What is Design Fiction?

Design fiction is about merging fictional literary practices and speculative artistic craftmanship in order to engage in critical ways of future making in design.


The social design unit has previously worked with Danish authors Kaspar Colling Nielsen and Peter Adolphsen with the aim at exploring new ground conditions for design. Colling Nielsen’s dystopian vision of a Danish civil war (2018-2025) has been our starting point for a design-based inquiry into the as yet unknown socio-cultural consequences of the financial and economic crises; and Adolphsen’s speculations of a pandemic wrinkle fucking disease set stage in 2016 for a collective design and theatre performance.


Eva Knutz, Thomas Markussen, Tau Ulv Lenskjold  Department of Design & Communication, University of Southern Denmark


Peter Adolphsen, Kasper Colling Nielsen, Mark Blythe, Andrew Morrison, Per Krogh Hansen, Mette Gislev Kjærsgaard

Funded by


300.000 Kr.

Project time

May 2016


Design Fiction as a Practice for Researching the Social

Markussen, T., Knutz, E., & Lenskjold, T. (2020). Temes de Disseny, (36), 16-39

Probing the Future of Participatory Healthcare through Speculative Design

Knutz, E., Markussen, T., & aus der Wieschen, M. V. (2020, July). In 6th European Design4Health conference (pp. 73-82). Sheffield Hallam University

Fiction as a resource in participatory design

Knutz, E., Lenskjold, T. U., & Markussen, T. (2016). In Proceedings of DRS 2016 International Conference: Future–Focused Thinking (pp. 1830-1844). Design Research Society

The role of fiction in experiments within design, art & architecture-towards a new typology of design fiction

Knutz, E., & Markussen, T. (2014).  Artifact: Journal of Design Practice3(2), 8-1

The Poetics of Design Fiction

Markussen, T., & Knutz, E. (2013, September). In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces (pp. 231-240)

Fictional emotions within Emotion driven Design

Knutz, E.  (2012). Published in proceedings of 7th International conference on Design & Semantics of Form & Movement, Wellington, New Zealand, 2012



The Role of Fiction in Experiments within Design, Art & Architecture: towards a new typology of Design Fiction

Knutz, E., Markussen, T. & Christensen, P. R.(2013)Artifact, vol.3, Issue 2, pp.2.1-2.13

The Poetics of Design Fiction

Markussen, T. & Knutz, E. (2013) In Proc. of the DPPI Conference, ACM Press.