DIEGETIC ARTIFACTS: Exploring the relationship between Speculative Fiction and its objects

Shankar Padmanabhan


Discursive practice enables the critical examination of future potentials highlighting explicit and implicit scenarios reflecting history(ies) and social and cultural constructs.

Within this discourse, the functionality of an object and its material agency in relationship to the environment and technology, elicits a meaningful exploration of the lived experience.

This thesis draws upon these components and presents a contextual approach and methodology that considers the way in which diegetic artifacts and their relevance can be considered.

Designer Statement

My practice explores, and is supported, by philosophical/theoretical underpinnings found in Object Oriented Ontology (OOO) and Material Engagement Theory (MET). It witnesses the human-world-object relationship through a discursive lens, in order to design artifacts that engender elevated discourse. I employ a speculative approach to predict “what if” scenarios that aim to weave narratives that are considerate of human relations, interactions, aspirations and dreams. Through the development of speculative fiction and diegetic artifacts, my design practice aims to navigate sociocultural, technological, and biological landscapes by provoking discussion through design potential.

Speculative Fiction

The following content is selected text from my own fiction entitled “Spires”


The following content includes images of the Diegetic Artifacts from the narrative