Humor in Design Fiction to Suspend Disbelief and Belief

Wednesday 3 October 2018
Organisers or author: 
Karey Helms, Ylva Ferneaus

Future scenario.

This paper investigates humor as a resource and strategy for design with discourse as an intended outcome. While humor can incite empathy and understanding, it can also lead to alienation and disengagement. Through the detailing of the pre-narrative and narrative processes of a design fiction, we describe why and how elements of humor, in particular puns, parody, and pastiche, were employed. Following the presentation of the fiction and its use in the design of an exhibition of diegetic prototypes, the paper presents responses from participants and audience members to reflect upon how the humor was received. Following a discussion on these reflections, as the near-future scenario was written four years prior and is now situated within the present-day, it then concludes with a post-mortem reflection on the floating nature of humor.