Design Fiction Services
Julian Bleecker/Near Future Laboratory
This Intangible offers you the chance to purchase your own Design Fiction. We (The Near Future Laboratory) can translate your whims, hunches, instincts, big-idea, question, intractable problem, business issues—and more—into a subtle, seductive representation that will (in all likelihood) serve as a totemic contemplative reflection. An object that, like a modern Crystal Ball, will lead you to greater insight. Your Design Fiction object may even lead you to the answers you think you need.
What is Design Fiction?
Design Fiction is a way of considering, speculating, ruminating on the near future. It's a way of exploring the liminal area just beyond tomorrow. Design Fiction produces probes that represent what could be as if it already exists. Its output is typically made things—props, tidbits, accessories, moments. These outputs are meant to inspire and evoke conversations and considerations, much like in fiction or film. Design Fictions embody a complex set of characteristics that are still a bit unknown, but we can create the symptoms of "the thing", the idea, the possibility—*as if it* already existed.
Why Design Fiction?
Design Fiction Services are most helpful when one needs a tangible representation of a near future idea to help make it feel real. In the process of creating a Design Fiction one learns more about the idea than if one simply assumed what a world would be like. For example, we can imagine a world in which we all rode in Self Driving Cars. Why not write and design the Quick Start Guide for that car?
Suppose your brilliant idea made it to a Buzzfeed List? And the App Store featured it on their home page? Or Spielberg bought your film and congratulated you by showing you the movie poster? Or your idea appeared in an ad in The New York Times? Or Tony Robbins offered insights on your business? Or your service was reviewed by FastCompany? Have a brilliant food delivery/restaurant/edibles "concept" that is on the edge of existing? We can make the menu, or the ingredients list, or the package design. Or perhaps you simply need a Rubber Stamp.
Where would the thing exist? How would it operate? What would people say about it in Amazon Reviews? How would it appear as an advertisement in a high-end magazine? Or in a little crappy ad in a low-brow magazine? What about the Kickstarter page—or the Kickstarter film? If your idea had a patent, what would the patent diagram look like? How would you describe it in a Product Leaflet? What would the package design look like?
In 1968 a movie poster for Stanley Kubrick's epic 2001: A Space Odyssey featured what appears to be an Apple iPad. The mysterious device—perhaps more mysterious than the film's iconic Monolith—remained little noticed until Samsung deployed it as an argument that the iPad concept had existed prior to Apple releasing their product. What!? Steve and Jony hadn't thought "tablet computing" all up themselves?
Whatever you may think of the argument Samsung made, and whatever you may think of such legal wrangling and the machinations of multi-billion dollar technology behemoths, this movie poster operates as a kind of Design Fiction. The existence of this Apple iPad/Microsoft Surface Tablet/Samsung Galaxy Tab/Amazon Fire-like thing in the poster implies tablet computing without anyone at the time having to conceive of the revolutions in computer design, engineering, mechanics, production, logistics, testing, marketing, brand-building, packaging, etcetera. That representation of that thing in a movie poster implies a world in which people compute (whatever that meant in 1968) using tablet-like devices. (In a different context fans of ST:TOS will immediately refer to that show's wedge-like tablet input things circa 1966.)
This is a canonical example of Design Fiction. One I often cite, along with the Star Trek Star Fleet Technical Manual, the layered intersections of Minority Report (the film) and its use of gesture-based UI created by a feller who then went on to create a company that creates Minority Report-like gesture-based UI systems. The examples run a long list.
Now imagine being able to commission your own Design Fiction. What would that mean? What does it look like? Bring your problem to the Near Future Laboratory, and choose from our list of Design Fiction archetypes below. All intangibles are brought to you with the love and care you would expect.
Design Fiction Archetypes: How is your near future represented?
* Product Leaflet (1 Page) - $399
* Quick Start Guide (1 Page) - $199
* Design Brief - $119
* Box of Evocative/Inspirational Stuff To Help Figure Things Out - $199
* TED Talk Video Espousing The Hidden Principles That Make Your Idea Amazing - $4900
* Evocative Graph/Illustration Showing Incredible Things Associated With Your Idea - $199
* TV Show Logline - $29
* Movie Logline - $19
* Short film: 'Moment in the Life Of..' Your Idea/Product/Service/Experience - $499
* Short film: "Wouldn't it be better if.." Sandwich Video "Style" Kickstarter Video - $2599
* Short film: Aspirational/Beautiful People Video Enjoying The Fruits Of Your Idea - $2299
* Film/Television show Trailer: Sci-Fi - $1698
* Film/Television show Trailer: Thriller - $1699
* Film/Television show Trailer: Drama - $1299
* Film/Television show Trailer: Comedy - $1999
* Film/Television show Trailer: Romantic Comedy - $899
* Movie Poster: Sci-Fi - $219
* Movie Poster: Thriller - $119
* Movie Poster: Drama - $99
* Movie Poster: Comedy - $119
* Movie Poster: Romantic Comedy - $99
* Police Report Related To Your Idea Benefiting/Destroying Society - $19
* Wikipedia-esque History of a Fictional Company Related To Your Idea - $299
* Customer-Service Online Forum Discussion About Your Idea - $29/page
* Amazon Product and/or Service Review - $1.99/review
* "App" Store Customer Review - $1.99/review
* Enthusiasts Online Forum Discussion/Flame War - $2.99/flame-exchange
* Fictional Algorithm Describing Your Idea - $90
* Scandalous Leaked Emails - Benefiting- $39/exchange
* Scandalous Leaked Emails - Embarassing - $29/exchange
* Laboratory Notebook - $800
* Buzzfeed Post - $19.99
* Buzzfeed List - $39.99
* Local TV News Broadcast Segment - $499
* Medical Warning Label - $19.99
* Medical Product Advertisement - $49.99
* Wearables Product Advertisement - $99.99
* Digestables Product Advertisement - $89.99
* Restaurant Menu - $79.99
* "App" "Web" Page - $199
* Box/Package Design - $299
* Patent Filing (2 pages) - $300
* Kickstarter Funding Page (stills only/no video) - $299
* Kickstarter Funding Success Page (stills only/no video) - $199
* Kickstarter Fail Page (stills only/no video) - $399
* Kickstarter "Apologies For The Delays" Page/Email - $19.99
* Breaking News Report / Text+Image - $99
* Breaking News (Online) Report / 20 Second Video - $299
* Print Advertisement - $99
* Product Review Video - $929
* Product Unboxing Video - $899
* Press Release - $35
* Looping GIF Product Advertisement - $69
* Pop-Up Advertisement - $119
* FastCompany Product Review - $9.99
* A List Of Insights from a Guru - $350
* Product Catalog Page - $750
* Product Catalog Full Spread - $900
* Classified Ad - $9.99
* Rubber Stamp - $99
* PowerPoint Deck Pitching Your Idea - $399/8 slides
Upon purchase, customer will be put in contact with Julian Bleecker of the Near Future Laboratory.