Shaping Things: Design Fiction a Decade of Reflection
Drawing directly upon
earlier work and informed by the findings of more recent studies, inspired originally
by the work of Bruce Sterling, this paper presents a
collection of narratives from experienced design and technology teachers who
were introduced to the notion of ‘design fiction’ during their teacher education
programmes to use as a catalyst to effect innovative pedagogical approaches to
the teaching of design and technology.
Specifically, this paper
seeks to explore the advantages of using this notion as a tool to focus not
only on the effectual delivery of design, but in order to support the creation
of a high-quality conceptual outcomes, where learning is concerned with innovation
and the development of skill, rather than to produce a fully functional working
model or artefact.
to the fore exemplar work created by the pre-service teachers themselves,
presented in the form of vignettes, participants (who are now experienced
teachers) give first-hand accounts of the influence that using design fiction
as a catalyst for teaching has had on their own classroom practice. Adopting a case study approach, work presents examples of best
practice, in practice, and explores specifically the advantages (and
disadvantages) of this approach.
how this approach has supported the consolidation of learning, reinforcing
skills, knowledge and understanding. Findings also make clear that through the
adoption of design fiction, teachers witnessed an increase in student motivation
to engage in design activity, and notably when working within traditionally gender
dominated areas of the design and technology and STEM curricula, gender bias decreased.
In summary the work concludes with an overview of useful links as an aid to support those considering the exploration of this approach in their own settings, and in order to build upon work undertaken advocates the need for staff development to ensure developments within the field of speculative design are capitalised upon by teachers of design and technology education.