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

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  2. Maintaining anonymity, the card folders containing the cards and the produced questions are deposited into a physical drop box.
  3. 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.



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