DS 123: Proceedings of the International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2023)

Year: 2023
Editor: Buck, Lyndon; Grierson, Hilary; Bohemia, Erik
Author: Al Jahwari, Laila; Garaj, Vanja; Harrison, David
Series: E&PDE
Institution: Brunel University London, United Kingdom
Section: Professional perspectives for design students in a pluralistic future
DOI number: 10.35199/EPDE.2023.91
ISBN: 978-1-912254-19-4


Design fiction is an approach to speculation about the future using a combination of prototyping and storytelling. It has recently received much attention in Human-Computer Interaction and design research. However, one of the criticisms of design fiction is that it is typically designed and developed by individuals with certain educational backgrounds and skillsets. Furthermore, design fiction has been criticized for being unrealistically imaginative rather than critical. The fictional scenarios in this instance will be proposals for the future rather than explorations of human-computer interaction possibilities. In order to create a more profound outcome of design fiction as a research method, we combined it with participatory design and co-immersive simulation. This study came at the second phase after comprehensive expert interviews to explore the future of Extended Reality in design education, according to educators from different design institutions around the world. Based on the results of the expert interviews, we designed a stimulus toolkit for the participatory design fiction workshops and the co-immersive simulation sessions. After targeting design and related disciplines educators in the expert interviews phase, we designed the current study to support design students in reflecting critically and co-creating fictional scenarios about the future of design education and their role as designers. The workshop was divided into three sessions: a) introduction to the design fiction method and introduction to the study: b) participatory design fiction workshop, and: c) co-immersive simulation. A total of 90+ design students from Master’s level participated in the study. The data has been analyzed by adopting thematic analysis, discourse analysis and creative analysis. We report a multi-layer experience of using novel research methods of participatory design fiction and co-immersive simulation in the higher education context. We discuss the methodological implications, pointing out the opportunities this method opens as well as recommendations and guidelines for future-oriented studies. Finally, we draw a picture of the future of Extended Reality in design education and we propose a framework for the optimal integration of Extended Reality in the design classroom.

Keywords: Design fiction, participatory design, immersive simulation, Extended Reality, design education


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