Critical & Fictional Design for Technology Development         

“Speculative Research responds to the pressing need to not only account for the role of calculative logics and rationalities in managing societal futures, but to develop alternative approaches and sensibilities that take futures seriously as possibilities that demand new habits and practices of attention, invention and experimentation” - Martin Savransky, Alex Wilkie and Marsha Rosengarten




Port 0 participates in the development of HELIOS, a technology that doesn’t exist yet. Between 2019 and 2022, a consortium of 15 institutions (companies, start-ups and universities) funded by the H2020 European Commission program, aim to design and validate a new-generation, peer-to-peer federated social media network based on a blockchain network architecture, that facilitates democratization of user content production in line with ethical and legal requirements.
        As a decentralised modular platform, HELIOS wants to build an infrastructure where social media applications can be built while ensuring trust, transparency and context awareness.
        Within the consortium, Port 0 / Escola Massana has been responsible for directing the first phase of concept design. To begin with, we explored the capacity of fiction and speculative design to conceptualize a contextual and technological future in which HELIOS is imaginatively visible, with its main characteristics, functionalities and requirements. At the methodological level, we’ve based our design fiction projections on the feedback provided by several rounds of co-design processes where all project’s partners were welcomed.
        Port 0’s role has integrated creative perspectives and qualitative research in the technological consortium. We provided more-than-human center insight to the platform, and our critical approach helped us to make visible the ethical, political and environmental risks involved.