What is speculative design?
The term was coined by Anthony Dunne, professor and head of the design interaction program at Royal College of Art, and Fiona Raby, professor of industrial design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. The two popularized the concept in their book, Speculative Everything: Design, Dreaming, and Social Dreaming. They write that "Speculative design is based on imagination and aims to open up new perspectives on what are sometimes called" wicked problems ", to create spaces for discussion and debate about alternative ways of being, and to inspire and encourage people's imagination to flow freely ".
Enligt Dunne and Raby, designers should not only address today's problems, but also take a look into the future and ask, "How can we address future design challenges?" Where classic designers often work with form, speculative design broadens the scope and addresses the biggest issues in society.
What is meant by a future prototype?
A future prototype is a "thing of the future". It can be a product or gadget that is deliberately developed to evoke thoughts about the future. But it can also be a process, a service, information material or an environment that you can imagine will exist in the future. It can also be about experiences that make it easier for participants to imagine what a possible future might look like. By making futures concrete and understandable - albeit in a fantasy world - we can also more easily make decisions and have a dialogue about the future. A future prototype should not be any strange gadget but should tell something significant about a possible future with the potential to create commitment and dialogue.
What is meant by event?
In this context, we mean an event or similar in which target groups, spectators and the general public can take part in future prototypes and interact with the prototypes. It can be a series of workshops, performances or installations where people come into contact with future prototypes.
Why is this being done?
Art and culture have always been a means of creating thoughts about what could exist and what society might look like in the future. Different forms of design can help us to raise issues, discuss realities that could exist but do not yet exist and understand complex future contexts. But we believe that art and culture are not enough all the way. We believe that a combination of designs is needed together with qualified guesses about different possible futures (scenario design, strategic foresight, signal scanning and strategic analysis) and structured formats for dialogue and conversation. We believe that emerging methods based on forward-looking speculative design, sometimes referred to as Experiental Futures, which combines design with studies of the future to allow participants to experience fragments of the future in true-to-life fantasy environments, can be one of the most promising methods for achieving broad inclusive conversations about possible futures and the role of innovations in shaping them.
What is expected to be sent into the sketch phase?
It is expected to fill in requested templates. In principle, we want a short story from the future that can engage and interest readers as well as a few lines about you who are applying - CV and what role you want to take in a later implementation project.
When to send in the sketch phase?
We assess and decide on applications on an ongoing basis, so the recommendation is to send in the sketch application as soon as you are ready. Last application date is March 10, at 14.
Four Worlds - What's It?
The instructions for how to fill in the template for the sketch application describe four possible general developments in the future in the form of four fictional worlds. We want the stories to take place in one of these worlds.
You describe different roles - what is meant?
We believe that the design of a possible future is best done in teams that consist of different roles. Someone may be needed who knows the basics of foresight work, someone who knows how to shape fantasies, someone who can facilitate conversations with the audience and someone who has access to an exciting place where future scenarios can unfold. There may also be other roles in order for a design of a possible, inspiring future to take place.
Do you have to have all the roles?
No, it is enough to apply as one role, but if you want, you can also apply as a larger constellation that together has several roles.
What does the “sketch phase” mean?
We want to make it easy to join the effort and therefore first only ask for an outline - a short story about a future experience and a few words about how you want to shape your story. The idea is then to have the chance to further develop your outline, combine it with others who apply, complement each other's teams and together create an even better story and plan for how it can be designed.
Does everyone who seeks to further develop their story and collaborate with each other?
No. Some who apply may from the beginning have a concept they want to realize and possess all the roles that may be needed. Others can find partners in the sketch phase. How much you want to collaborate and participate in activities that Vinnova organizes in the sketch phase is voluntary.
What is to be created in the implementation phase - how is it related to the sketch?
In the sketch, stories about events and experiences that take place in the future are sent in. In the implementation, we want to shape such stories. But it is conceivable that it will not be exactly the same stories, but rather further developments or combinations of stories from the submitted contributions that are embodied in the implementation.
Must you have applied with an outline to be able to participate in the implementation phase?
Yes. To be able to apply for the second phase, the implementation phase - where funding can be granted, you must first have applied for and been granted participation in the sketch phase.
What is meant by coaches?
Team has the opportunity to receive support from an international specialist in speculative design in the sketch phase and during the implementation of the project. Applicant whose sketches are granted have the opportunity to receive coaching to develop their idea and project application for implementation. Those who are granted funding for the implementation of the project also have the opportunity to receive continued coaching during the project period to realize the future prototype and the event.
Do you have to take part in the coaching?
No. Different applicant may have come different distances in team composition and idea for implementation. Coaching and matchmaking is a voluntary offer. Applications for the implementation phase will be assessed in competition with each other according to the assessment criteria, regardless of whether the offer of coaching has been used or not.
Can you submit several applications?
You can only submit one proposal per organization in the sketch phase.
Do you lock yourself into an ill-considered idea by submitting an outline?
