Ecosystem Odyssey’ that utilised design fictions as a tool. As part of the DIMECC ‘Design for Value’ research program, the workshop involving companies from maritime and manufacturing industries and research partners used design
fictions as a tool in the business-to-business context. While the research program focused on new forms of business collaboration brought on by autonomous systems and digital disruption, the workshop aimed at exploring the societal and human values of the future that was being built. In the workshop, new autonomous systems and extreme efficiency were explored from the perspectives of data sharing, employee wellbeing and humans in it all. As a result, design fictions created discussion and speculated on scenarios and future possibilities, while also provided different perspectives into them. The findings from the study are the roles that design fictions can serve in a workshop and the whole process of planning, running and participating in it. The ten roles of design fictions are divided into three groups, providing insights on how design fiction as a tool participate in setting the scene, structuring the tasks and embedding values into the discussions in the workshop context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 30th Australian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (OzCHI'18)
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-6188-0
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventAustralian Conference on Human-Computer-Interaction - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 5 Dec 20187 Dec 2018


ConferenceAustralian Conference on Human-Computer-Interaction
Abbreviated titleOzCHI
Internet address


  • Design fiction
  • Co-design workshop
  • Workshop facilitation method
  • Societal values


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