This is an archived version of the 2016 edition of UXLx. The current event website is at

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Nicolas Nova

Nicolas Nova is a design researcher, ethnographer and co-founder of the Near Future Laboratory, an innovation agency based in Los Angeles, Geneva and Barcelona. His work with clients such as Renault, BBVA, Seb or Sony consists in identifying weak signals as well as exploring people’s needs, motivations and contexts to map new design opportunities and chart potential futures.

Nicolas has given talks and exhibited his work in venues such SXSW, AAAS, O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference and the design week in Milano, the Institute for the Future, or the MIT Medialab. He holds a PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from the Swiss Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and has been a visiting researcher at the Art Center School of Design (Pasadena). He is also Professor at the Geneva School of Arts and Design (HEAD – Genève) and curator for Lift Conference, a series of international events about digital culture and innovation.

Author of:
Designing the Conversation:
Techniques for Successful Facilitation
with Russ Unger and Dan Willis New Riders


14:00 - 17:30

Room 1

Design Fiction

This workshop focuses on design fiction techniques. Based on emerging technologies, we will look at near future worlds in which they exist: what kind of experiences would come to pass if the world were to be filled with such technologies? What kind of services may appear? How would they be sold, to whom? What kind of objects may be designed for everyday use? Participants will design low-fidelity props in order to understand the whole approach.

What will be covered:

  • Design fiction: background and definition
  • How to speculate? How to envision the near future?
  • Brainstorming about issues, problems, addictions and problems that may happen in the near future with social media, VR, neuro-headsets, etc.
  • Design services to mitigate these issues 10 years into the future.
  • Scenarios and storytelling
  • Creation of a set of artefacts that describe such services, by choosing a proper format (fictional ad, fake website, crowdfunding page, etc.)

Who is the workshop for?

The workshop is for interaction designers, UX designers, UX researchers and anyone interested in futures research.