Designing Playful Interactive Installations for Urban Environments – The SwingScape Experience

  • Kaj Grønbæk
  • Karen Johanne Kortbek
  • Claus Møller
  • Jesper Nielsen
  • Liselott Stenfeldt
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7624)


This paper discusses design issues in the development of playful outdoor interactive installations featuring kinesthetic interaction and immersive music experiences. The research is based on the development and evaluation of the novel SwingScape installation, which is a permanent installation at an urban playground. The objectives of SwingScape are to encourage physical activity as well as creating a playful and social experience in an urban space. The interaction techniques include movement sensors built into swings, LED lights, and an ambient loudspeaker system covering approx. 180 square meters. The design issues include: creating playful and collective interaction, making a familiar swing interaction simulate the experience of a music mixing board, providing gentle integration of multimedia (light and sound) in the atmosphere of an urban space, and finally making installations robust and safe for an urban outdoor setting. The SwingScape installation has been developed in three phases for quite different urban settings, and the experiences from these are generalised to contribute to a foundation for design of interactive urban installations.


Interactive light and sound installation urban environments outdoors settings collective and playful activities familiarity user experience 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaj Grønbæk
    • 1
  • Karen Johanne Kortbek
    • 2
  • Claus Møller
    • 2
  • Jesper Nielsen
    • 2
  • Liselott Stenfeldt
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Interactive Spaces, Department of Computer ScienceAarhus UniversityAarhus NDenmark
  2. 2.Alexandra InstituteAarhus NDenmark

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