CHAOS: THE SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY CARD GAME

Graphic design by Natalie Su . Character illustrations by Emily IP

At the intersection of design and sustainability is a relatively new field that shows incredible promise for transitioning humans to a thriving future. There is chaos in our current human systems, a seemingly sporadic and random cacophony of events and social ties. Yet, with the tools of Design for Sustainability, we begin to see that these systems have an underling order and can be influenced or shifted to more regenerative cycles with proper allocation of knowledge and human capital.

Lara Isaacson facilitating a Chaos prototype session

In order to make Design for Sustainability contexts more accessible, our team became junior game designers, learning about game theory and studying a variety of popular games. After many exercises and deep consideration for the most important sustainability models to include in the game, we began to prototype and user-test a strategy card game, we called Chaos.

Graphic design by Natalie Su . Character illustrations by Emily IP

The greatest challenge was to design a game with enough cost-opportunity to be create a variety of motivating strategies, while preserving and encouraging interaction with the content, all while keeping the game entertaining to encourage sharing. Our final prototype exceeded expectations with the layers of strategic possibility as well as its ability to engage players. The game will continue to be refined and eventually used as promotional education material by our client (unnamed while in development for privacy). The client later informed us that the game was featured in their “President’s Look Book” that is presented to 800 academic professionals. There continues to be excitement and energy around further development for Chaos, months after the final presentation.

Graphic design by Natalie Su . Character illustrations by Emily IP
Chaos design team: (left to right) Emily Ip, Natalie Su, Lara Isaacson, Haleemah Sadiah, & Wan-Ching Yang
Final Chaos prototyping session with the client (not pictured for privacy)