Playable Cities

Part of the series Gaming Media and Social Effects pp 163-185


Creating Shared Encounters Through Fixed and Movable Interfaces

  • Patrick Tobias FischerAffiliated withBauhaus-Universität, Weimar Email author 
  • , Eva HorneckerAffiliated withBauhaus-Universität, Weimar

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Currently, our cities become more and more equipped with information and communications technology (ICT). Rarely do these systems provide a fit with everyday public life. They focus primarily on efficiency, security, safety and business. There are few system designs which support social aspects such as identification with the city and community, responsibility, everyday habits, leisure, pleasurable stay, social interaction, courtesy behaviour, play, etc.—in short, aspects of social sustainability. To outfit our future city with technology currently lacking the support of those qualities, we created several novel interaction designs to explore how to best merge ICT with the public space. This chapter presents some of our theory developed from our research-through-design approach and three case studies including suggestions for measures of success such as the number of shared encounters, average interactions per minute (ipm), or accumulated interaction time. We believe those hard facts are needed to argue for the need of playful ICT in our city that makes our public life more enjoyable.


Urban HCI Humane city Tangible and embodied interaction Research through design in-the-wild Prototyping