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Speculative Design Basics

42 Online Lessons / At your own pace
Now Live
An introduction to understanding speculative design and creating organisational impact
£ 250 GBP
£ 250 GBP

In this course you learn about the basics of using Speculative Design within business and organisational contexts to create meaningful impact. You'll get up to speed on new thinking, methods, and techniques related to futures practice. We focus on practical applications of the approach, and prepare individuals to apply what they have learned to their own practice or organizational settings. This course is perfect for researchers, strategists, designers, product leads, program managers, and business leaders. You'll leave with a good understanding of what speculative design is and how it can be applied in your work as well as a toolkit of frameworks and approaches.

42 Online Lessons / At your own pace
Now Live

★★★★★ (4.92 / 5 Stars) (60)
100% of our past participates would recommend this course to others. (Seriously, it's true!)

You will leave with:

- A new approach to product and service development & innovation

- An empathetic approach to systems thinking

- Frameworks for connecting  long term considerations and near term action

- Freshly ignited creativity and energy for change

- An approach to shaping organizational change, strategy and purpose

- Opportunities for networking around deep purpose with other alumni

Course Outline:

- Basics _ You'll review the basics of Speculative Design, Intro Theory, Names, Amara's Law, Future Cones, etc. (7 Chapters)

- Process _ You'll learn the overall process of Speculative Design, how its similar to existing design processes, and understand new time horizons. You'll be able to see the whole process and how it aligns with your own practice and work. (4 Chapters)

- Tools & Methods _ You'll learn the details of the Speculative Design process and methods, from Signals, to Future Wheels, to Future Prototyping, to Backcasting, and more. You'll have everything you need to start doing the work. (14 Chapters)

- Creating Value _ You'll learn about how Speculative Design can create value in organizational settings, and how it relates to existing practices, like foresight & strategy, user research, product & service development, and leadership activities (4 Chapters)

- Case Studies _ You'll learn about a number of Speculative Design case studies, from future mobility, sleep, and climate change, across various industires and topics, and covering top practitioners like Superflux, Ted Hunt, Extrapolation Factory, Near Future Laboratory, Neeley Worldwide, & Tellart. This will give you a number of speculative design projects to refer to and examples to inspire your own work. (13 Chapters)

- Pep Talks _ You'll get a few personal perspectives from experience partitioners to encourage you on your journey. (2 Chapters)

- The Ethical Imperative _ You'll explore why we think speculative design is a critical practice, and the reasons why we believe speculative design should be normalized, and that everyone should be spending more time in the future. (4 Chapters)

- Additional Resources _ You'll also get a list of additional resources to further your study of speculative design beyond the course.

This course is for:

- Designers, Strategists, or Researchers, or anyone interested in using speculative design in their work

- Leaders and managers looking to develop skills for thought leadership and product or service vision.

- Anyone interested in learning about the basics of speculative design

- Anyone interested in learning about the commercial applications of speculative design

Your Teacher:

J. Paul Neeley - Speculative Designer & Researcher

Which Speculative Design course should I take?

Many people are curious if they should take our Speculative Design Basics, Speculative Design Introduction, or Speculative Design Masterclass.

Our Basics course covers the same material as the Introduction, but is run as an online self administered program, allowing participants to complete it anytime at their own pace. This is also helpful for individuals living and working in timezones not supported by the Speculative Design Introduction course, which is a live and interactive version of this material hosted by our instructors.

The Speculative Design Masterclass is for individuals with some background understanding of or experience with Speculative Design. They may have read about or studied Speculative Design, they have familiarity with the basic methods, they may know example projects and practitioners, or they may have even done Speculative Design projects. The familiarity with the approach allows us to have a more in-depth discussions about the methods, tactics, and meaning. Participants can make their own determinations on comfort with masterclass. and while taking the Speculative Design Basics or Introduction course is encouraged, it is not a strict prerequisite.

Accessible Pricing:

We are finding ways to make School of Critical Design a more inclusive and representative forum as we address the critical challenges facing our planet, people, and organisations.

We understand that income and means and time is unequal across personal, regional, and global contexts. To accommodate these differences we've created this virtual self completed course.

While top university design masters programs like the Royal College of Art (Where we also teach) will cost students tens of thousands of pounds a year, We hope this version of the our teaching material and experience can allow participation and world class development without financial anxiety.

For Companies:

For more information on multiple spots on a program or to discuss a bespoke version of this course for your team please contact hello@critical.design for details.

We are also happy to invoice your company for spots on the course if that is easier. Contact hello@critical.design for details.


Interested in bringing speculative design or semiotics for innovation into your wider organization?

Skill up your team

We can run any of our open enrollment courses or lectures as a dedicated session for your organization or in-house teams.

Custom Experience

We can develop custom topic and futures explorations for your organization.

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