DESIGNING WATER SYSTEMS IN SITU - A WORKSHOP FOR YALE UNIVERSITY FEB 2018
Sometimes you just need a game to explain complex systems.
February 2018, Jessica Helfand, of the Design Observer, invited me to lead a workshop about water, its scarcity and the technologies which can harness it's power in relationship to urban design. Her studio "Design as Utility: Luxury, Sustainability and Waste" asked hard questions about equity and tourism in one of they driest cities in the world: Cape Town.
My goal through this workshop was to present tools and innovative methods for capturing, cleaning and storing water in various geographical areas each with their unique tradeoffs. What resulted was a game of 5 teams of students paired with 5 thirsty cities and a set of technologies in which to solve these problems. With financial constraints being the devils advocate, and distinct regional resources as their tools - it became an ethical battle and a need for shared resources. Players were allowed to exchange with other teams at a low cost, or to the game master (me) for an advanced technology at high cost, demonstrating that collaboration of technologies is often more effective that a stand alone budget game. It was a game of strategy, systems and communalism.
At the end of the game, I can truly say there were people there who had come up with technology combinations and solutions to problems that I couldn't even have thought of. Games are the best tools of design - don't ever forget it.