This website aims to document the process and outcomes of the NordForsk-funded NOS-HS Exploratory Workshop series, titled “Nordic Fabulation Network” (project number 133226). It started in January 2023 and is expected to finish in December 2024. The project participants include: Umeå University (Sweden), Oslo School of Design and Architecture (Norway), Malmö University (Sweden), and IT University of Copenhagen (Denmark).

Project description:

The notion of caring for own citizens is at the basis of the Nordic welfare state. However, shifting power relations, new forms of public private partnerships, rapid emergence of technologies, and novel forms of service provision are transforming how states, communities and caregivers plan and improve living conditions of the population. These challenges thus require new forms of participation to ensure that emerging technologies are designed and adopted to support citizens in an equitable way.

This network intends to explore how collaborative design via Fabulation (Haraway, 2013) can be used to imagine and extend care practices in the Nordic context, encouraging broader forms of participation in society, building stronger connections among citizens, and ultimately fostering more resilient futures. Fabulation is part of a new approach using storytelling in design futuring, borrowed from Science and Technology Studies and feminist technoscience, oriented towards alternative forms of critical and radical world-making. However, the use of fabulation in design futuring, while having enormous potential in being able to bridge the aforementioned challenges of participation, is currently tentative and understudied. How should or could fabulation be deployed within collaborative design in the context of emerging technologies to imagine new forms of caring?

We propose the creation of a new network, built on participants with established good working relations as well as new early-career members. Through the organization of three workshops, we will produce fabulations that act as possible trajectories for Nordic care futures, along the way developing a toolkit for fabulating that can travel–reflections on how Fabulation works, what it is good for, and strategies and tactics for developing meaningful shared futures.

Our first workshop “Concepts” (Umeå, June 2023) focused on conceptual work around fabulations. The second workshop “Approaches” (Oslo, January 2024) will depart from the conceptual grounding to map current and potential methods for fabulating. In our third workshop “Interventions” (Copenhagen, Spring 2024) we will gather our learnings, tools, and fabulations, and reflect on the potential of fabulating as a method for making change. Through these workshops we will produce themes and agendas for future collaboration, drawing together experiences from participants at different stages in their careers and deriving a kit of best practices for designing new kinds of resilient Nordic futures.

Stay tuned for updates and workshop outcomes!