Developing a sense of community through decision-making processes

A participatory arts project on decision-making processes and communities. A tribal bubble encompassing the world and Western mindset that reminds the individuals of the role they play in various communities such as a neighborhood, family, or political party.


In the shoes of society’s decision makers

Participants are invited to live in a moment of suspension during which they can experiment new ways to discuss the principles and foundations of any human society. If we had to design a new community from scratch, we would have to organize it and to do so we must agree. Power, resources, justice, and relationships are the cornerstone of our world and they should be viewed with fresh eyes. Pop-Up Civilization was developed over the course of two years. In its final stage, it was strongly influenced by the COVID pandemic which was used as a chance to enhance the project’s potential and create a digital version of it as well.


A bridge between
daily experiences and metaphors

Pop-Up Civilization was developed in collaboration with Alessandra Frigerio who holds a PhD in social, cognitive, and clinical psychology and also acts as Effetto Larsen’s scientific advisor.

The questions and dynamics behind Pop-Up Civilization were developed in alignment with the basis of any society and were formulated in an easily accessible and understandable way, creating a bridge between everyday experiences and metaphors.

“Pop-Up Civillization has the potential to empower people to manage group dynamics and makes participants think about which principles and behaviors protect and innovate communities. Performing arts and participatory processes foster the development of experiential and lasting knowledge because it arose from interactive situations in which people must experiment and become involved.”
Alessandra Frigerio, PhD


A game for the freedom
of thought and to understand group dynamics

As Tolstoy once wrote, “A person’s character is never so clearly revealed as it is in a game.” Pop-Up Civilization has been used as a tool to facilitate discussions and meetings, as well as a tool to assess groups. Each session is unique and specifically tailored to the different groups that participate in it. The playful dimension of the activity is developed based on our extensive experience in the performing arts world. The point of the project is to shift the individual’s focus from winning to making the project appealing to all involved.

Aids in the understanding of how to facilitate decision-making processes

Stimulates conversations between participants through metaphors

Allows for the integration of varying perspectives

Helps in managing conflicts without affecting team efficiency

Facilitates communication between colleagues

Stimulates conversation between colleagues to help them to both understand and be understood

Offers the opportunity to break habits

Facilitates lateral thinking to rewire old methods of thinking and behaving


Concept Creator and Director

Matteo Lanfranchi


Aneta Fodorová

Sound design

Roberto Rettura

Set designer

Fabrice Deperrois, assistito da e Tim Hinam e Pauline Thébault – collettivo Les Plastiqueurs

French Version Performer

Nadia Sahali e Yann Berthelot


Beatrice Cevolani


Isadora Bigazzi

Scientific Supervisor

Alessandra Frigerio


Atelier 231 (Francia), La Strada Graz (Austria), 4+4 Days in Motion (Repubblica Ceca), Festival di Terni (Italia), ODA (Kosovo), Uz Arts (UK), Effetto Larsen

Initially Commissioned By 

Neil Butler (Uz Arts – Glasgow)