Mad Practice not Perfect

By JD Derbyshire

I was asked to think about how design thinking might be a way of helping us imagine the future, and what that would look like if I could make it like a game – like the interactive ‘game’ theatre pieces I’ve built with Adrienne Wong Me on the Map and Then Comes Now, and Ursulapia, dramaturged by Laurel Green. I have been thinking deeply in the tiny spaces between vitality and terror that this time seems to be offering me. I have been in suspended wonder about how the imaginative exercises of utopian design or speculative fiction might help us see possibilities for an entirely different world and entirely different systems. How we can imagine a future that we may never get to, by posing unanswerable questions as if we were completely in charge. 

It seems hard to get through ideas of dystopia to the utopia and really that’s not a possibility anyway. I have had to settle for the real human act of bouncing back and forth between many things, to remain in the grapple of trying to imagine entirely new ways of doing things, in a world where everyone in it is reckoning with the dire consequences of a pandemic and the gaps in systems being exposed. Three words keep surfacing in my consciousness like the start of something I can’t find a rhyme for –  Reduced. Ruin. Remake. 

I think of this as dealing with reality, then getting overwhelmed by worst case scenarios and then finding solace in making something.

This is what I made, a Twine game, an interactive fragmented thought experience. This is my offering to what was asked of me. I invite you to play through Mad Practice not Perfect; take what you want and leave the rest. 

Click the image above to play the game

Whatever your wonderings are I hope we can gather and share our tiny noteideas, imagined worlds and WORST CASE SCENARIOS; designing an impossible utopian world of unhindered plurality that might point us in some interesting directions. 

If you’d like to join JD for a design jam please email footinmouth22 [at] gmail [dot] com

We also welcome any Twine Games made in response.

If you are new to Twine
A note on the use of the word Mad
Speculative Design: 3 Examples of Design Fiction
Speculative Everything:Design, Fiction and Social Dreaming

Imagining Different Worlds is happening already:

Hawaii Considers an Explicitly Feminist Plan for COVID-Era Economic Recovery

OpenPharma in the wake of COVID19

PEI at Basic Minimum Income Canada Group

JD Derbyshire is a theatre maker, mad activist, writer, inclusive designer, peep hole puppeteer, and one of the artists behind Podplays at FOLDA on June 13.