Speculative Design
Strange_Conversations is a series of conversations between collaborating individuals taking place inside Google Docs. Each conversation has an intervention meant to address common pitfalls in communication - imbalanced contribution, mistranslation, misinterpretation, negativity and so on.
Student project at the RCA
The Challenge
Good communication is crucial to good collaboration. Frustratingly though, good communication is hard to achieve. Many collaborations struggle with language/culture barriers, incompatible personalities and imbalanced power dynamics within the group as well as keeping a positive atmosphere where people can share ideas freely.

How might we use digital tools to battle the miscommunication that often happens during professional collaboration?
Strange_Conversations addresses these issues by moderating participants' conversations through various rules which restrict and direct the flow of their interaction.
Intervention 1/ Please don’t hog the conversation
Intervention one changes sizes of font according to amount contributed to the conversation. When a collaborator hogs the conversation their font gets progressively smaller.

Intervention 2/ What do you mean?
Intervention two flags words that have multiple meanings in different disciplines and displays all of them.

Intervention 3/ ELIZA
Intervention three adds to the conversation ELIZA - a program mimicking a psychoanalyst created in the 1960s.

Intervention 4/ Found in Translation
Intervention four translates each sentence through participants mother tongues and then back to English.

Intervention 5/ You Complete Me
Intervention five halts participants in mid sentence so that other participants may finish them.

Intervention 6/ You’re Great
Intervention six forces participants to start every sentence with something positive by supplying all beginnings of sentences.