Future Supa: Interactive Speculative Design

Queensland University of TechnologyAustralia
2023 People’s Choice Award
Vote for this Project
Voting closes at 23:59 EST (EST time: UTC-5) on 5 May 2023.


Production / Student


Caitlan Hopper - Individual Capstone project: Interaction design, web design, laser cut, sewing, exhibition design, research, synthesis, analysis


Future Supa is an interactive, digitally enhanced, physical speculative design experience. The work invites visitors to step into the world of Terra, a six year old child living in 2080. In Terra’s world outdoor play is greatly restricted due to increased heat; consumerism has been curbed to try and sustain the global population within planetary boundaries and a dramatically shifting climate means fresh food is a thing of the past.

Terra spends most of her days inside. To reduce the boredom Terra’s parents saved their Sustainment Points, accrued by shopping at their local super market, Future Supa to surprise her on her 6th birthday. They purchased her a dramatic play market stall. They stocked the stall with felt foods, collected from the store’s latest food education promotion, to encourage the uptake of fresh foods starting to become available at Future Supa once more.

Each piece of play food has been co-designed using DALL-E 2 with a stakeholder along the food supply chain including growers, agronomists, food technologists and consumers. The foods build on current concerns around food production impacted by climate change, supply chain disruptions and global unrest.

Visitors to the exhibition can scan the QR codes attached to the foods. They are taken to the Future Supa website where they can listen to sound bites from the co-design interview participants to learn how they envision how these foods were produced.

Project Description

Future Supa is a digitally enhanced, physical dramatic child’s play space set in the year 2080. This individual capstone project was co-designed with food supply chain stakeholders using the artificial intelligence system DALL-E 2. Future Supa provoked visitors to the Queensland University of Technology Graduate Design Exhibition to consider current and future food production challenges as we attempt to feed a growing population. The contrastingly playful and unsettling experience encouraged visitors to consider the question: In the face of a shifting climate, how can we grow more food with less land, less water and less inputs?

Interviews were conducted with 11 stakeholders along the food supply chain including growers, agronomists, food technologists, supermarket staff and consumers.

It was discovered that whilst there’s a growing understanding that food production systems need to change, growers and the agriculture industry often aren’t consulted in the design, ideation or development of ag-tech or implementing systems change. The pressure for growers to adopt sustainable practices is not coupled with the support or understanding of the complexities that surround making these changes.

Producers feel that the crops they grow and practices they implement are dictated by consumer purchasing choices and willingness to pay for goods. Consumers feel that sustainable food production and variety of produce available is the responsibility of growers and beyond their control.

There is an opportunity to engage both consumers and growers in the realisation that redesigning food and fibre production systems requires ideation, input and collaboration from all actors within the system. Showcasing growers’ voices and inviting growers and consumers to engage in a playful re-imagining of food systems could afford a richer, more ethical and sustainable future of farming.

Future Supa demonstrates one possible re-imagining approach. Each stakeholder took part in a guided co-design session using the artificial intelligence DALLE-2 to iterate through images of possible future foods they had imagined. After selecting their preferred food and discussing the factors they imagined shaping it, I physically made the foods using felt to stock the play set with. The interviews were further synthesised and used to create other props for the space including a laser cut checkout, eftpos and a physical picture book.

Each prop had QR codes affixed. Visitors to the exhibition explored the play set, scanning QR codes that led to the fictitious online supermarket Future Supa where they could listen to provocative snippets of stakeholder interviews on the future of food production.

Future Supa has demonstrated impact, winning four of the available seven awards at the QUT Graduate Design Awards Night. The project deserves to win the award for its contribution to the field of Interaction Design; exploring a new digitally enabled co-design method using emerging artificial intelligence technologies that affords the creation of high fidelity visual aids without the pressure or anxiety of traditional co-design outputs, such as sketching or collage, that are perceived as requiring artistic ability. It also demonstrates a tangible method for communicating research findings in an engaging way; reaching an audience outside of academia.


The Interaction Awards are an initiative of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA), a global community of more than 120,000 individuals worldwide dedicated to the professional practice of Interaction Design. Find out how to join your local group and get involved at ixda.org.

© 2012 - 2023 Interaction Design Association