Derive Workshop

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What is Dérive app?

How it works

The Dérive app workshop

Dérive app is a free web-based mobile application to explore and understand urban space, not by guiding people to specific places of a particular interest, but by facilitating exploration and understanding of the urban space the user finds himself in. The app works in any urban setting.

Dérive app presents the user with a series of generic task-cards, related to the current urban setting. As a result, with each subsequent task, the user is nudged into experiencing his environment in an unconventional way, discovering aspects of the city he has never seen before. Dérive app records the user’s journey and plots it on a map for later perusal. The user can document his experiences by adding notes and photos, which are also displayed on the same map.

The Dérive app team can organize a two day workshop. The objectives of the workshop are: Nudge workshop participants into an understanding of their urban environment that’s different from before. Give workshop participants a broader understanding of the history of their urban environment. Introduce workshop participants to the concepts as pioneered by the Situationist International. Give workshop participants a ‘fun’ collaborative experience that’s educational, playful and creative. Expand the collection of task cards available through Dérive app with a deck consisting of task cards that have a certain relevance for the urban environment the workshop focusses on.

The Situationists

Unconventional tourism


Dérive app works on principles pioneered by the Situationist International (1950-1970), who would dérive, meander, around cities without a predefined purpose, as a method of and venue for research and analysis of contemporary cities. Dérive app promotes this kind of exploration through a unique mobile application that prompts users through task-cards that suggest actions and discoveries to users, in their urban space. These tasks are formulated in such a way as to not only move them through their environment, but also to get them to think about and understand the various structures, forces and economies at play and in place in a city. This could be called gameification of urban exploration.

In a way, Dérive app turns conventional tourism on its head. Instead of guiding users to the most liked, popular, or interesting locations, it looks at the user’s current surroundings, guiding him into a unique experience of his own, which can not be replicated as every exploration will be unique.

With Dérive app we are inspired to make the millions of people that move through urban areas each year to better understand their position within that space and in so doing give them a basis to change their environment, to call for change and to self organize.

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