Week 2: How we stepped into Speculative Design

Wenhan Ding
3 min readApr 6, 2020


The week 2 started from exploring the kitchen of BiteBack to learn what they were looking at. The brief given by them showed their concern about food and child obesity. At the same time, they hoped to look into the future and use speculative design method to arouse the public attention.

We had 3 main topic:

Chicken shop, or corner shop, which was a popular social place for teenagers after class

Supermarket, where people got food and formed shopping habit

Fast food, which looked into the fast food chain and how they affected children.

The target group varied for different topic. Since we need to inspired the public, it seemed better to focus on a wider range of age.

12 Feb in BiteBack
Thanks letter they received from ongoing project

Since it was our first time to try speculative critical design, we received a lecture from Tobias Revell.

What I learned was that speculative design was quite different from service design. For service design, it was based on the current situation and needed solid research to find the pain point. The core thinking was user-centred and the main working flow obeyed the principle of double diamonds. Designers could give answers by building or promoting services or products after finding the problem.

For speculative design, it was not about the answer, but about the question. Rather than solving something, the purpose was more about asking something. It didn’t focus that much on individuals, but more about the public and the culture.

Horizon scanning was one way to analyse the scenario in the future. The following elements should be concerned when doing the horizon scanning:



3. Social

4. Technological

5. Legislative

6. Environmental

7. Values

8. Weak signal

9. Trends

10. Macro trends

Cultural probes, which was generally used for idea generation, inspiration, values and dreams in a design process, could be shown as part of the output of our project.

13 Feb Lecture of speculative design
Talk about future design
A paper model of future scenario



Wenhan Ding

MA Service Design student in London College of Communication