No. The sketch is a starting point - a first idea of what you want to do. Some applications may have a well thought out and relatively clear outline. Others may be less complete. The same goes for partnerships: some may have all the actors and roles needed with them from the beginning while others are looking for partners. The idea is to participate in a co-creative process to complete a more detailed proposal in the next step, the implementation.
Should the prototypes be seen as a finished end results?
The purpose of the initiative is to create conversations about the future. We like to see that conversations and interaction with target groups influence and further develop the prototypes. But we also want some form of closing, exhibition or event to be held in 2022.
How does the effort go together with Vinnova's other effort on foresight?
The initiative has been created from Emerging innovations - one of Vinnova's 10 priority areas. The area performs or participates in a number of initiatives in foresight - not least when it comes to developing Vinnova's internal ability to lead from the future, to systematize work with scanning and external monitoring and to establish collaborations with international actors. However, there are currently no other initiatives similar to Future Prototypes at the moment. Vinnova will probably make more similar efforts - with or without connection to Future Prototypes - but no such decision has been made.
How do we apply if we do not have a complete team ready from the start?
It is not critical to have a complete team in place when submitting the sketch. After the sketch has been submitted and possibly granted, there is some time to build your constellation in the best possible way to create a new proposal for a funded project in the implementation phase. The sketch phase is open and those who submit sketches will be public, which means that the applicant can find contact information themselves and more easily establish contact with suitable partners. Vinnova intends to facilitate matchmaking to some extent, but the projects are encouraged and responsible for establishing contact.
What is considered a "complete team"?
Roles expected in a team are future strategists, creators of various kinds, as well as those who are good at conducting dialogue and the role of site owner - or at least access to a more or less public place where future prototypes and events can be held. The roles can be competencies that one and the same individual has. It is not certain that all of these roles are required and there may also be other roles and competencies that we have not mentioned. What is a complete team depends on what you intend to perform that meets the aim and objective of the effort.
We have an environment but no outline - how do we apply?
It is possible to search with an "environment" where it is described with suggestions on how it could be used. You describe this by formulating a narrative - a story in your outline - that takes place in an imaginary future in your environment.
Is a physical site an eligibility requirements for the prototype?
We mainly imagine a physical place with physical artifacts, but a digital experience is also conceivable. We are looking for conversations and dialogue that the prototype gives rise to between different target groups such as decision makers, actors in the innovation system and the general public. It is therefore important that the prototype is available to humans so that such conversations can start and also that the conversations can take place in an orderly manner and are captured to create insights about thoughts about the future and iteratively improve prototypes and conversation formats.
Is it predetermined where prototypes will be displayed?
No, the projects decide which environment they want to use to display the prototypes. Thoughts about this can probably be developed during the sketch phase. However, we want it to take place in a place that is accessible to Swedes in general - that is, in Sweden or in digital contexts that are generally accessible from Sweden.
Can the target group and prototype be "narrow"?
(Can, for example, the total defense within a municipality be a target group and artifacts of interest to this target group constitute future prototypes). It is difficult to decide in advance, but in general, Vinnova sees that neither the target group nor the discussion topics that the prototypes should attract should be too narrow.
How detailed does the sketch need to be? Can we experiment further during the project?
We strive for flexibility during the sketch phase to make room for creativity. The sketch will help us get started and give us an understanding of what you currently think you want to do. You do not need to rework the sketch. You can experiment further during the sketch phase. What you apply for in the second phase must be assessed independently without taking into account the original sketch. What you send in the second step, however, you must relate to.
In vinnova's eservices portal, you are asked for information that relates to several years ahead - what time frames apply?
Some of our systems are designed for general use and it is possible that something went wrong there. We will investigate whether it can be changed so that no misunderstandings occur. In any case, this effort, including the second stage, applies in 2022.
In vinnova's eservices portal, only the coordinating party is asked. How do I add more actors to my project?
Some of our systems are designed for general use and it is possible that something went wrong there. In the sketch phase, we only ask for 1 actor per outline ( coordinator). It is possible to enter other parties in the appendix - both those you already have cooperation with or those you wish to create collaborations with. In the second step, the implementation, you will fill in another proposal and in it you can include all parties that will be involved.
Is this a long-term effort - do you have more plans for the future?
This is a pilot venture. We have no concrete plans for any continuation, but that is not unlikely.
What times apply to the event on the 24th?
15: 00-17: 00.
Can you organize a forum that makes it easier for us to find partners?
We will make some efforts to facilitate but have no plans to set up a specific forum for this right now. Until then, you can always have a dialogue on LinkedIn if you want.
Do you prefer matchmaking within the framework of the project or rather a complete solution?
We will help with matchmaking if there is a need and when we see connections and opportunities for this, but above all the projects need to work with it.
Is it an eligibility requirements that the sketches sent must be linked to environmental and climate challenges?
We want the sketches to be connected to one of the four worlds by taking place in the future in one of them. The sketches should give us clues, ideas, questions, thoughts in the form of descriptions of concrete things, events, environments that are signs (evidence, artifacts, designs) that something "has" changed. The changes should be about how society (more or less) has managed to handle the environmental and climate crisis and / or its consequences.
