arPLAYtecture Cards is a conversation toolkit designed to make architects and architecture students aware of the need to stay user-centred throughout the creative process.
The toolkit enables an empathic mindset and can be used in teamwork, workshops, design sprints, and design studio assignments, among others, by architects, teachers and students, individually or in groups.
arPLAYtecture cards aim to:
create awareness about the architecture’s human-centred character;
trigger individual and group reflection-in-action and create dialogue;
promote an “in the user’s shoes” mindset;
promote play-based design.
Architecture surrounds us, and we interact with it throughout our lives. But architects tend to focus on their expectations more than the final user’s needs, dreams and wishes. Thus, a gap between both appears.
How arPLAYtecture CARDS works?
The challenge cards are “what-if” questions that challenge the player in the five phases of the creative process (empathise, define, create, prototype, test, D.School, 2018). The challenge cards are the voice of seven innovation roles based on Kelley and Littman’s book The Ten Faces of Innovation (2008):
architect of experiences;
They remind the player about the project’s user in a playful way.
A hidden text on the back of the cards introduces a challenge, which is only unveiled if you wear the architect’s glasses - one of the most representative components in an architect’s wardrobe. This reminds the player that it is necessary to look beyond the visible to know the project’s user better and to find and solve the real problem.