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The Manual of Design Fiction (Paperback)

The Manual of Design Fiction (Paperback)

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From the Near Future Laboratory's fiercely independent NFL Futures Publishing Division comes the definitive book describing the origins, evolution, and practice of design fiction in accessible and vivid detail: the practice of creating tangible and evocative prototypes from possible near futures, to help discover and represent the consequences of decision making.”

by Julian Bleecker, Nick Foster, Fabien Girardin and Nicolas Nova in collaboration with Patrick Pittman and Chris Frey of No Media Co.

Limited Edition Dust Jacket Covers by Julian Montague

 “The Manual of Design Fiction is an unparalleled, rigorous insight into the philosophy and practice of design fiction from the pioneers of the approach. With this extensive publication, The Near Future Laboratory demonstrate the need and urgency of bringing design fiction approaches to business. This book is not a step by step how-to guide nor is it a treasure trove of quick fix methods and tools for those interested in applying design fiction to their work. Rather, and more importantly, this is a book about an approach, a philosophy, a mindset. And a crucial one at that; one that will not limit us to tools we already use to address familiar problems, but rather an approach that opens up the ways in which we can address uncertainty and traverse new possibilities.”

We find ourselves at a moment in time when an increasingly complex state of the world - and our place within it - makes an orientation towards the future not only relevant, but essential. Today, no future is improbable, which is why the unanticipated white space - the void of unknown unknowns - must be investigated, considered and discussed at all levels of an organization.

From climate change and economic instability to rising inequality and the fragility of democratic institutions, we face a panoply of uncertainties. For too long major decision makers have largely treated the future as a matter of business modeling, an engineering problem, some sort of sexy vision exercise, or savvy marketing campaign to foment anticipation around future products. What we need are alternative frameworks or mindsets for decision making that consider solutions along with their risks and implications, while incorporating a diversity of both disciplinary and human viewpoints. Design fiction is a method to vividly render tangible future scenarios before taking action, using a process that is broadly collaborative and includes a variety of stakeholders or interests.

This book explores the origins of design fiction, from the individuals who defined the practice, details the practical approach to assessing the consequences of decision making by creating tangible artifacts from possible futures. Design fiction opens up new conversations and considerations whilst augmenting existing, well-trodden research and foresight practices.

The Near Future Laboratory has used design fiction approaches with clients such as Apple, Warner Bros, IKEA, Samsung, Edelman, Dubai Museum of the Future, Google, Meta and many more. This book aims to bring these techniques and the approach to a wider audience, to help us all imagine harder in order to begin materializing the futures we want to inhabit.

Product Details:

Paperback with Dust Jackets designed by Julian Montague, Julian Bleecker and Patrick Pittman.
261 pages. Paperback.
Written by Julian Bleecker, Nick Foster, Fabien Girardin and Nicolas Nova with Chris Frey and Patrick Pittman; additional contributions by Israel Viadest
Edited by Chris Frey and Patrick Pittman of No Media. Designed by Chris Lange.
Set in Lyon Text (2009) by Kai Bernau and anchored with Classic Grotesque (2012) by Rod McDonald.
Language: English
Published by Near Future Laboratory, Venice, California, USA
Second printing 2023
Printed by Ofset Yapimevi in Istanbul Turkey on the Heidelberg Trebuchet RDL720
ISBN 978-0-9905633-3-4

(Please note: Orders delivering outside of the USA ship twice a week via suitable courier service. USA orders ship within 24 hours via FedEx. All orders are shipped with tracking. You are responsible for attending to any delivery requirements such as signing releases, picking up parcels that may be held at local facilities, any local or national taxes, etc.)

“Somewhere between whimsy and earnestness, between hope and terror, between seriousness and sight gags, lives ‘design fiction’, a method and a medium for structured hope about futures we may dread or yearn for”

Cory Doctorow - Journalist, Author


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Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
David C.
A must have for any designer

As a UX designer I want to carry in my toolbox as many useful ideas, processes or frameworks as possible. Design Fiction is without a doubt one of the best to help my stakeholders empathise with the problem space and set up the right mental model to solve it. So yes, I can definitely recommend the Manual of Design Fiction but also any other publication from the NFL.

Sômolo Silvestre Salvador
An indispensable guide for Design Fiction

The Design Fiction Manual is a clear and versatile guide that allows for non-linear exploration of its contents. Filled with practical examples, it's an essential resource that serves as the definitive guide to the Design Fiction methodology.

Manuel L
Design Fiction Big Box Set

I stumbled through internet research to the website of the Near Future Laboratory and was thrilled to learn more about Design Fiction and ordered therefore the Big Box Set for my personal use. I am happy with the product and still learning about Design fiction as a whole.


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