The Project

Can you use technology to improve the well-being of someone with very controversial ideas? We let this person's audience reflect on their own worldviews concerning population growth, and opened up discussions that would usually remain closed.

Project Details

  • year2019
  • clientMaster Design for Interaction
  • natureGroup Project
  • what I didInterviews, Design Research, Interaction Prototyping

Problem Scenario

People with controversial ideas all face the same problem: their ideas are too extreme for a general audience, which leads to rejection and mockery. This project is built around the controversial ideas of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement.

DESIGN VISION    Making the audience interested in his perspective, so they will choose to open up to the discussion themselves.

INTERACTION VISION    Discovering a little bit too late that you have been pulled into a cult.

The Shrine of Tolerance

In the Shrine of Tolerance, people are invited to paint their perfect picture of the world. After choosing a topic they care about, they can begin to improve the world they are seeing in front of them by erasing things they don't like. With every new scene it becomes more clear that you are actually erasing people. The experience ends with the leader of the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement explaining his point of view.

KEY INSIGHT   People all have an image of how the world should be. If you let someone discover that their ideas could manifest more extremely than they thought, it motivates them to reflect, reconsider, and open up to the discussion.


Inside the shrine is a beamer that projects downwards. People interact with it through an infra-red pen, of which the light is picked up by a Wii-Mote and used as mouse input to the digital prototype.

Three things I've learned

  1. If you don't know where to start, just do something weird. I'm usually pretty serious but it works.
  2. People bring a lot of themselves to the table in any interaction; as a designer you can leave space for this.
  3. First I struggled appreciating this project because it was far from perfect, until people turned out to be so enthusiastic about it: it doesn't have to be perfect for people to understand and appreciate it.

More Work

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