As a border region and resource rich state, the developmental trajectories of Himachal Pradesh were first mapped out by British Raj and now by the demands of the Indian nation. From displacement caused by hydroelectricity projects to unsustainable tourism, the needs of the locals are often neglected. To introduce proactive agency in imagining alternative local futures at a grassroot level, a speculative design approach can be taken. It is a “potential tool for including citizens in imagining the future implications of policy initiatives in creative ways.”[1] This paper is based on the empirical data collected from participatory speculative design workshops with different stakeholders- such as farmers, students and policy makers. Mapping out the methodologies used, this paper provides a framework contextualised for the Himalayan region. These workshops use models like horizontal scanning, speculative cones and STEEP analysis as well as building upon the Extrapolation Factory’s[2] process of mapping forecasts, futurescopes, storymaking and productization.


[1] Government Office for Science (2015) Speculative design for an ageing population. https://futureofageing.blog.gov.uk/2015/07/06/speculative-design/

[2] Montgomery, Elliott. Extrapolation Factory Operation Manual. Createspace Independent Publishing Platform. 2016.