This project explored future narratives about the emerging use of technology for farming in Melghat, a region comprising approximately three hundred villages in Maharashtra, Western India. These narratives were intended as an aid to create actionable transition plans with NGOs working in the region. A speculative design approach had been taken with these NGOs and with the people of this region for the first time. This research intended to function as a starting point to initiate an open discourse and explore new ways of involving a broader public in the process of co-creation. The project aimed to provocate the audience about speculative design by co-creation rather than the end. A series of speculative futures for emerging digital technology was developed in conversation with Melghat farmers. The resulting outcomes are speculative representations and prototypes of alternative novel agricultural futures. These representations and prototypes were documented and will be shared through public forums to provoke consideration of new assemblages that might emerge at the intersection of technology and agriculture. The project also reflected on the broader implications of co-created speculative design responses to real-world challenges for rural farming in India and a wider role speculative design could play by working towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Keywords: agriculture, co-creation, design futures, ethnography, speculative design