Capsule 2051 is a community design project aiming to tackle the brief of 'raising hope in Lambeth'.
What does this mean?
How can you 'raise hope'?
Who needs the hope?
What is hope?
These are the questions we asked ourselves before embarking on this journey.
Using ethnographic research methods we embedded ourselves into the community as much as possible
Hope suddenly became a no-go-word. It had instant negative connotations and led the conversation down a similar path each time
We did not 'interview locals' - we talked to people.
It quickly became apparent that people were accustomed to our behaviour - students on projects with a false sense of pride in improving the area.
SO WHAT IS HOPE?
Nearly every person we talked to lacked the ability to draw positive conclusions about the future. Things felt very dystopian.
But it went deeper as we began to realise why.
A lot of the people we spoke to were not in good spirits and not in great places in their lives - by their own words. It was difficult to foresee the coming weeks let alone years and decades
We had to define it ourselves in our current context to make it tangible.
To be able to self-generate positive visions of the future
This is a process I created when challenged with designing solutions to complicated problems
Now we had something to hold on to
But what was it that was contributing to peoples negative view of the future?
A flurry of socially, economic and environmental factors arose.
Although information had been out about these issue for years, people were unable to engage in a productive discussion about them showing a lack of real understanding - we were not outside of this too.
We took a step back again.
We can't begin to envision a positive future before we even understand what factors will decide that future.
LET'S PLAY A GAME
Games are great tools for promoting conversation and engaging people in learning
They also have a unique tendency to let people remove their societal positions and speak/play as equals.
In the game that we created, there are SYSTEM and AGENT cards. System cards are different aspects of society that may change as a result of the agent cards.
A person takes it in turn to draw one system and one agent card. They then have to image and talk about what effect one will have on the other in the year 2051.
Each person has a chance to say or write down what they think. They can also draw what they imagine.
This activity is designed to start getting people to think about how future events might play together enabling a better grasp of what might be coming ahead and how to tackle it.
It also presents a unique opportunity for people of all corners of the community to share their opinion, promoting a better understanding of each other's needs.
To house the game and its instructions we created a wooden case. It was proposed to store the game at the Lambeth Archives enabling the game to be utilised by the public.
There was also a proposed exhibition to showcase the new visions of the future and the visions of hope. People could see their creations live in the flesh and talk about them with their community