Future Of..'X' WorkshopsFuture Of..'X' Workshops
Future Of..'X' Workshops

If you want to create a plan, establish alignment around future vision and futures strategy, lay out the near goals of your team or organization, a Design Fiction workshop is a valuable place to start. Rather than just talking about your vision, a Design Fiction workshop gets action-oriented in a direct, creative, and kinetic way.

A Design Fiction workshop consists of a series of activities that result in a concrete outcome: an actual "thing" that represents the thinking of your team in the form of an “artifact from the future.”

Imagine a Design Fiction workshop to create a product catalog from the future. How will that open conversations across teams and with key stakeholders to help align and communicate vision and aspiration?

A Design Fiction workshop can start your team imagining its future outcomes by representing it as if — it was the topic of a trade, or pop culture magazine from the future — the type you find at the airport newsstand?

Workshop Action

Template for a 1-Day Design Fiction Workshop

This is just a sketch to provide a rough idea about a Design Fiction workshop. In practice, a Design Fiction workshop is often a component of a larger unit of work meant to create robust materials that are meant to communicate vision to executives and situate strategic action and plans.


Future Of..X


Consider an evolution of what we understand today about consumer electronics', and imagine multiple potential futures for CE in a world where GenAI is now as normal as talking to your television is today.


Deliver the outcomes as a tangible Design Fiction artifact, such as a newspaper, advertisement, product catalog, quick-start guide for a product, or magazine from the future.


Clarify Vision: Provide tangible representations of possible future products, helping teams to visualize and align on strategic goals.

Team Coordination/Calibration: Foster a unified understanding across product design, operations, and strategy teams, creating generative collaboration both within and across the organization.

Inspiration Precedes Imagination: Establish a creative and fertile ground for inspiring actionable innovative thinking, develop unique product ideas, and ensure that future concepts cater to trending consumer needs as best as foresight can determine.

Practical Assessment: Identify potential challenges and market disruptions, preparing the teams to pivot or adapt strategies proactively.

Engage Partners & Stakeholders:Outcomes and artifacts from the workshop become a conversation starter for generative discussions with internal and external stakeholders and relevant partners.

Workshop Action
Workshop Action
Workshop Action

Schedule Template

9:00 am - 10:00 am: Design Fiction 101

We start with an in-depth presentation followed by a discussion on Design Fiction. Through this attendees will develop an understanding of Design Fiction principles and the importance in strategizing for future business landscapes through examples as we learn how Design Fiction is able to create grounded representations of social-cultural technological trends through creation of artifacts from possible futures.

10:00 am - 11:30 am: Ideation & Scenario Crafting

This time is when we start brainstorming and collaborating to identify potential 'idioms of change' in the context of GenAI + Consumer Electronics. We will split into groups in order to contemplate and begin to kinetically develop a range of future narratives that probe into unique interpretations of the GenAI idiom's future trajectory. Outcomes from this activity are tangible products and services that are expressions of the ideation: a Kindle-like reader that generates novels instantly based on a series of input parameters, such as genre, reading-level, types of characters and conflict/drama, more or less action or romance, long enough for a 5 hour flight, etcetera; a Clever Fridge that offers compelling recipes based on the food items it contains.

We then prepare to represent these concepts in a way that implies the thing: a Youtube video review; a quick-start guide; product packaging; an FAQ; a product page description; a newspaper advertisement, etc.

11:30 am - 12:30 pm: Lunch Break

The ‘work’ and creative engagement continues over lunch, inevitably. In past contexts, groups are eager to pursue the conversations from the morning while breaking bread together. This is time to relax, network with other participants, and reflect on the morning's sessions.

12:30 pm - 2:30 pm: Artifact Design

Now we transform the concept ideas and any narrative descriptions we’ve created into a tangible artifact that encapsulates your vision. This could be a futuristic device manual, a magazine highlighting trends, or a newspaper reporting breakthroughs and developments. The artifact should convincingly reflect the essence of your future concept.

A workshop photo
A workshop photo
A workshop photo
A workshop photo

2:30 pm - 3:00 pm: Break

A short breather when we can review our progress informally, and prepare for the lightning-round presentations to follow.

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm: Presentation & Open Discussion

Now groups present their Design Fiction artifacts and associated future scenario to the rest of the workshop groups. Presentations often result in lively and generative discussions about each team's concepts and visions, their business implications, and their implications for the organization and the wider world.

4:30 pm - 5:00 pm: Reflection and Conclusion

We conclude the day by reflecting on the visions and insights gathered and the potential strategic paths that are illuminated.

In many cases a logical post-workshop activity involves translating the outcomes of the Design Fiction workshop into vivid, highly-resolved artifacts that can then be used throughout the larger organization to share the work and results more broadly. This is something we've done in many cases as often the context of the workshop provides a set of strong sketches and prototypes, with refinement and final production happening back at the Near Future Laboratory.

This is just a sketch to provide a rough idea about a Design Fiction workshop. In practice, a Design Fiction workshop is often a component of a larger unit of work meant to create robust materials that are meant to communicate vision to executives and situate strategic action and plans.

A workshop photo