paid labour
free hug
candy sharing
making slime


Monday, June 25
10 AM - 5 PM

Beirut, Lebanon, Antwork (May Ziadeh Street, Spears, Kantari, Beirut, Lebanon)
Fees: Free; payment is done through participation and laughter
Registration: www.ihjoz.com/events/3356

What is this?

Performing (un)Real Economies is a playdate for grown-ups.

Really though, what is it?

Performing (un)Real Economies is a playful workshop exploring the use of improvisation games and Live Action Role-Play (LARP) as tools for collectively designing alternative worlds.

What do you mean by ‘(un)real economies’?

Have you helped a friend today? Did you do the dishes this week? Have you ever been fishing, hunting or gathering? Will you take care of your parents when they grow old? 30-50 % of all economic activity in the world constitute of non-capitalist economic activities. Yet in the capitalist, neoliberalist machine we are living in today, monetized economies are by far the ones dominating not only the discourse, but our sense of reality. ‘(un)real economies’ are all the practices of work and exchange that rarely see the light of day when ‘economy’ is discussed; the unpaid housework, alternative currencies, gift giving, civic hacking, co-gardening, and candy sharing.

What is ‘LARP’?

A live action role-playing game (LARP) is a form of role-playing game where the participants physically portray their characters.[1] The players pursue goals within a fictional setting represented by the real world while interacting with each other in character. (Source: Wikipedia)

What will we be doing?

Through peer-learning, laughing, discussion, make believe and bad acting we will collectively question our own notions of values, labor, productivity - and economy. Let’s blur the lines between real and (un)real economies, drawing inspiration from the diverse economies that exist today, we will speculate on what (un)real economies could exist in the future (or a parallel universe). Through LARPing we can safely fail and try out things we would avoid in real life and explore of what kind of worlds are possible and/or preferable.

Who are you?

We are Yentsen and Ming, two designers looking for new ways to do (un)productive design ‘work’. Currently we are both pursuing an MA in Collaborative and Industrial design at Aalto University in Helsinki. We are interested in exploring opportunities of design and play to facilitate debate, participation, and collaboration about alternative realities.

Who can join the playdate?

The workshop is aimed at designers, architects or other creative ‘professionals’ interested in exploring new tools for their practice. But we are happy to welcome anyone interested in questions of diverse economies, definitions of ‘labor’ and ‘productivity’, or just want to spend some hours having fun.

How many can join the fun?

For the ideal amount of fun we can have maximum 12 players.

What about money?

The payment is done through participation and laughter!

Sounds fun! How can I join?

Fill in the registration form and will send you an email with more details!

Do I need to bring anything?

Please bring your full body, including mind and soul, clothed after personal preference and weather conditions.

This all sounds very interesting, where can I learn more?

Saitta, E. (2016) Infrastructural Games and Societal Play. Larp Politics, 73-81.(pdf)
A piece about how LARP’s can play a role in both reading and writing (read evaluating and designing) sociotechnical infrastructural systems.

Gibson-Graham, J. K. (2008). Diverse economies: performative practices for other worlds'. Progress in Human Geography, 32(5), 613-632.(pdf)
A piece introducing how great diversity of economies we have neglected and how performative knowledge production could be used to reveal the unseen.

Download the pdf bundle

You could also check this video for a concise introduction.


"Going through a cascade of different larp projects one thing stands out, with larp design you can direct human creativity into a shared purpose."

"Role-play your way to budgetary blockchain bliss" a LARP organized for MoneyLab exploring how blockchain technologies can be shaped in the interests of more diverse needs and interests. (link) and here’s some video footage (link) from the larp itself.




The workshop is funded by the Finnish Embassy in Beirut and the Department of Design at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture.

👇 💸


There is no (un)real fun

Go to your desktop browser
Checking the economies cables, modem, and router
Reconnecting to capital
Running neoliberalist diagnostics