Hello Stranger is a game played with teams of participants willing to explore and include multiple voices within design processes through new dialogic relations and critical “question-making”.
At its core, it employs defamiliarisation and estrangement devices within a game format to increase agency of participants within design processes by allowing anonymity to momentarily dissolve power relations; and, create multiple voices and a platform for new dialogues to ferment by utilising chance to reporting the overfamiliar and often complex lived experiences.
Hello Stranger is being developed since December 2015 as part of a research residency at the Victoria & Albert Museum of Childhood, where it is currently being tested and embedded within the museum’s future plan and re-design process.
How it works:
Structure: Victoria & Albert, Museum of Childhood
Number of players: 35
Duration: 6 months
- The game master/researcher, themselves an outsider to the structure* identifies a series of key themes through prolonged exposure, observations, and numerous conversations with different members (in this case, museum visitors, operations, services, catering, management, collections).Each theme is reduced into a single word and accompanied by a corresponding image taken by the game master/researcher, and forms the content for a series of cards within a deck.
- The cards were randomly distributed to members of staff who are then asked to live with the given theme for two weeks and produce a question in the card folders provided.
- Maintaining anonymity, the card folders containing the cards and the produced questions are deposited into a physical drop box.
- The cross-departmental and often critical questions are then compiled, printed, published and shared with the team.
* Structure here refers to an enveloping research context, such as institution, neighbourhood, community, team, environment etc.