Sitspec: rewriting alternative futures

Ward, Matt; Loizeau, Jimmy; Macdonald, Dash and Auger, James. 2019. 'Sitspec: rewriting alternative futures'. In: Future Friends Conference. Maribor, Slovenia 14 - 18 April 2019. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

'Sitspec' (or situated speculation) took the 90’s TV sitcom Friends as a format to discuss the future. Using a series of exercises, activities and processes, the workshop took participants through an experience where they became the script writers for an experimental, non-normative version of this popular representation of friendship, urban living, employment and love.

In recent years, Friends has been criticised for perpetuating normative ideas of gender, body image and sexuality. Throughout the workshop participants where challenged to imagine a speculative sitcom that explored the changing dynamics of global economics, politics, race, gender, sexuality and technology. The workshop cast a critical eye on key themes and technological effects of the 21st Century as the structure of new scripts for an alternative popular format.

The aim of the workshop was to examine how designers utilise new mass media formats, alternative narratives, ‘fictioning’ (O'Sullivan 2019) and performance to activate alterity and challenge dominant social norms. The workshop utilised the critical design, narrative construction, workshop mediation and media manipulation skills of the organisers to challenge participants to discuss, debate and become script writers for the new ‘norms’ of our collective future.

The Design Writers Room explored the interplay of fiction, role play, artefact and performance in order to create and produce popular understandings of alternative speculative futures. During the week, two groups of interdisciplinary practitioners wrote two alternative friends scripts, that were later publicly performed and presentated at Reconstrained Futures, BIO 26, Biennial of Design, Ljubljana.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Other)


Speculative design, future, script writing

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



14 April 2019Completed

Event Location:

Maribor, Slovenia

Date range:

14 - 18 April 2019

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

15 Dec 2021 15:36

Last Modified:

15 Dec 2021 15:36


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