Unreal Developments



We spent many years considering how our playful methods could be applied to real-life contexts. Housing is an issue which touches everyone, so we developed a set of interventions to offer an alternative approach to development consultation. We would use satire, play and imagination to draw people into having conversations about the future of the places they live.


We created a fake housing development agency called ‘Octopus’, who presented the very worst ideas in development. Alongside fake development boards, we produced estate agent audio tours; Lego Legislation
(a constructivism team game about Urban Planning pitfalls, designed with a town planner) and Newtopia, a platform to physically consider what communities could be. We hoped that such satirical provocations would inspire conversation about good building, thoughtful consultation and strive towards transformative participation.

“In partnership with the client team, Arup and Mufti Games used a street party as the platform to engage a wide range of ages through a series of game-based initiatives. Engagement through play gave access to the widest range of the local community. It created an open forum that amongst other things highlighted that dealing with contentious traffic issues would fail if too much was attempted too quickly.”

Arup (The Improvement Plan for Usk)


We delivered site-specific engagements for Usk Town Centre Development Masterplan with Arup, Kendal with Lakes Alive and Great Place Lakes & Dales, as well as Hatfair (Winchester) and Glastonbury Festival. The fake development boards engage stakeholders, break down barriers and engage people in playful and surprising ways. Interactions are documented through recordings, writing and physically making and are then fed back
into the consultation process.

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