This chapter reflects on games developed by Die Baupiloten (Building Pilots, Eng. translation). In 2002, I founded Die Baupiloten in cooperation with the Technical University of Berlin (TU), Germany, as a study-reform project that ran from 2003 to 2014. After the completion of this cooperation in 2014, the architectural office Die Baupiloten BDA was established. Since it was founded, the office gathered a wide range of experiences as part of its work on various housing projects, as well as in the social and educational sectors. An important focus of the office – in addition to the process of architectural design – is user participation and the development of effective dialogue formats. Die Baupiloten’s prime concern is developing planning, negotiation, and communication formats for playful and creative engagement with users’ ideas and wishes. During my time as a professor in the Department of Architectural Design and Construction –Housing and Cultural Buildings at the TU Berlin, between 2009 and 2015, I conceived, with my university colleagues planning, games for the user-orientated development of educational, housing, and neighborhood projects. At the same time, we have also created playful negotiation-strategy formats for students to define the brief of their individual projects.

The result of this years-long work is a comprehensive toolkit comprised of a broad range of methods and tools for non-specialist participation in the architectural and planning process and neighborhood development. Many of these methods are documented in the book Architecture Is Participation: Die Baupiloten Methods and Projects. The chapter offers several examples of games developed over the years as participatory co-design tools.