Design seeks out ways to jump over its own conceptual walls-scenarios, user observation, brainstorming, rapid prototyping, critical design, speculative design. There is even “experience design,” which is surely the most imperial, most gaseous, most spectral form of design yet invented.

Design Fiction by Bruce Sterling

Simon’s “critical artefact” methodology is based on the idea that provocative design concepts can stimulate people to debate their needs and desires in a more open way, allowing the designer to identify new concepts.

An Argumentative Process?

The term critical design was popularised in Anthony Dunne’s book Hertzian Tales. In it Dunne introduces the idea of product design and electronic objects fusing into critical design where the object functions as critique. Critical design has since been adopted as an umbrella term for any type of design practice which suggests that design offers possibilities beyond solving design problems.

Contextualising critical design: a classification of critical design practices

[We start by] mapping assumptions within and outside of an organisation about the future, and animate these ideas as tangible evidence of the future. Both negative and aspirational futures are embodied as designed touch-points. We focus as much on the effects of possible designs as the design of the service itself.

What is Evidencing?