Design Fiction

Accelerant Design Fictions: Anticipation & Contingency

Anticipations 2015, Trento November 5th-7th 2015

“This international conference will explore the interaction among anticipation, uncertainty and complexity.”

Design & Anticipation Panel

Title: Accelerant Design Fictions: Anticipation & Contingency


This paper mobilises a notion of anticipation, developed from Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy of time and his concept of the objectile. The paper discusses how the Future pre-exists in futurological, design fictional and science fictional practices.

The paper reconfigures the kinds of anticipatory and world-making capacities found in design fictional worlds of possible futures. It describes possible worlds, as designing future artefacts, as fictions of ‘non-actual states of affairs’. It suggests this entails designing scenarios of anticipation and contingency.

As well as a Deleuzian sense of time and the objectile, the paper articulates an anticipation of the ‘possible’ aspects of future worlds: worlds dreamt; worlds hoped for; hallucinated, fantasised and feared; conjectural worlds hypothesised. Such possible worlds, at the intersection of design and the fictional, more often than not entail anticipatory presumptions of human dominion over the Earth. There is an ontological position in such anticipations as these; one shared by orthodox futurological thought and its parallels in critical design practices. These ‘humanist’ anticipations function to colonise fictional worlds and possible futures of an Earth ‘for us’. According to philosopher Ian Bogost, such anticipations fail to be weird enough – He suggests that we need ‘weirder goals’, weirder artefacts, in order to ‘trouble our understanding of what it means to live in the twenty-first century.’ The paper concludes by discussing the accelerationist anticipation of an atemporal present, an accelerationist future ‘after the future’ and the speculative weirding of anticipations: of a posthuman ‘world-without-us’.

Author: dx | Filed under: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.