HOW MIGHT WE DESIGN A FACILITATION THAT ENABLES
DIALOGUE, PLAY, AND REFLECTION?
This project was undertaken as part of the Technologies for Designing Change module at
The classroom brief involved picking a book of interest from a given list and presenting insights from our reading to the cohort (23 participants) using the medium of facilitation.
Our process involved exploring the art and
role of facilitation in enabling dialogue, play
OUR CHOSEN BOOK
Superfandom: How our obsessions are changing what we buy and
who we are.
January - February
As we belonged to the same community for whom we were designing, we jumped straight to the brainstorming and narrowed down on the following insights as focus areas for our facilitation:
Understanding Fan Behaviour
What does it mean to fan?
What are the underlying motivations behind fan behavior?
How and in what capacity do fans interact with their obsessions?
The Ontological Relationship of Fandom
Exploring the ecology within which fandom exists.
Who is involved, and in what ways does one influence the other?
Exploring how fans interact with each other through and outside of the fan object.
Exploring how fandom creates space for building community and experiencing a sense of belonging.
Superfandom has an influencing impact on culture and commerce.
To fan is human, the impulse to bond over something external to ourselves is part of our social DNA.
The ontological relationship of fandom:
Brands shape fans
and fans shape brands
Fandom creates a sense of belonging and community.
Duration: 40 mins
Location: DSI Quiet Room
Resources: No utilization of digital
devices or screens
To create an open, reflective, playful and safe space for our cohort to better understand the core message of the book and explore the different facets of the experience-economy.
“Gatherings crackle and flourish when real thought goes
into them, when (often invisible) structure is baked into them,
and when a host has the curiosity, willingness, and generosity of spirit to try.”
We explored and evaluated various
interactions such as debates, quizzes,
role-playing, and case studies.
After a short round of trial and error, we concluded with roleplaying as a technique best suited to represent the dynamics of fandom within our facilitation.
Through acting out, role-playing allows the group to embed themselves in a particular scenario and explore it within and outside of their personal experiences.
It taps into three levels of knowledge simultaneously:
explicit, implicit, and latent, allowing for emergent behavior.
Roleplaying allows for play, and play in turn, allows for uninhibited
experiences and reflections.
THE CENTRAL INTERACTION
Our central interaction pattern was a roleplaying activity, designed to experience the interdependence and tensions between
brands and fans.
Since music is ubiquitous across cultures, we created LOLA, a singer-songwriter, a virtual idol of considerable prominence. All our interactions were designed around Lola.
We divided our cohort into Lola's agency and her superfans. We probed them with a situation and simulated an interactive dialogue between the two parties.
We designed the activity with some supporting rules and information to probe them. However, the framework was kept flexible to allow for emergent behavior.
Within these rules, participants assumed roles and improvised freely to build their own stories. This flexible framework and the medium of roleplaying enabled dialogue to shape organically and energy to be exchanged.
It was also essential for us to build the right environment and provide enough resources for the central interaction to emerge.
This involved creating an identity for Lola, creating informative cards for Lola's agency and superfans, setting up space, and showing up for each other and for our cohort with energy
This guide can be viewed for a detailed plan of our facilitation.
CONSTRAINTS DRIVE CREATIVITY
When we started designing this activity, we wanted our cohort to explore the complexities of the ecosystem within which superfandom exists. We tried different versions with multiple roles:
the brand, marketing teams, consumers, fans, and superfans. However, this was leading to more confusion about the connection between
Instead, when we designed keeping our constraints in mind, we were able to frame a more definite purpose, better suited for our audience. We simplified our narrative and focussed on the interactions between only the superfans and their obsessions. This enabled us to utilize our time better and explore the delicate nuances within that
While designing the activity, we made sure we provided our cohort with enough content to fully understand their roles. Still, we also allowed for space and flexibility for individual and collaborative creation to emerge. The framework helped us as the facilitators and our cohort as the participants to explore possibilities within
Overall, owing to play and emergent behavior allowance, roleplaying was an excellent way to experience a scenario from a given perspective. After experiencing and moving out of roleplaying, our cohort was better able to see the
PLAY AND EMERGENCE
THE NATURE OF FACILITATION
Facilitation is an intentional and purposeful act. While designing our facilitation, we were extremely mindful of the power dynamics that could emerge with the flow of information as readers to non-readers. We hence framed the activity in a way that would move and sustain without our excessive involvement.
Accounting for finer details such as moving the position of tables, pasting emojis on a stick as call-outs and considering whether our participants should stand or sit to suit the energy requirements of the activity in consideration, added much to the