Speculative design uses design as a critique of what is. It shows what could be and what might be, in order to make the viewer think back on what is and question today's practices. It is used to challenge assumptions and conceptions about the role that objects play in everyday life. This design uses artifacts as commentary on consumer culture. Both the designed artifact and the process of designing the object cause reflection on existing values, ethics, and practices in a culture. Humor is an important aspect but the satire is the goal. A successful speculative design leaves the viewer with more questions than answers.
Because speculative design portrays what could be, there is room to touch upon the untouchable. It brings the viewer into an alternate reality, allowing that person to think about the subject in a different place and time. The viewer then looks to what currently exists today and can analyze the current situation through a critical lens.
PROJECTS USING SPECULATIVE DESIGN:
Outlets in a world where all products are gendered and more than two
genders are the accepted norm.
Genetically engineered bioluminescent mushrooms to be used in blackouts or in other emergency situations to light the way.