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Play in the smart city context: exploring interactional, bodily, social and spatial aspects of situated media interfaces

Afonso, A; Fatah gen. Schieck, A; (2020) Play in the smart city context: exploring interactional, bodily, social and spatial aspects of situated media interfaces. Behaviour & Information Technology , 39 (6) pp. 656-680. 10.1080/0144929X.2019.1693630. Green open access

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Abstract

Urban media interfaces can assume many forms, offering rich possibilities for interactions and social encounters. We focus on a particular type of urban interfaces, namely urban media installations, which are situated, fixed (i.e. non-mobile) and outdoor interactive interfaces enhanced by digital technologies. Drawing on research on play in the context of the smart city, we aim to clarify how the digital and the physical worlds of urban media installations can coalesce into enjoyable and socially thriving playscapes. Two case studies of urban media installations are presented: the Appearing Rooms, a seasonal art installation in London, and the Mirror Pool, a permanent, large-scale urban installation in Bradford, UK. Each of these interfaces incorporates a design paradigm that differs from the other in terms of context, duration of implementation, and scale. Following a longitudinal approach based on non-participant observations and time-lapse photography, we analyse emergent interactions and focus in particular on playful encounters at different levels and scales: from the micro scale of the bodily engagement to the macro scale of the spatial and social configurations. Our case studies highlight that the urban spatial layout is a key element in defining the emerging interactions and encounters around the urban situated interfaces.

Type: Article
Title: Play in the smart city context: exploring interactional, bodily, social and spatial aspects of situated media interfaces
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/0144929X.2019.1693630
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1080/0144929X.2019.1693630
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Urban media installations, social encounters, playful interface, fountain
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Architecture
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10088555
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