How many project will be funded?
There is no funding in the sketch phase. In the implementation phase, we have budgeted SEK 5 million in grant money. We think that means 5-10 project.
Can international actors apply?
We can only provide funding to actors who have activities in Sweden. A project can apply to use part of its budget to purchase, for example, consulting services from international actors.
Does matchmaking start when the sketch is clear?
You can advantageously start the matchmaking yourself whenever you want. In order for us to be able to assist, we need to have the sketch submitted so that we receive contact information and some understanding of what you can and want to do, what you want to supplement with, which partners you are looking for, etc. We do not see this until the proposal is clearly marked (submitted). We will not offer other channels to take in that information. We will not actively seek out that information either. The procedure we want to use is the sketch procedure. However, we can not promise in advance what efforts we will make or when we start these efforts to facilitate matchmaking. It depends on what is requested and what you intend to do. The announcement page will be updated with information about matchmaking and activities we organize as soon as we have these decided.
If you find a party during the sketch phase, can we add it then?
The sketch phase is there for the proposal (and even more the project) to be as good as possible. No additions are needed to the sketch application. However, you can include several parties in the proposal for implementation. This is another proposal where we will request more information and which will form the basis for decisions on funding.
Can an event be held in Denmark?
We focus on public spaces in Sweden or digital public spaces that are accessible from Sweden. The grant can be used to design these spaces and to hold events in these spaces. We think it would be good with events abroad as well (in addition to the events being held in Sweden) but it will probably not be possible to use funding to cover direct costs linked to events abroad. Exact term for the implementation phase are not yet clear. It is possible to imagine that the design work is carried out with the help of funding (provided that events are held in Sweden) and that you can carry out additional events (copies / adaptations) abroad where all extra costs are financed in another way.
What time perspective do you think of for the prototypes?
We have not specified a year, but we imagine the time when our great-grandchildren live.
Do you need an organization active to apply?
In the sketch phase, anyone can apply. Individual or organization or team no matter where you live or come from. But to later take direct part of a funding, you need to be a Swedish legal entity,
Will co-financing be required in the implementation phase?
We do not intend to require co-financing, but it depends on the basis for support we use in the implementation phase. The support basis can place restrictions on the degree of support or the size of the grant.
Can you develop around the four worlds and the thoughts behind them?
The worlds are there to trigger sketches and collaborations on important issues for future generations. One axis is about how the climate and the environment are (less or more changed climate) as a consequence of long-term mainly human impact. The second axis is about the main principles of how we choose to address the challenges from now until the time when our great-grandchildren live. That axis contains the combination of many merged trends. We do not want to describe it in too much detail, but rather leave it open to interpretation and further development - but roughly speaking, it is on the one hand about technological innovation, about centralized large-scale solutions where humans change their external world (through technology, infrastructure investments, increased green growth, government control, etc.). The other extreme is more about social innovation and people's individual initiatives, willingness and ability to change their lifestyles and create new types of collaborations and organizations. Of course, all 4 worlds are already in combination today and will probably do so in the future - to varying degrees in different parts of the world. Use them (and develop them) as you wish to create relevant dialogues about our future.
Steps 1 and 2 run partly in parallel - what's the idea?
We want to make it possible to develop its outline and team during the sketch phase and that it will be as long as possible. At the same time, we want it to be possible for those who are suitable to submit their proposal and get started as soon as possible for the implementation project. The compromise was to partially have the processes overlapping.
Do you get an answer or feedback on the sketches before March 11?
Maybe. It depends on when the sketches come in and how many come in. We have the ambition to respond earlier than that because we want the co-creative process and matching to start as soon as possible. We also encourage you to start matchmaking and co-creation on your own initiative even before Vinnova's outlinefeedback.
What should an outline look like? Drawing, film or picture?
You unfortunately need to follow the call template, which means that the sketch needs to be in the form of text.
Can you guarantee that all information on this page is consistent, up to date and correct?
We can guarantee that we will try to achieve this. But at the same time, we want to share information and thoughts on an ongoing basis rather than filing on it indefinitely. Then there can sometimes be contradictions or we may forget to delete old information when it becomes obsolete as the effort develops. We would like to develop the effort with a better understanding of you and your ideas, which we want to strive to get during the journey.
Can we apply as an organization with a possible future scenario that we see a need for support in designing and concretizing various expert competencies that apply to join the call?
Yes. You can apply to be part of the sketch phase by submitting a future scenario and other things we ask for in the template for proposal. It is possible that the submitted future scenario will constitute, be part of or at least influence what is designed at a later stage together with several parties.
We missed an information opportunity. Is it recorded?
No, the information sessions are not recorded. Questions and answers from these are included in this text.
We missed an information opportunity. Can you still apply?
Yes, you can apply even if you have not attended an information meeting. The information sessions are completely voluntary.