Abstract Pastiche scenarios draw on fiction as a resource to explore the interior ‘felt-life’ aspects of user experience and the complex social and cultural issues raised by technological innovations. This paper sets out an approach for their use, outlining techniques for the location of source material and presenting three case studies of pastiche scenario use. The first case study is an evaluation of the Apple iPod that explores the socio-cultural meanings of the technology. The second case study focuses on the participatory design of Net Neighbours, an online shopping system where volunteers shop as intermediaries for older people who do not have access to computers. The third is an in depth consideration of a conceptual design, the ‘cambadge’ a wearable lightweight web cam which, upon activation broadcasts to police or public websites intended to reduce older people's fear of crime. This design concept is explored in depth in pastiche scenarios of the Miss Marple stories, A Clockwork Orange and Nineteen Eighty-four that reflect on how the device might be experienced not only by users but also by those it is used against. It is argued that pastiche scenarios are a useful complementary method for designers to reason about user experience as well as the broad social and cultural impacts of new technologies.