Speculative and Critical Design (SCD) methods can produce provocative artifacts that help audiences recognize the political worlds in which all designed objects participate. Similarly, SCD can be leveraged in educational settings to help design students engage with social and political theory through their design work. SCD practices, however, are rarely seen outside of arts and creative design spaces, which limits any potential political impact they may have. This article traces the integration of SCD practices into “the hard case” of engineering education—a space with radically different, and at times oppositional, intellectual, and political traditions than creative design. I argue that the SCD platforms must reflexively account for and bridge radical epistemological differences among design disciplines, including those disciplines that may have an innate aversion to “political” content, if they are to have transformational impact outside of art and creative design worlds.

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