Week 36 - 15 October 2021

We delivered our final presentations for the first group project on Wednesday. Honestly, I was really happy with how it came together for us. It felt like the final outcome was a shared one, and that our work was additive, which can be rare in group projects.

It was interesting to see every groups approach differ. Some took the goals and zoomed them into a locale, others constructed a narrative around a persona, another took a very ‘service design’ (whatever that means) approach to mapping root causes and finding pathways through their research. I think our outcome was on the side of provocation - accepting we’re not going to write better goals in 2 weeks, but taking the opportunity to open an alternative future for them to be nudged into. We all had a retro afterwards, making me realise how sadly rare reflective practice has been in my education so far.

In the end we reframed Zero Hunger and Inequality each around a core theme - those being Commensality and Play respectively. The leap from Inequality to Play feels like the bigger of the two, and so has left me with the most pleasantly loose ends to play with.

Our line of thinking was this - the current UN SDG for inequality is framed around income. With happiness as our lens, we wanted to look beyond income to what you do once your base needs are met. Usually some form of leisure. We focussed on play as an area of leisure for a couple reasons - it’s universal amongst species and humans, it’s intrinsically motivated (in opposition to income which is extrinsically motivated), and it’s relational, so builds social connection across boundaries. It’s that last point that’s really what links it to inequality for us, as we know that developing social relations across boundaries (whether those are class, age, race, religion etc) is fundamental to challenging inequality.

Thus our rewritten goal becomes: Everybody has the time, resources and relationships to participate in play.

I like this framing, because the output of the goal (more play) contributes to the outcome (less inequality). It’s made me think about how to establish positive loops in social systems.

Off the back of the crit, we were pointed to read ‘Homo Ludens’ by Johan Huizinga - which assets the primacy of play in culture and society. I’d not come across it before! But am enjoying going deeper into play.

We had a great lecture on mapping today too - too much to go into detail here. I’m still mulling over the details, but I feel like there’s something interesting to be done with all this ^ in our upcoming prototyping brief. I’d like to do something in and of the city.

OK I am done for now.

MA GCDP - Week 4 resources

Last update: 2021-10-15 12:00:00 -0600