The Office Scrabble Game

Co-designing Workspaces with the Everyday as a Resource in Design Games

Authored by: Christina Lundsgaard , Eva Brandt

The Routledge Companion to Games in Architecture and Urban Planning

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138339026
eBook ISBN: 9780429441325
Adobe ISBN:


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The objective of this chapter is to present and comment on the design and playing of the Office Scrabble Game where fragments from everyday work life become centerpieces in the object of enquiry toward new work practices and workspaces. The overall aim is to exemplify how codesign/participatory design as a practice can be achieved by architects through design games. The research builds upon Science and Technology Studies where needs are understood as situated, and working spaces are viewed as in a state of becoming. This calls for a change of view about spatial production. The analysis centers on Actor–Network Theory, which considers human as well as non-human actors as entangled and influencing each other in various networks. The conclusions are threefold. First, design games like the Office Scrabble Game are powerful tools for architects/interior designers for involving employees directly in experimenting with possible future workspaces. Second, making contextualized game cards based on the mundane everyday practices within a particular work environment matters in spatial production. For the practicing architect/interior designer it is a way to take the specific project and employees seriously. For the employees, the contextualized game cards support the elicitation and exploration of matters of concern within their work environment through joint inquiry. Third, the identification of generic design game traits and the discussion of the fragmented nature of the content material assist practicing architects/interior designers and design researchers in understanding the power of design games in general, and in adapting existing design games for future situations.

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