University of Oulu

Sharma, S., Iivari, N., Kinnula, M., Eden, G., Ballav, A., Fatas, R., Kar, R., Ranjan Padhi, D., Sadeghie, V., Sarkar, P., Sinha, R., Tulaskar, R., & Valluri, N. (2021, June 28). From Mild to Wild: Reimagining Friendships and Romance in the Time of Pandemic Using Design Fiction. Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2021. DIS ’21: Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2021.

From mild to wild : reimagining friendships and romance in the time of pandemic using design fiction

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Author: Sharma, Sumita1; Iivari, Netta1; Kinnula, Marianne1;
Organizations: 1INTERACT Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Human-Centered Design, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (IIITD), India
3Independent Researcher, Bangalore, India
4Human Centered Design, Srishti-Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
5Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (IIITD), India
6IDC School of Design, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
7Department of Ergonomics and Industrial Safety, School of Public Health and Safety, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Science, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
8Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: , 2021
Publish Date: 2021-09-24


With the forced reboot of our lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our interpersonal relationships are nowhere yet everywhere. However, opportunities for initiating or maintaining friendships and romance in the physical world have dwindled. Within the context of India where multiple realities exist, the question arises — what is the future of these relationships? In this paper, we present the outcomes of a workshop looking at the future of relationships using design fiction. Participants worked in small teams to create scenarios that critically consider the future of love, friendships, and romance within the Indian context. Through the lenses of criticality, empowerment, and value creation, we examine the design scenarios and the design process including criticality of the designs, empowering experiences of the participants, and the perceived value gained from participating in such a workshop. Our findings indicate the potential of design fiction to allow participants to step out of their comfort zone into a critical stance in discussing love and intimacy. Based upon our findings, we discuss implications for design research, practice, and education.

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Pages: 64 - 77
DOI: 10.1145/3461778.3462110
Host publication: DIS 2021 : proceedings of the 2021 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference, June 28 - July 2, 2021 : Nowhere and everywhere
Conference: 2021 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference : Nowhere and everywhere
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Funding: This research is connected to the Make-A-Difference project (MAD) at the INTERACT Research Unit and the GenZ project, a strategic profiling project in human sciences at the University of Oulu. The projects are supported by the Academy of Finland (Grant #318930 and Grant #324685) and the University of Oulu.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 318930
Detailed Information: 318930 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
324685 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2021 Copyright held by the owner/author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs International 4.0 License.