Tabula rosa

Playfully rethinking the urban landscape


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FR France


About the project Edit

Developed by Polimorph, a pluridisciplinary association of urban architects, Tabula Rosa is an urban board game that facilitates the emergence of dormant city models through the creation of collaborative concepts that facilitate creative exchanges between the relevant urban players and citizens. It is a playful and conceptual invitation to travel to a city suspended between collective imagination and individual projections.

Tabula Rosa is a role-playing game in which the setup involves 4 roles, each having a different profile: neighbourhood people, professionals, politicians, visitors and an animator. A map of the neighbourhood in question is placed on the table. On the map there are numbers that correspond to admission cards (30 to 50 cards per game). Each card describes an urban issue relevant to the neighbourhood in question whose location within the city corresponds to its placement on the map. Each scenario is the result of real observation by the holder of the admission card. The players are invited to propose sentences, in the style of exquisite corpse to complete the “story.” The sentences must follow a “who did what where?” structure. The proposals are then drawn on the map into order to place them in their real context. After 3 to 4 rounds, and therefore 12 to 16 sentences, the animator introduces an additional scenario that relates to one of the proposed situations. This extra scenario is meant to enrich the exchange and make the game even more relevant to the real urban transformations happening in the neighbourhood.

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Tabula Rosa is a creative intervention. It uses an alternative creative approach to urban space through a playful participatory process.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

All of the proposals made by players are re-transcribed. Polymorph develops concrete project proposals from the stories created during game-play. For example, in the 13th arrondissement of Paris, a project entitled “Entre ciel et Terre” was conceived. This concept involved the renovation of the roofs of high-rise apartment buildings. This game inspires new ideas and can serve as a way to test the potentiality of an existing project. Therefore, Tabula Rosa is also a form of consultation. Several weeks after a game is held, Polymorph organizes another meeting to present the results. This event provides another forum for debate. What makes the proposals unique is that they each represent the needs of citizens who are not always aware of the technical and financial aspects of urbanism and their potentialities in a real context.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

This initiative can be replicated in other cities.

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

What is the business model of this project? Edit

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