Can we look to science fiction for innovation in HCI?

Daniel M. Russell, Svetlana Yarosh

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

14 Scopus citations


Science fiction is wonderful for inspiration but should not be read uncritically as a source of design innovations. One point to consider about interpreting science fiction as a conception of the future is that the design specifics are often biased by the context of the author. Instead of considering science fiction as a framework for making predictions about future tech, it may be more useful to see the creative act as an extension of the ideas of the time when it was written and as embedded within the cultural expectations of that time. Predictions beyond five to 10 years quickly fade to the accuracy of coin tosses. It may be more tempting to resort to magical solutions rather than solving specific design challenges. Designers must consider the writer's cultural context and how their experiences, demographics, and the concerns of the time may bias the technologies and social structures explored in the fiction. They must evaluate the plausibility of proposed design ideas based on empirically known principles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages5
Specialist publicationInteractions
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


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