Forms of intelligence cards

Forms of Intelligence is an ongoing project led by Knowle West Media Centre exploring how expanded understandings of ‘intelligence’ can inspire the design and creation of new technologies and systems for the benefit of all. The cards are designed to act as conversation starters and inspirational prompts for anyone involved in a making process. The cards draw on different forms of animal, plant and microbial intelligences that often get overlooked in human-led projects and processes. They also invite you to reflect on the humans who are connected to these organisms, whether directly, by working with them, or indirectly, by sharing land and resources with them.

Format Method, GameTimeframe AllGroup Size AllFacilitation Level MediumRequired Materials Forms of intelligence cards


  • Shuffle the pack, pick a card at random and consider it in isolation.
  • Connect the visual sides of the cards to create fantastical creatures and plants - then flip them over and see the combination of statements that appears.
  • Draw different types of cards (provocation, inverse, question) and consider them side by side.


If you are looking for inspiration and ready to open your mind to think more expansively about all living beings, then these cards are for you.


1) A note about ‘who’: when you see ‘who’ on the cards, remember to think ‘who or what’. We have purposefully written just ‘who’ to encourage broad thinking about who or what gets to be a ‘who’. 2) Some of the cards are provocation statements, some are questions and others have two inverse statements on one card - to be read either way up. 3) On some cards you will find the names of plants, animals and organisms in [ square brackets ]. These are an invitation for you to replace the word in bold with another word - perhaps something closely related to what you are working on, or maybe totally unconnected - to help you think differently. 4) The numbers on the cards do not suggest any particular order, but instead point to footnotes that give context to the text on the card. You can interpret these literally, inspirationally, or simply as a signpost to your next step. The footnotes can be found in the next section of this booklet.