The speculative grocery store project
Children between 0-15 years make up a third of the world’s population today globally, despite this fact society is largely adapted to an adults’ physical but also cognitive capacities. This adult norm limits children in their everyday lives, what places and objects they have access to but also what activities they can take part in. This also affects how they are perceived in society — as not yet full-worthy citizens.
The project uses a speculative approach to explore how children, through the process of co-designing, can become aware of and question the adult norm in society. The finished design aims to encourage the continuation of that same norm-critical thinking in those who interact with it. Here using the grocery store as a context for material manifestation.
The children taking part in this project were recognized as co-designers whose opinions and ideas were as important as the adult designer’s. They were encouraged to use their imagination to think of an alternate future without limitations. The participants described their ideas by drawing, model making and playing to test their ideas and inspire each other which generated a discussion of imagined futures. The result- an interactive grocery store called “Barnens Affär” was exhibited at the 2022 Gothenburg Science Festival in Nordstan in may. And the public was invited to experience and help to continue shaping this possible imaginary future.