Prototyping Resilience:  Using Games to Engage Communities in Disaster Response

October 13, 2020

Presented at Research and Systemic Design (RSD9)

National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India

Abstract: Climate change and its associated impacts are affecting communities around the globe in a way that is more frequent, severe and costly. Within the realm of climate related incidents, few have proven as vexing for emergency personnel and community members as the issue of wildfire evacuation. Escaping a wildfire is a complex event with a scale that goes from the local to the mega-region. Wildfire’s complexity and scale makes it very difficult to explore evacuation events in an iterative and low-risk way. The result is that community members never get a chance to practice how they might respond, communicate and make decisions that will affect their ability to survive. This paper uses this project to explore the ways that we can use prototyping and games to “practice” high-risk endeavors with greater speed, exploration and safety. Prototyping at a systems level requires a reconceptualization of the prototyping process so that we might explore the complexities of systemic challenges in more humane ways.

Slide from Prototyping Resilience
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