Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Speculating Potential

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posted on 2023-09-19, 03:40 authored by Chester Hiley

Speculative design, characterised by its creative exploration and extrapolation of contemporary issues, has generated a diverse body of literature and projects that captivate inquisitive individuals. Practitioners of speculative design consistently emphasise its utility for various investigative purposes. However, an issue emerges when examining the existing literature and projects. Currently, a noticeable gap exists between the polished and intricate projects created by practitioners and the process novices can use to engage in their own speculative design endeavours.

This research aims to address this gap by investigating speculative design and its operational mechanisms through the utilisation of a research through design methodology. The author of this thesis embarks on the creation of their own speculative design, providing transparent documentation of the process leading to the final speculative piece in order to elucidate application. The findings of this research critically reflect upon the current state of the literature and assess the effectiveness of available resources in guiding non-experts in their engagement with speculative design.

By illuminating the process and challenges involved in creating a speculative design, this research contributes to enhancing accessibility and understanding of the practice for individuals seeking to engage in this dynamic field of design exploration.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

CC BY-ND 4.0

Degree Discipline

Design; Design Innovation

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Design Innovation

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

280104 Expanding knowledge in built environment and design

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

1 Pure basic research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Design Innovation


Aldridge, Bert; Maxey, Sarah