Balagan! Is a concept for the library of the future. Have you heard about the exciting change stirring inside our libraries? Libraries have always been thought of as a kind of “temple of books” ... a place you can go to for peace and quiet, a place to read and think. But if they are to be relevant in the future they will have to make space for themselves in the digital community as well. Already now, people tend to use libraries more as an extra work space, than a place for borrowing books. What then, if not the book, should the library functions revolve around in the future?
In this project we have taken the children’s perspective of the matter. A new department is being planned at Malmö City Library, for 9-12 year olds. We were asked to help find new, meaningful, and playful functions and activities for the department, to make a concept, and to help integrate the children’s perspective in the process.
The result became a concept for a transmedial story exploratarium. A place for enjoying and making up stories. A place for learning, playing, and meeting new friends. And a place, that transcends the limits of the physical room.
The story exploratarium is like a suitcase, full of different storytelling tools. With them, you can create stories both in the room, on the web, and transmedially; through both platforms. Via the web community children can share their stories and collaborate. To make it even more fun, we have embedded game mechanics - so that you can earn points and rise through the ranks - in search of a ministerial post in the fictional world embedded in both room and web; Balagan.