Master´s Thesis 2020 Urban Challenges

Maria-Therese Lidenholm

Transform criticism into creativity

If the current debate is non-constructive and polarised, how can one possibly change that? How can we talk about architecture and aesthetical values in a more nuanced and constructive way? In this thesis those questions have been investigated through the development of a design tool.


Aestate is a card game which aims to work as a design- and communication tool for questions regarding architecture and its aesthetical values. Through questions and invented personas the user is challenged to see other perspectives than just their own. The card game consists of three types of cards; question cards, persona cards and action cards.


It can be used during design processes, for educational purposes or for fun by those who wish to talk about and formulate their thoughts on questions related to perception of architecture and aesthetics. It is designed in a generic way in order to suit different groups and constellations of people.


Thanks to its generic design Aestate is a flexible design tool that can be used in several ways depending on the users’ wishes and needs. It can be played as a role play game or used as a workshop tool, used with the full set of cards or with selected ones. In the downloadable booklet you’ll find more detailed instructions.