Education + Research Tools

Fast Familiar use the bespoke digital tools we’ve created to pioneer new approaches to research, public engagement and education.

We have extensive expertise in interdisciplinary collaboration and excellent communication skills. We design activities carefully tailored to your target audience.

We have partnered with organisations as diverse as Alzheimer’s Research UK, Chatham House and the Wellcome/ EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences and Nesta. We also conduct our own homegrown research, centring on the use of technology to support constructive human interaction.

Our in-house team comprises expertise in narrative, facilitation and technology design. For all our projects, we develop these aspects concurrently to ensure a smooth user journey. We are mindful of the need for ethics approval and maintain the highest standards of data processing. 

The Strategy Room

The Strategy Room is an immersive experience which uses facilitated discussion and social psychology to find out what non-experts really think about climate change policies.

Created with Nesta and UCL’s Climate Action Unit, it won the Citizen Experience & Insight category at the National Innovation Awards and was shortlisted for the Business Green Awards 2023 (Behaviour Change category).

First Day

First Day is an interactive graphic novel game for young people preparing for secondary school. Players help Aleks on her first day at Parton Academy, when - as if there wasn’t already enough to think about - she discovers a shapeshifting creature in her bag…

First Day was co-created with the Year 6 pupils at Katesgrove Primary School in Reading. It was supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

The Doctor's Assistant

The Doctor’s Assistant is a public engagement scenario game exploring near futures of data-driven healthcare. It helps researchers inform their work with public perceptions around artificial intelligence.

The Doctor’s Assistant was commissioned by Wellcome / EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences and University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre.

The Evidence Chamber

The Evidence Chamber takes the form of an interactive court room drama, and is simultaneously a public engagement tool and a way of doing research.

The Evidence Chamber is commissioned by the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science (LRCFS) at the University of Dundee. It was shortlisted for a 2021 Times Higher Education Award.

If I were you

If I Were You is an interactive digital story about friendship and trying to do the right thing in a fast-moving world. Co-created with teenagers, it explores the decision we make about protest, citizenship and climate emergency.

If I Were You was commissioned by NESTA’s Collective Intelligence Centre, and supported by Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Ideas and Pioneers Fund.

When harm happens

When Harm Happens is is a an experiential training tool to help clinical professionals prepare for the potentially devastating consequences of critical incidents.

When Harm Happens was commissioned by Kings College London and Guys and St Thomas’s Foundation Trust.

The Window

The Window is an immersive audio experience blending story, music and spatial sound. Spanning three generations and 40 years, it asks what we inherit from the past and what control we have over the future.

The Window is the recipient of one of Alzheimer’s Research UK’s inaugural Inspire Awards and a collaboration with the MRC Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing.

Homegrown research

As well as collaborating with other organisations and academics, Fast Familiar undertake independent research, in line with our own interests.

Both Dan Barnard and Joe McAlister hold academic positions and research areas adjacent to Fast Familiar's practice.

Smoking Gun

Smoking Gun is a whistleblower thriller for remote audiences. Mixing game, digital art and social experiment, it asks how we can use digital clues to hold the people in power to account.

Smoking Gun was featured by the Financial Times as one of 'Top ten dramas to enjoy at home’ (May 2020), and selected for the Centre for Investigate Journalism’s Logan Symposium.


Shutdown! is a piece of dynamic research into what public response would be to a national power failure. The data collected during the game and debrief is used to inform government communications.

Shutdown was commissioned by the Cabinet Office and the CRUISSE (Challenging Radical Uncertainty in Science, Society and the Environment) network.

The Justice Syndicate

The Justice Syndicate is an interactive medium drawing on a jury format. It explores how taken-for-granted assumptions, intuitions and emotions influence decision-making.

The Justice Syndicate was selected for Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology, Future Now - 100 contemporary artists of 2020; and longlisted for the Lumen Prize.

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