Speculative Design

Version française : FR

Speculative design, also called Critical Design, Design Fiction, Discursive Design, Interrogative Design, Ludic Design, is an approach to design that thrives on imagination in order to open up new perspectives on complex problems. By speculating about how things could be in the future, this approach inspires and encourages people to freely imagine other ways of being, doing and thinking in the present (Dunne & Rabi, 2013)

In the context of AYCH, we are convinced that imagining alternative futures is a good way for our young participants to better understand the present complex environmental and social challenges we face. Under this principle, the Project Bright Mirror (AYCH Cities?) was born in Angouleme. Bright Mirror is a serious collaborative game in which participants build up a story set in 2045.

The fictional nature of the Bright Mirror game allows our participants to let their imagination free from what should be and open up to plenty of possibilities. The imagined wanted or unwanted future becomes then a medium to foster their creativity and innovative capacity. The game has allowed bringing together young participants with very diverse cultural backgrounds. The tool values different forms of expression (drawing, music, illustrations, collages) and uses powerful visuals in order to break the language barrier. Bright Mirror is a great tool for starting a multicultural collective creative process.


Dunne & Rabi (2013). Speculative everything. Design, Fiction and Social Dreaming. https://readings.design/PDF/speculative-everything.pdf