Research and The Haringey Speakeasy

We’re getting asked to do quite a lot of playful research in diverse interesting fields. Good research and reconnaissance is essential anyhow for making good interactive work. You need to map the place, the event, the ideas and especially the people who might play to get specific understanding of what you’re building with, rather than just a generalised sketch.

Here’s a little project we did as part of a day of inspired programming by Haringey Advisory Group on Alcohol to look at their services that help young people at potential risk of substance misuse together with those same young people. There were some brilliant interventions by Adrian Lee and Rhiannon Armstrong (herself rumoured to be a codename in Coney too).

We (George Bednar, Tom Bowtell, Hen Norton and Tassos Stevens) made a game to engage 90 teenagers in 90 minutes and facilitate them talking about services by making authentic but fictional characters of people like them and then designing the best services to match their needs and then judging each others.


Here’s one of their characters, Turkish Steve (photograph © Haringey Council)

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