Playing games with the weather: a card game method for engaging households in conversations about renewable energy generation and everyday practice

Rex Martin, Yolande Strengers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the potential of a novel card game method designed to provide insights into connections between mundane everyday practices and renewable energy generation. The method was developed as part of an ethnographic project exploring Australian householders’ experiences of weather and climate and evaluating their impacts on everyday practices and localised energy production. The card game drew inspiration from other similar methods and exemplifies intentional underdesign. Such design describes deliberately unrefined research methods meant to provoke participant engagement and playfulness because they are incomplete, irrelevant, or inadequate and thereby draw out tacit and unexamined lay expertise. Examples from the project reported in the article show how the card game method facilitated conversations revealing how weather knowledge and understandings inform awareness of renewable energy availability and practices that depend on it. We conclude that the card game method can help researchers explore relationships that exist across weather, energy, and practice. We also propose other areas where this method and intentional underdesign could generate more productive insights for geographers and others in allied disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-588
Number of pages14
JournalGeographical Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • card game
  • lay knowledge
  • methods
  • practice theory
  • renewable energy
  • weather

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