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Games are an effective tool for engaging stakeholders of all ages when discussing urban and architectural projects which appear complex. In many Global South communities where literacy rates are low, games can engage participants in the design process and give them agency over their environments. ACP has developed a wide array of games, always sensitive to the cultural context and target demographic.

3D Masterplan
Tool_JS 3D MP

Joudour Sahara Music School

Children from the oasis of M’hamid El Ghizlane were invited to participate in a workshop on the design of the Joudour Sahara Music School, where they could attend free music classes. The workshop took place during the Taragale Music Festival. ACP made a foam model of the site, adding small flags with icons referring to different programs and blocks representing buildings which could be attached with velcro. Children formed teams and were asked to place the blocks and the program flags where they preferred. Participants had group discussions on the best placement for buildings and programs,with an ACP team member moderating the discussions.

Sidi Harazem Thermal Bath Complex 

While developing the conservation management masterplan (CMP) for Sidi Harazem, ACP involved the local community working on the site throughout the design process. This community was mainly composed of people working in an informal market, some owned stalls others were peddlers. We invited them to review and contribute to the masterplan by using a foam board covered with the site plan, flags marked with icons referring to programs, color coded building blocks and a card game, showcasing photos of the flag programs. Working in teams, participants had to first place Zevaco’s original buildings on the site, as well as the unrealized buildings in his masterplan. Then, they added recent additions. At last, they were asked to place program flags according to their preferences. At the end of the workshop, the ACP team found functional program adjacencies from the community’s results and worked with them to develop the CMP.

Tool_SH 3D MP
Model Game
Tool_DYDS Model Game

Design Your Dream School Sierra Leone

Children of local primary and elementary schools in Sierra Leone participated in the design research of a new school prototype by modeling their school preferences through a board game format. The board allowed participants to slide pieces resembling walls in the grooves between the units. Pieces representing school programs such as ‘classroom’, ‘playground’, ‘well’, ‘bathroom’, and others were placed around and in-between border elements to form clusters of programs.

Board Game 
Tool_DYDS Board Game

Design Your Dream School Sierra Leone

First-year students of the first architecture school in Sierra Leone participated in a board game workshop, playing the board game designed by ACP called “Design your Dream School!”. The board game follows a “snakes and ladders” format, with tiles that (1) ask students to add or subtract elements from their 3D school models or (2) allow them to deliberate socio-economic or environmental considerations to their sites. These tiles are divided into “question” and “action” prompts. The game was both educational to the youth and insightful to our team in realizing the children’s priorities within the participatory research process.

Tool_Noumea Card Game
Card Game 

Nouméa North Entrance Masterplan 


Stakeholders from the different administrative divisions of the City of Noumea (Gouvernement de la Nouvelle-Calédonie, Province Sud, la Ville de Nouméa, Syndicat Intercommunal du Grand Nouméa (SIGN), SMTI, SMTU, SECAL, SEMAGGLO, PANC and SLN) were invited to take part in a workshop to review the masterplan codesigned with them in a previous week-long workshop. Using bingo’s popularity in New Caledonia as a starting point, ACP developed a workshop wherein each color corresponded to an urban theme (transportation, program, temporary use, landscape) and each number to an urban proposition. Working in teams composed of members of each stakeholder entity, participants ranked cards by level of importance and then filled out a Bingo sheet with comments regarding each card, and coloured a heart if it was a proposition they supported. The card game was accompanied by a plasticized site plan, onto which the participants could draw changes and suggestions. The fun aspect of the Bingo-inspired game helped diffuse frictions existing between some stakeholders.

Sidi Harazem Thermal Bath Complex 

In the early phase of developing the conservation management plan of Sidi Harazem, ACp invited high school students and members of the rural commune of Sidi Harazem to partake in a simple card game, in which they were asked to choose cards that best represented the thermal complex. Cards had pictograms of key themes such as: leisure, water, market, food, camel tours, pool etc. The card game was an efficient tool to break the ice between our team and the local community and share what the thermal complex represented for us: a modern heritage site of cultural importance.

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Tool_SH Collage

Sidi Harazem Thermal Bath Complex

Participants in the Sidi Harazem collage workshops, who were mostly children, were given various background images photographed around the Sidi Harazem Complex as well as individual cut out elements representing programs that could be glued and added to these spaces. Elements included seating spaces, shading structures, benches, and entourage that could be used to reimagine the existing vignettes. Children could also draw on the images to showcase their vision for Sidi Harazem. The collage workshops were critical to understanding how local children envisioned the spaces, and also offered a glimpse into the world of design by giving them agency over their own surroundings.

Dessine Moi Une Ville 


Collage workshops took place across the cities of Laâyoune, Gerj El Kheil, and Foum el Oued as part of the Dessine Moi Une Ville (DMUV) initiative in Morocco’s southern provinces. Both digital (app-based) and analog (cut and paste) collages were offered during the workshops, allowing participants to paste objects such as urban furniture, greenery, people, and animals onto backgrounds of their existing public spaces. The target demographic for these workshops were local children, people with limited mobility, teens, and women whose perspectives have rarely been considered in the design of their public spaces. 

Tool_DMUV Collage
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