Tools¹ to play² – Toys³ to work⁴ with⁵

Take a tool and (un)follow the instructions

Tools: something that helps you to do a particular activity  Play: spend time doing an enjoyable and/or entertaining activity   Toys: object to play with  
Work: be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a result; do work.   With: accompanied by (another person or thing).  

The first physical tools in human history occurred around the stone age. We need tools to build, to sew to cook, to repair etc. But when people use tools to transform physical and virtual materials, at the same time tools transform users, as it is nicely described in Andrew Blauvelt’s essay Tool. (or Post-Production for Graphic Designer). His particular transformation of design tools and designer’s milieu, caused a shift of the role; from designer- translator, who provides a service by adjusting and interpreting content, to the designer- editor, producer, researcher, programmer and hacker.

In print writing, the tools you generate are rhetorical; they demonstrate and convince. In computer writing, the tools you generate are processes; they simulate and decide.

What other notions of relationships could be approached?

What are you curious to explore in a tool?

Have you ever startetd a staring contest with yourself?

You can use tools everywhere and every time. You can be inspired by this tools or make your own one.


How would you describe yourself in three words?
How would someone else describe you in three words?
What do you feel conflicted, confused, excited or proud about?
Who would you be as a tool?
Or what are you curious to explore in a tool?
What do you do?
are you physical, digital, do you have buttons? an interface?
Do you have a specific function, powers?
Can you evolve, mutate?
How does your tool’s body feel?
Are you comfortable?
Are you in control?
Where do you come from?
What does your past look like, describe a fond memory?
Where are you?
How do you relate to the world you are part of?
Do you have ambitions?

In digital times where we don't know anymore how the tools work and we all talk about processes. In this publication the readers have access to use and build tools of their own.

Categories for your role


What tool can you imagine?

What are the features, quirks and glitches?

How would it be used and by whom?

How do the tools of our emerging tool ecology relate to each other?

Can a strategy come from another place than the absence of something?

Whole Earth catalog

They activate body and mind in different ways, from walking and boxing, to writing and listening. They are invitations to transform yourself into an octopus, to have a staring contest with yourself, or to mess around like a child. They ask you to get lost by, for instance, cleaning a very persistent stain or following a complete stranger.

No deleting


Everything is to be documented. Everything is recorded in text, pictures or sound and archived for all to see. Conversations, thoughts, planning, communication with the outside, meetings or sources of inspiration for example. Dropbox folders or Google Docs can be created to which everyone has access. have access to.

Nothing should be deleted. Files are moved to archives instead of deleted. Text passages are crossed out or commented on instead of overwritten

Individual voices should not be blured. A method is defined to make the different voices recognisable. to make the different voices recognisable. For example handwriting: writing in different colours different fonts

thoughts and uncertainties should be be introduced into the text. Common documents are not seen as being set in stone, but rather as being in process and subject to change. The material is left open for returns returns, so it does not necessarily fit into a linear into a linear narrative structure and and in this way makes the process visible. Notes take on a dialogical form, that is, questions are asked and statements questions are asked and statements commented on. Instead of having to come to a consensus, contradictions are left unresolved.
In design research, understanding how people think is far more useful than simply what they think. When working in foreign cultures, this can be incredibly challenging. Without sharing the same cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds, it’s critical to spend extra time understanding how and why people make decisions. In these circumstances, I often use visual mapping — a simple but powerful research tool.