In today´s globalized times, people are often in a rush of getting from A to B. People are even often controlled by their daily habits, which closes off urban experiences that exist around them.
The situationist idea “dérive” is a technique for exploring an urban landscape’s psychogeography and engaging in new experiences by not taking the same ways to work/leisure/home every day.
Influenced by the philosophic idea of drifting around in public spaces, the architect Eduardo Cachucho from Johannesburg invented an app called “Dérive app”, which was created as a platform that allows users to explore their urban spaces in a casual way. It takes the ideals of the Situationists and merges it with digital means in order to create a tool that would imply an exploration of urban space in a random unplanned way as a game.
According to Guy Débord (one of the situationist and the inventor of Dérive), the technique “involves playful constructive behavior and awareness of psychogeographical effects, and are thus quite different from the classic notions of journey or stroll.”
The app also tries to nudge people who are traped in their repetitive cycle to allow the suggestions and subjectivities of others to enter into their urban existences and find out more about a an alternative guide through a city.
The app should help people to explore cities in a different manner.
For example being a tourist in a foreign city- instead of visiting the mainstream touristical sights as they are written in every guidebook, the app proposes randomly drawn task cards that tell you what to do.
Possible tasks could be:
- Follow a Mini-Bus Taxi
- Move Towards the River
- Take a seat in a park
- Find a Tree
In that manner, the user of the app will explore the public space in a totally different way and as a tourist you will propable learn more about the city, the country, it´s culture and inhabitants by drifting around instead of rushing from one sightseeing point to an other one and getting a superficial overview of the city.
The the dérive app is a tool to get out of the routine or current by experiencing new sights, trying new ways and seeing the city through a different perspective.