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Imaginaries Lab uses design methods to understand how people understand concepts and ideas, and use that to help people imagine new ways of living.

If men define situation as real, they are real in their consequences.

— by William Isaac Thomas and Dorothy Swaine Thomas(1899–1977)

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_theorem

  • Narratives
  • stories
  • Simples cause and effect links
  • Metaphors
  • Myths
  • Folk stories

When we don’t know how a thing works, we make it up.

— Lou Downe Head of Design UK Gov. Digital Service



Design for behaviour change


Energy is invisible, we can see it’s effect. This is key in how people perceive it. We use metaphors to understand these invisible concepts.


  • Get imagination out of people’s heads and into a shared space. (Mental landscapes, civic visions, etc.)
  • Explore using more qualitative forms of visualisation (helps understand patterns. Project power cord to make people “listen” to energy)



  • Can you design new metaphors to help people understand things in new ways?



  • Can you help people experience things in new ways?

avatar Bruno Amaral
Bruno Amaral

I am a Digital Strategist, divided between tech and creativity, working for the Lisbon Collective and teaching Public Relations at the …