Toolkits to design objects of the future, tease the underside of Smart Cities or support the creativity of makers and game designers: discover a selection of these playing cards with the maker-entertainers from Dcalk.
“Mécanicartes” is a support tool to design board games, born from participative funding around the Ludi Vojago project lead by Aurélien Lefrançois. In 2014, the French game designer decides to tour Europe to share his passion: playing and creating games. He designs the “Mécanicartes” to hold workshops along the way. Each one of the 36 cards of the kit represents a board game component (mechanics, skills or equipment) and facilitates discussion to create variants of existing games or new games.
Its author is making the choice of a hybrid distribution following the example of the popular “Cards Against Humanity”. Distributed under a Creative Commons license, the “Mécanicartes” are available for sale and in print’n play (free download for to make them in DIY). Today, Aurélien Lefrançois and his collective Prismatik are launching a new participative funding campaign to give les “Mécanicartes” a makeover and develop them. Watch this space.
Everyday objects of tomorrow
In 2014 a dream team of prospectivists met in Detroit, including Bruce Sterling, James Bridle, Nicolas Nova and Julian Bleecker, to examine the future of product design. In order to do this, the team resorted to the so called design fiction method (speculative design) and to the “Design Fiction Product Design” kit.
Created in 2012 by the Near Future Laboratory, (of which Nicolas Nova and Julien Bleecker are part of), this kit is composed of a dedicated deck of 52 cards, two dice and a booklet of idiomatic references specific to product design. This workshop organization tool facilitates the creation of objects that seem extraordinary from today’s point of view, but very commonplace in a near future. The rolling of the dice from these men takes the form of a catalogue of objects that is always easy to get hold of, as well as the kit, from the Near Future Laboratory.
The dark side of connected cities
“Failles de la Smart City”(Flaws of the Smart City) is a kit inviting you to an analytical exploration of connected cities on the initiative of the Design Friction from Nantes. Finding inspiration from the thoughts and work of Dan Hill (City of Sound), Adam Greenfield (Against the Smart City) and Anthony Townsend (Smart Cities, Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia), the duo foments the idea of a kit to “discuss technical implications in the city”.
Published in 2015 under Creative Commons license and available in print’n play, the kit is composed of three card decks (flaws, places, action) equivalent to a 16-page PDF to print. All you need to do is determine which city will be used as a social, cultural, geographical and economic context and then choose either to tend to the weaknesses of the Smart City or on the contrary exploit them to wreak havoc. All speculations are allowed!
Kit for makerspaces
A last special maker kit, discovered during our Ludobox Tour at Machine Room, member of the Maker Library network in London. We were welcomed by Gareth Owen Lloyd, artist, maker and author of “Maker Cards”. Designed in 2015, in collaboration with the South-African artist Philip Raiford, this kit of illustrated cards is aimed at makerspace users to rise above potential deadlocks facing numerical control machines. “What could I make or alter, with which tool and which method?”
The “Maker Cards” aim just as much to stimulate creativity as to ask oneself about one’s action, about fabrication and the maker culture in general. We then recall Grégory Chatonsky’s column that questions the vogue of fablabs and “these assembled machines (that) allow you to “do things”… without critical or esthetic implications. And we are delighted that such a kit should emerge from the makers themselves to prompt discussions.
On April 15, in Athens, Dcalk is hosting an event, Protocultural special Ludobox around games in the era of their reproducibility, followed by a toolkit workshop from April 16-19 in Elefsina.