Imaginaries Lab: transit maintenance


  • Investigate, in some way, how people think about maintenance, or certain aspects of it, at present.
  • Facilitate, encourage, or influence (perhaps) them to think differently about maintenance as a result of using or being involved with your tool/method/activity (and enable you to gather data, in an appropriate form, from that).



Initial research

Then, I looked into the communication networks available to them.

Overall takeaway: There’s little room for drivers to make systemic change due to the individualized nature of their positions. > It’s important for people within the system to understand their position and its related sectors, stakes, etc. to advocate for maintenance.


My team became curious about leveraging game design to gather data about people’s perceptions of the transit system. From an activity in class, it became clear that one of our considerations could be communication (i.e. rider to rider, rider to driver).

We referenced games like Covidopoly, Monopoly Deal and Heads Up!

How could we take advantage of digital platforms (because of COVID) in designing a game with a learning objective? First, we defined said objective: to inform players of the different factors, stakeholders and tradeoffs that exist in system maintenance.

We began brainstorming by writing sets of instructions:

Final concept



Intended takeaways

Feedback highlights

  • The objective of the game was to “build” a well-maintained system. How differently would players feel or approach the game if it focused on loss aversion instead? It would be interesting to see which of these approaches (building vs. averting) would best represent the act of maintenance.