Moving into Near Future. As mentioned earlier, after completing the field research module (observation, interview, photographic documentation) of the project, RITUALS is at an intermediary stage between data analysis, design fiction & future forecast.
Obviously no one could accurately predict the future. However, and this is really the central tenet of RITUALS, design researchers have a better chance at tracing the outline of techno-social evolvement based on a deep understanding of human behaviors and what people have come to accept/or reject in their adaptation of current technology.
Thinking about it this way makes it sound like empirical research, but in reverse: design researchers start with the data & work their way back to a conjecture. The point, however, is not to prove the validity of one’s original hypothesis. That technology changes is already a given in the first place. “Research,” as it is loosely defined here, is really closer to the endeavor of creative world-making: of virtual worlds, utopias, dystopias, Cronenbergean meditation on technology as an extension of the human imaginary.