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Fight the Patterns & Battle Your Audience

If the user is centered in your design, how powerful is your message? To empower the user, by sharing stories and ideas that will inspire them, we should not design for the expected behaviour of the user, but for the unexpected behaviour.

Storytelling can become a form of activism. Interaction designers are often interactive storytellers. The interactive storyteller has the ability to empower their audience in an immersive and participatory way. The interactive storyteller is in control of the story experience and designs the emotions the audience will feel. Interactive storytellers have the power to change reality. In this talk I’ll zoom in on the ability of interaction designers to become storytellers ‘in the wild’ by sharing my own experience of designing an user experience of a story of female empowerment.

There is a silent revolution going on in Rojava (Northern Syria). After Kurdish women have taken up arms during the war against IS, they gained a better position. But now that IS is conquered in Rojava, they don’t intend to go back to the pre-war male dominated situation. A new system of co-presidency has been implemented: one man and one woman at every level of society.

After visiting Rojava, meeting the women’s army and experiencing the feminist revolution with my own eyes, I was surprised about my own prejudiced ideas about this country in war and their views on a topic like feminism. There is a very different view on feminism which is mostly implemented in their society. Together with documentary maker Reber Dosky I am designing an interactive documentary and installation experience, where we want the audience to experience the stories and feel the power of these strong women. An experience that empowers the audience to raise a voice and change society.

I want to inspire the audience to get out of their bubble and comfort zone and get inspired by new worlds. The audience will walk away with a drive to use their expertise to go out there and design relevant interactive stories that have the ability to empower people and change reality.

Klasien Van de Zandschulp

Klasien van de Zandschulp is an interactive artist and interaction designer, specialised in digital storytelling and augmented reality. I design story-based and multi-sensory experiences, often blending on- and offline social interactions and encounters.

I’m an experienced international speaker, workshop host and exhibitor at conferences and festivals such as:

SXSW, Austin (2015, 2017, 2018), Future of Storytelling Summit and festival, NYC (2017), IDFA Doclab, Amsterdam (2017), STRP, Eindhoven (2011, 2017), Design Indaba, Cape Town (2016), Augmented World Expo, Santa Clara (2014), Northside festival, NYC (2015), Dutch Filmfestival (2017), MuseumNext, Dublin (2016), Path festival, Sao Paolo (2016), ToDaysArt, The Hague (2013), MUTEK VR salon, Montréal (2016), Prix Europe Masterclass, Helsinki (2017).

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