Pushing the limits of design fiction:the case for fictional research papers

Lindley, Joseph and Coulton, Paul (2016) Pushing the limits of design fiction:the case for fictional research papers. In: CHI '16 Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, USA, pp. 4032-4043. ISBN 9781450333627

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Abstract

This paper considers how design fictions in the form of ‘imaginary abstracts’ can be extended into complete ‘fictional papers’. Imaginary abstracts are a type of design fiction that are usually included within the content of ‘real’ research papers, they comprise brief accounts of fictional problem frames, prototypes, user studies and findings. Design fiction abstracts have been proposed as a means to move beyond solutionism to explore the potential societal value and consequences of new HCI concepts. In this paper we contrast the properties of imaginary abstracts, with the properties of a published paper that presents fictional research, Game of Drones. Extending the notion of imaginary abstracts so that rather than including fictional abstracts within a ‘non-fiction’ research paper, Game of Drones is fiction from start to finish (except for the concluding paragraph where the fictional nature of the paper is revealed). In this paper we review the scope of design fiction in HCI research before contrasting the properties of imaginary abstracts with the properties of our example fictional research paper. We argue that there are clear merits and weaknesses to both approaches, but when used tactfully and carefully fictional research papers may further empower HCI’s burgeoning design discourse with compelling new methods.

Item Type:
Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings
Additional Information:
© ACM, 2016. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in CHI '16 Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2858036.2858446
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ID Code:
78122
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Deposited On:
05 Feb 2016 09:10
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
01 Oct 2020 04:29