Transmission 15.1: THE PALINDROME'S RESEARCH
This is a newsletter for designers and time travel facilitators. It has insights about the speculative practice & tools we use in our method that they could try as well. Today we introduce Palindrome.
PALINDROME is, depending on the order in which you use it, a speculative design toolkit or a game of futures. We are finally releasing the game this spring <3
The five upcoming Transmissions (15.1, .2, .3, .4, and .5) will each focus on a stage of the work we are doing towards the game’s first play on May 31st at the Danish Design Center.
The five stages and five upcoming transmissions are:
15.1 Collect & Research (April 22nd)
15.2 Narrative (May 6th)
15.3 Dynamics (May 20th)
15.4 Object (June 3rd)
15.5 Outcome–Launch (June 17th)
We work with Tipi especially on the toolkit’s design. The toolkit comes from two methods, one from each studio. The methods are “siblings” to each other in that they examine similar stages with various tools; Tipi’s method focuses on deepening in scenario design, including threats and consequences, black swans and opportunities; The Time Travel Agency’s method focuses on divergent scenarios and the rapid-prototyping of artifacts that exist in those scenarios.
The game’s prototype is a collaboration between The Time Travel Agency and Fermacampione, led by Mida Fiore; the making of the prototype has been supported by Fondazione Pini. The game explores hope and hopelessness, resiliency, and meaningful play.
Our aim in this Transmissions series is to leave the toolkit aside and focus on the game, but we might use the toolkit as a geographical reference to the game (if that makes sense).
Oh! Palindrome’s teaser by Jenn Leung:
Here are the most current gameflows of the toolkit and the game.
Very briefly: the toolkit takes participants through the creation of scenarios, then through the construction of artifacts that live in those scenarios; the game reverses the toolkit: artifacts imagined by toolkit participants are deconstructed to explore, feel, or understand a moment, which then is turned into multiple future(s) stories.
Toolkit participants always release artifacts; game players always release scenarios.
Toolkit participants start by using scenarios by game players; game players start by using artifacts by toolkit participants.
If we zoom in on the game, some feelings we are pursuing begin to appear:
To jump-start the game on May 31st, we are using artifacts created by time travelers from 2020, 2021, and 2055 in The Laboratory of Optimistic Futures; the artifacts exist as posters–time travel souvenirs in our vending machine:
Finally, Flotsam by David Wiesner informed the narrative and dynamics. We’ll dive into narrative on the next transmission, so for now we leave you an exciting hint:
TAKEAWAY / PLAY AT THIS STAGE
This week, we would like to ask that you take 7-10 minutes by yourself to run Alex’s game on a desktop computer. As you play, we would like to ask that you reflect while on the red zone: the “upsetting environment” that Alex proposes (please read the disclaimer first, though).
Can you reflect on what kinds of solutions or movements come to you while moving through the red zone? Can you detect your rising feelings? What do you do and feel when you’re stuck but want to move on?
While on the red zone, the gameflow is very limited. While on helplessness, movement is very limited, and imagination feels like a curse that only allows to conjure negative futures (and presents, and pasts).
If you want to share the phrases you wrote at the end, we’d love to read them and show you ours :)
Bonus: Yume Nikki is another game with a limited gameflow that illustrates very well the feeling of being stuck.
SOME OF OUR TIME TOGETHER AT THIS STAGE <3