Abstract

Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and speculative design inspired the creation of Actant Switching and Service Fictions. ANT states that each action is a system made up of human and nonhuman actors. All actors play their set role for the system to move forward. By mapping out the system, ANT can enable exploration of relationships within a context. Actant Switching is a method for speculative scenario creation that interchanges human and nonhuman actors to create counterfactual scenarios exposing tension with the context and technology. Service Fictions is a method for engaging participants in a co-created speculative design around the created Actant Switching scenarios. A case study on sleep practices demonstrates these techniques. Both methods enable insights from allowing participants to confront their relationship with a system, to make explicit the implicit roles in the system and therefore their relationship with technology. These methods are a useful addition to designers’ toolboxes, at the intersections of service design, speculative design, and participatory design. Both techniques provide a practical way to apply ANT.

Keywords:

speculative design; participatory design; actant switching; service fictions

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

Share

COinS
 
Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

Service Fictions Through Actant Switching

Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and speculative design inspired the creation of Actant Switching and Service Fictions. ANT states that each action is a system made up of human and nonhuman actors. All actors play their set role for the system to move forward. By mapping out the system, ANT can enable exploration of relationships within a context. Actant Switching is a method for speculative scenario creation that interchanges human and nonhuman actors to create counterfactual scenarios exposing tension with the context and technology. Service Fictions is a method for engaging participants in a co-created speculative design around the created Actant Switching scenarios. A case study on sleep practices demonstrates these techniques. Both methods enable insights from allowing participants to confront their relationship with a system, to make explicit the implicit roles in the system and therefore their relationship with technology. These methods are a useful addition to designers’ toolboxes, at the intersections of service design, speculative design, and participatory design. Both techniques provide a practical way to apply ANT.

 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.