The Making of a Card Deck

What do the Table of Elements, the first IBM computer, and the novel “Lolita” have in common? They each started as a card deck.  This premise was the inspiration behind a recent Visual Thinking School we facilitated on card decks.  Held at our Portland headquarters and attended by close to 25 people from the local design and business communities, the session examined the ways we use decks (Ideate, Diagnose, Learn, Play and Present), the five most common properties of decks (Nodality, Set, Taxonomy, Multiple Valuable Configurations, Sidedness) and the seven motions (Shuffle, Deal, Draw, Flip, Sort/Group/Stack, Sequence/Rank, Compare/Combine).  We shared card decks that inspire us and talked about what makes a card deck different from other media. Once the technical aspects of a deck had been considered we moved into prototyping our own card deck. Dubbed “The Portland Bucket List” our deck was geared toward someone who had recently moved to Portland. There was no shortage of ideas, and in total we prototyped 100 cards in an hour.  

card_deck

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