Design Fiction Club
Design Fiction Club
A community of Design Fiction practitioners, thinkers, lovers – in Paris


Watch videos of the previous sessions here

Videos are in French, (any help with subtitles writing is welcome)


A monthly gathering

Le Design Fiction Club

• Seminars-debates
• Workshops-learning
• Meetups


Design Fiction Club is the monthly rendez-vous of Gaîté-Lyrique (Paris) dedicated to gather, discover, think, and practice Design Fiction.

Open to all kinds of publics, it will propose different sessions formats:
Between the cine-club and the fight-club, sessions will feature a series of projects, of which one will serve as a start for a collective debate.
Not far from the pony-club and the club-sandwich, some sessions will propose hands-on workshops and every session ends with a beer-fiction (a meetup).


Why “Design Fiction Club” ?   |  After, soon, 20 years of evolution since Dunne & Raby's coining of the terms “Critical Design”, and soon 10 years since Julian Bleecker's essay on “Design Fiction”, the field oscillates between stabilising and renewing itself. It swings from dying into museums, or in the past as an artistic movement, getting absorbed by “affirmative design” and the industry, or moving to new territories. Yet, it raises a lot of friction and questions! Good start for a seminar on Design Fiction. Our sessions aim at facing them and addressing them one by one, in live sessions or online – for remote participation.


Programme outline:

Find more informations on the French version of the Website (and use googleTranslate eventually).


A Collaborative inquiry


Please, feel free to comment, expand and refine this list by asking questions and starting discussions online


FAQ? or rather, speculative FAQ!

  • The variety of practices encompassed by the words Design Fiction is vast. As vast as the number of labels gravitating around the notions of design, critique and fiction. What about the future of the field: what if Design Fiction becomes a mother category? (1)
  • Design Fiction is deeply rooted in critical thinking. While non-researchers and non-designers/artists show a growing interest for Design Fiction, may one re-use it for non-critical means?
  • Extending the previous question, what about such catchy name for a seminar? Does it packages Design Fiction as the next design thinking? (2)
  • What if the field stabilises into becoming a discipline? Does institutionalisation bring limiting standards? (3)

(1) This question was formulated in session #1 (September) and addressed in session #4 (December) of the seminar. Fiona Raby gives food for thought in a recent interview: “Design fiction has opened a door that's even let critical design - or the notion of critiquing through design - back in, perhaps more as a subset.” (Dunne, Anthony, and Fiona Raby. “Critical World Building.” In EP / Volume 2 – Design Fiction, edited by Alex Coles, 47–68. Interview by Rick Poynor, 2016. p.61)
(2) The discussion on the confusion between design thinking and Design Fiction is already happening. It was evoked with David Benke in a previous conference in Centre Pompidou (FR). This seminar tries to outpace the problem by creating a space/time to discuss it with researchers, practitioners, design thinking actors, industries, altogether – rather than keeping the discussion locked in academic conferences.
(3) Why not build an “undisciplinary” discipline? Once refined via online (collective and public) discussions, a session of the seminar might address these issues (e.g. what could be a non-modernist understanding of “discipline” for Design Fiction, without borders and frontiers).


An “experimental” seminar?  |  Together with the main topic (Design Fiction), the experimental format-s of the seminar aim-s at exploring, trying out and proposing modes of interaction between design and research. What could be a research-through-design seminar? As a start to investigate this question, the Design Fiction club: happens in a location out from university (4); it does not wear a conventional academic title and will aim at being accessible to any publics (5); it explores various animation, documentation and publication formats (6); an example of this process is to invite so-called “experts and non-experts” to participate on an equal level in the room(7); the enquiry is conducted under various modes, from talks, to meetups, to workshop, to debates (8).

(4) Inspired by Grada Kilomba's Kosmos series in Berlin.
(5) For instance, questions about design thinking VS Design Fiction will be
(6) Working with alumni of the Speap programme which explored this question in MediaLab Science-Po (Bruno Latour, Valérie Pihet, et. al.)
(7) Inspired by J. Rancière’s ”Le Maître Ignorant” and radical pedagogy at large.
(8) The seminar format itself is exploring notions of “undisciplinarity”, echoing note n°3, above.


Design Fiction Club“s”

Contact & Collaborations

Please contact 


Design Fiction Club, is an initiative by Max Mollon, invited by Marie Lechner and Clémence Seurat of Gaîté-Lyrique, in Paris.

You might be conducting similar initiatives, or want to start one in another city. If you want to get in touch, we would be pleased to talk.

Contact | designfictionclub[at]gaite-lyrique[dot]net — join us on the
Follow the news on Twitter or Instagram

Introductory Bibliography

References: on Design fiction and Speculative & Critical Design in general

  • (VideoDesign Fiction. Julian Bleecker. 2009
  • (VideoSpeculative Design. Anthony Dunne. 2013
  • States of Design 04: Critical Design, (article de blog par Paola Antonelli, 2011)
  • Panorama de Design Fiction (article sur le blog de Tobias Revell, 2013)
  • Design Fiction pour les politiques publiques (article par Design Friction, 2016)
  • Dunne, Anthony, and Raby, Fiona. Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming, MIT Press, 2013.
  • Bleecker, Julian. Design Fiction: A Short Essay on Design, Science, Fact and Fiction. 2009. 
  • Dunne, A. Hertzian Tales, MIT Press, 2005.
  • More references

Introductory Bibliography

References: Critiques made about these practices