Amsterdam - 27 October 2010. The great dynamic between the five of them made today's DOEN Clinic very profitable. Maybe they did not attain tangible milestones, but Ekim Tan and Harmen van de Wal did gain many, many insights; options for possible platforms, different design ideas and insights in how to structure their concept. Their pitch for World of Citycraft won the jury prize during the most recent edition of Kom je ook?.
World of Citycraft is a game that encourages different groups of people to participate in the decision making process of city planning. As a playful alternative to the the rigid rules and regulations that traditional city making sometimes seems to require, this game provides an interactive and inspiring platform for everybody involved; project developers, planners and citizens alike.
Urban planning is in a crisis. Many projects are on hold, or are cancelled. New ways to generate plans, other than today's top-down, forced way of decision making, are very much needed. A mechanism such as World of Citycraft is probably one of the more viable ones.
Cities are not made by planners only; they are shaped by all the people living in it.
Particularly helpful of today's clinic, was, according to Ekim, the suggestions of marrying their game concept with (social) media. Since the platform for their concept is to be decided on in a later stage, Ekim and Harmen now inventorize different ways to involve crowds. During today's Clinic, options from a Facebook app, to an Idols like tv format were brought about and openly discussed. Ekim:
The core of the matter is: you want to design the right interaction between people that leads to creative city making. You can call it a game, or a format; in the end they are all tools. The interface eventually depends on the context.
Inspiration for their game platform came from the mechanism of self-organization, as opposed to top-down decision making. Marco Campanella, expert in simulation models, provides the two with advice during this project and adds:
Games provide the aspect of self-organisation. Even in informal towns, you see all sorts of structures emerge. Although uncoordinated, self-organisation is a process you see all around; in biology, in society. Aspects of self-organization provide a system with the opportunity to correct itself.
After this clinic, Ekim and Harmen feel strenghtened to take the next step: applying for a fund. Meanwhile, they will organize more think tank sessions. Today proved once again that input from others; points of view, experiences, suggestions, is essential for a viable, interactive project.