top of page

Positive Futures – Enacting Utopia

02 | 2019 – 05 | 2019

Positive Futures is a workshop based on the method of enacting a utopian reality. Together with my colleague Matthias Laschke and with the help of our working group, I conceptualized and conducted a two days theater workshop at the concert hall of the UDK in Berlin. 


We invited approx. 20 design experts who slipped into the roles of diverse stakeholders (e.g. a teacher, a grandmother, an employee of a health insurance company) acting and interacting with not-yet-existing technologies. 

Each of the imagined technologies, was intended to enable a positive future, but had to be reshaped by the participants throughout the theater play in ever-changing ways. Rarely were all participants satisfied at the same time with what the technology generated. The experiences of the participants were recorded individually right after each enactment and these videos were evaluated afterwards. 

Enacting Utopia is a method to critically reflect technological consequences on society. However, the focus is not on technical innovation, but on social innovation. We assume that positive social visions should be the basis of all design. Knowing that every utopia will have quirks in reality. 

Positive Futures was funded by the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research Germany) and presented at the Zukunftskongress 2019 in Bonn. 


University of Siegen

Corresponding Publications:

J. Dörrenbächer et. al.: »Exploring Utopia. A Positive Approach to Design Fiction.« Workshop »Understanding the Past, Present, and Future of Design Fictions« in conjunction with the CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, ACM 2020.

J. Dörrenbächer, M. Laschke, M. Hassenzahl: 150 Jahre Bauhaus. Ein Interview mit Klara Kobel aus dem Jahr 2049. In: Bauhaus-Paradigmen. Künste, Design und Pädagogik. De Gruyter: Berlin 2021, 367-371.

J. Dörrenbächer, M. Laschke, M. Hassenzahl: Utopien erleben. Eine Methode für soziale Innovationen aus dem Jahr 2020. In: Bauhaus-Paradigmen. Künste, Design und Pädagogik. De Gruyter: Berlin 2021, 372-379.

Presentation of Positive Futures and evaluating workshop at the Zukunftskongress 2019.

A book chapter about Positive Futures. 

bottom of page