Column – Take root among the stars: If Octavia Butler wrote design fiction

Authors: Gabriele Ferri, Inte Gloerich

“The Butler Timeline (BT) is a parallel universe where renowned speculative fiction author Octavia E. Butler engaged in a critical dialogue with researchers in human-computer interaction, shaping the genre of design fiction differently from how it unfolded in our timeline. Here we present a meta-speculation, imagining what could have been different if Butler, a prominent African American writer and intellectual, played a key role in establishing speculative design research. We do not want to create a temporal paradox but, if we had a transdimensional portal, we could simply observe how speculative research came to be in the BT. Hopefully, this could suggest another way of doing design fiction in our own reality, with a different ideology and purpose. That is why we volunteer for this interdimensional travel.”

Read the whole column here.

Interactions XXVII.1 (January – February 2020)