Inspired heavily by my time in the Media Design Program at Art Center, an article by Julian Bleecker of Near Future Laboratory, and “MADE UP,” an exhibition I am helping to put on at Art Center – I have positioned myself and my academic work into the genre of design fiction in order to act as a catalyst for a more specific position I am working on crafting within the “constellation” of design.
Design is about the future in a way similar to science fiction. It probes imaginatively and materializes ideas, the way science fiction materializes ideas, oftentimes through stories. What are the ways that all of these things — these canonical ways of making and remaking and imagining the world — can come together in a productive way, without hiding the details and without worrying about the nonsense of strict disciplinary boundaries? – Julian Bleecker
Inspired by this re-emerging field within design academia, I have created a more specific genre – “fictional entrepreneurship,” or “business design fiction.” The following is a definition of this new field I have written:
Fictional Entrepreneurship is the use of design fiction to imagine businesses in order to discover what could be, creating things that are not impossible, but possible, often times derived from utopian, theoretical, and philosophical principles. Fictional entrepreneurship aims to author critical media through the creation of enterprises (imaginary, and real).
While reflecting on this definition, I have come to the conclusion that this concept is in no ways limited within the walls of academia, but can also be executed within a “practical,” corporate culture for the following reasons.
- Fictional Entrepreneurship is the design of business that begins with “what if…” in order to innovate the unimaginable.
- Fictional Entrepreneurship is an approach to business design which can serve as a tool for reaching new, almost impossible, demographics.
- Fictional Entrepreneurship is a a method that can be used by entrepreneurs to imagine the potential impact (good or bad) their business design can have on the world.
- Fictional Entrepreneurship is the ability to make the impractical practical.
- Fictional Entrepreneurship uses aspects of Design Fiction in order to work imaginatively while creating products and services that are not impossible, but possible.
This column will be dedicated to the evolution of this new field’s definition, the cultivation of fictional business, and the showcasing of “real-life” fictional entrepreneurship.