Glasgow Innovation School Product Design

Aidan O’Friel

I’m a Speculative and Critical Designer interested in how design can inform policy change through envisioning the potential futures of our world and lives. We live in the present yet what we do today dictates how our world will be tomorrow, with very few people within wider society questioning their future, or even knowing that there is more than one potential for us as individuals as well as a collective society. My work aims to build these potential futures in a way which is easy to understand and process, yet provokes thought in the viewer through using artefacts and film. By combining this with workshops where we can then integrate the publics voice and analysis of these futures presented to them, we can then create Participatory futures, a collective voice that projects the desired future for us all. This can allow us to build policy change in a much more informed, and inclusive way to those who it directly affects, creating a better and fairer future for us all.

Warped Mutualism
Cancer Education in 2030

Warped Mutualism

As the funding gap in the NHS increases year on year, the need for cost saving healthcare solutions becomes increasingly prioritised to help ease pressure. With 40% of costs on workforce, we will see a huge reduction in the number of those working in healthcare. This paired with Mental Health cases rising exponentially year on year since 2020, how will our Mental Health Services change 10 years from now? And what will they look like in 2030?


Warped Mutualism proposes a potential future of our services called Plugged. With the user constantly monitored and medicated by the home via AI powered systems, it removes the need for Health workers, saving costs by automating every aspect of care. It asks us to think and question the future presented and combines Speculative Design with Participatory workshops. By viewing this future, can we build a conversation about what we want and do not want our future Mental Health services to look like? And can we design the policy needed to achieve those ideals as a society?


Warped Mutualism

The user plugged into the home, monitored and administered drugs from an AI powered system.


The project was driven by the worrying rise that I, as well as many others have seen in recent years of Mental Health cases. The project sat close to home, with close family members suffering from Mental Health conditions, I wanted to use Design as a tool for change and discussion.

Workshop exploration

The nature of this project meant that external opinions had to be integrated into not just the final insights built from the work, but the work itself. By testing the responses within the project, it allowed me to move away from a singular white male perspective, i.e. me and bring in a wider and more balanced view.

Curated Film

A film created using the artefacts built, envisioning a potential future of our services, helping the user understand and process the leap they must take to submerge themselves into this future and the shifts presented to them.

Warped Mutualism - Workshop Booklet

This booklet shows the process, outcomes and learnings of the workshop carried out using the artefacts and film.

Cancer Education in 2030

How does the world look like in 2030? How has cancer education evolved to adapt?


In 2030 with the rapid development of technology and the power of collective intelligence, cancer and its treatment has become manageable. Most procedures can be done at home and new roles called Citizen Supports emerged. Citizen Supports is a role, which every person in 2030 will be assigned as in their community. Citizen Supports have themselves experienced the cancer treatment or have closely witnessed the process. They will help the ongoing cancer patients by holding consultations. The way in which communities’ function has changed to allow for more effective way of living. This has been achieved in a multitude of ways, taking great focus on empathetic approaches and accessibility for all on many levels. Consideration were made from aspects such as how people can medicate at home or contribute to their society to further its potential while sharing the load.

life in 2030

Sharing how community and Citizen Supports are working collectively to support each other and their relationship with the Health Leader Board.


In 2030, our world has shifted greatly from what we know and see today. With the introduction of a Well-Being economy, communities are centralised around caring for each other, and from this, Citizen Roles have been introduced to assist in medical roles to keep communities healthy.


Vita is a system designed to help allocate which Citizens are suitable for which roles, analysing personality traits, key competencies and cancer experience to determine the right role for each Citizen. Vita comprises of a physical shape, essentially a ‘Future CV’, this is enhanced by Collective Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence, where the system can learn and improve itself and by doing so can then determine individuals and teams who would be best suited to learn from each other, creating an ever evolving system of knowledge exchange and medical development, both physically as well as holistically.

Future world

The link below will take you to our groups site where you can explore what our proposed future is like -

Context Builder

This video helps clarify why this system would be needed in the proposed future society.


A detailed walk through of a users experience using Vita.


Discovering through making, utilising quick prototyping methods to explore and refine.