Apple Design Design Fiction 101 WorkshopApple Design Design Fiction 101 Workshop
Apple Design Design Fiction 101 Workshop
Operationalizing Design Fiction for that Tier One Interaction Design Team 🍎
An Apple internal workshop might look like this, but this is a rendering of what it might look like, not what it was.

Project Summary

An internal workshop that presented the value of Design Fiction for creative practice. It was conducted for the benefit of a design and creative team at Apple that desired to integrate Design Fiction and speculative practices into its toolbox of approaches and methodologies. The workshop consisted of lecture, discussion, Q&A and hands-on activities.

Client: Apple

Client URL:

Team: Near Future Laboratory

Project Year: 2021

Project Duration: 1 Week

Published On: Oct 20, 2021, 16:43

Updated On: Sep 3, 2023, 13:48

Written By: Julian Bleecker


The Project

Apple, a pioneer in the personal computer industry, defined the vale of what Design could bring to an organization that intended to shape not just the utility of technology, but its meaning. Near Future Laboratory and Julian Bleecker were brought in to brief Apple's internal user-experience and interaction design team about Design Fiction in a '101' style workshop context to help them imagine harder, and to see how they could integrate Design Fiction into their existing processes.

The Outcomes

The results of the workshop were agreed to be rewarding and enlightening, particularly for those who had never been exposed to Design Fiction principles. The team was able to consider how they might augment their approaches to design projects, with a newfound appreciation for the narratives and ecosystems of their work. Our goal was to find the way Design Fiction could help the designers consider the meaning and sense of purpose of the object rather than just its instrumental and physical characteristics. By considering ways to integrate Design Fiction into their workflow, the design team was able to develop a purpose-driven approach to their work, considering not just the functional characteristics of designed objects, but also the way meaning is created. By looking at the adjacent and oftentimes lesser considered and peripheral components — packaging, quick-start-guide, advertising — the team found additional and new ways to approach creative challenges. My time with the Apple team was a testament to the power of Design Fiction in unlocking creative potential and fostering a deeper, more thoughtful approach to design. I left the workshop inspired by the team's enthusiasm and commitment to considering fresh approaches to their work.
Or it might look like this evocation of what it might look like.

In the fall of 2021, in the waning days of the Global Covid Pandemic, Near Future Laboratory was summoned to brief a core interaction design team at Apple. The topic was the burgeoning practice of Design Fiction with a consideration as to how it might be integrated into the ways of working within this design team.

Workshop facility, Confidential Image
Facilities. (Redacted)
Internal Design Fiction 101 workshop, confidential Image
Internal Design Fiction 101 workshop. (Redacted)

There is very little that can be said about the workshop, the participants, and the specific questions and conversations that were raised as pertains the internal processes and methodologies that allows Apple to obtain superlative outcomes.

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