Can Dialogue Be Designed?

Are conversations more moving when they are subject to the rules of meaningful design?

I believe in design within constraint. That systems, when developed with intent baked into every decision, can sometimes unlock rare forms of creativity. Of course, it’s easy to argue that constraints–whether they’re self-imposed or imposed by others–are everywhere. The boundaries of a canvas, the rules of debate, the laws of physics. The constraints guiding our everyday lives can be, in and of themselves, powerful engines for creativity. But when we shake up the rules we’ve come to know all too well, we enter other paradigms for making.

So what if we applied those same rules to dialogue?

Participants who chose to play Level 2 of Visions of the Future blind-selected a card from a deck with an unfinished sentence on it. They were asked to respond to a story written by a participant from Level 1, contributing to a growing web of narrative written by participants. Rather than simply responding as they chose, they had to craft their narrative within the constraints of the sentence they chose.

Call and Response


Written by anjalisdeshmukh