The Social Dreamer

The Social Dreamer is a Speculative Design and Design Fiction curation project that was designed and developed by Alex Duncan.

This website will act as a repository for projects, readings and research related to the field of Speculative Design.

Dreaming here is concerned with dreams about the future. Not the way things are but the way they could be.

Rather than proposing solutions, Speculative Design realizes ideas. This is not to be confused with what is commonly known as "spec work". Artifacts that are designed using this methodology are meant to be contemplated and spark debate. This design practice blurs the lines between reality and unreality and explores possible futures and alternate ways of being. Speculative Design often breaks the rules of traditional design and visual communication, challenging the status quo and looking ahead to where we may be going, where we could be and sometimes where we should not go. Click the shapes in the home page to explore further.

'Design fiction is a design practice aiming at exploring and criticising possible futures by creating speculative, and often provocative, scenarios narrated through designed artifacts. It is a way to facilitate and foster debates, as explained by futurist Scott Smith: "... design fiction as a communication and social object creates interactions and dialogues around futures that were missing before. It helps make it real enough for people that you can have a meaningful conversation with"'1

'Critical design takes a critical theory based approach to design. This kind of design uses design fiction and speculative design proposals to challenge assumptions and conceptions about the role objects play in everyday life. Critical design plays a similar role to product design, but does not emphasize an object's commercial purpose or physical utility. It is mainly used to share a critical perspective or inspire debate while increasing awareness of social, cultural, or ethical issues in the eyes of the public. Critical design was popularized by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby through their firm, Dunne & Raby.'2