Games for cities
Local Organizer: Lectorate of Play & Civic Media, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
Address: Wibautstraat 2-4 Amsterdam The Netherlands
In the Games for Cities Training School, participants will explore the design of playful installations and urban games in public spaces as a means of ‘citizen empowerment’. In particular, participants will investigate how play and games can be used to engage and activate citizens around the advent of a ‘circular economy’, with a focus on the flows of food and waste.
The use of games has by now become an established practice in participatory design, co-design and similar approaches. “City Games” are employed to engage a broad variety of stakeholders in the process of city making. Examples include games that enable co-design sessions for future neighbourhood developments, playful tools for collaborative ideation, mapping exercises, up to (interactive) media installations that provoke discussions about the future of the city. As such, they aim to open up the top-down professionally driven process of urban planning and the broader debate about the future of the city to citizens and other stakeholders. A particular subset of these games takes place in urban public spaces.
In this training school, participants will explore the affordances of city games in urban public space and deploy these to the theme of the circular economy, with a focus on the flows of food and waste. How can urban games in public space activate citizens around this theme?
Differently from “linear economy”, characterized by a 'take-make-dispose' model, a circular approach aims at maintaining the value of products as long as possible, reducing waste, and keeping the resources locally when a product has reached the end of its life, to be used again and again to create further value. The flows of food and waste in and out of the city are major urban issues that severely impact natural resources. They are “wicked problems” that cannot be solved with a simple, top-down fix, but require systemic solutions that involve citizens in rethinking public spaces, the social activities happening there, and the cultural values that are tied to them. Play and Games can play a role in opening up discussions about these issues, ideate alternative futures, or engage and inform publics with and about food and waste flows in the city.
In a five days’ programme, participants will work in small interdisciplinary teams towards the design of a prototype for a city game that is to take place in the urban public space in Amsterdam. The programme includes lectures from and discussions with city game designers and leading researchers in this field. Participants will also be encouraged to share and exchange their own knowledge and experiences.
Participants will explore the use and design of games and play as activators for public spaces. They will do this through lectures, discussions, studio sessions, playing city games themselves, and a hands on approach in which they collaboratively design a prototype for an urban game in small teams.
Participants will make a connection between playful dynamics in public spaces and make those productive in relation to the theme of the circular economy with a focus on the flows of food and waste.
Participants will learn from both experts in the field as well as from each other.
In a five days’ programme, participants will work in small interdisciplinary teams towards the design of a prototype for a city game that is to take place in the urban public space in Amsterdam. These will be presented and discussed in a final session.
The Training school GAMES FOR CITIES will be open to a maximum of 20 trainees.
Enhancements Programme Committee
Martijn de Waal, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences
Prof. dr. Ben Schouten (AUAS)
Dr. Gabriele Ferri (AUAS)
Dr. Michiel de Lange (Utrecht University)
Dr. Ekim Tan (Play the City Foundation)
Richard Pelgrim (Play the City Foundation)
11/07/2016 - Opening the submission period for trainees
01/08/2016 - Deadline for tutoring proposals >> CALL CLOSED!
28/08/2016 - Deadline for applications for trainees >> CALL CLOSED!
05/09/2016 - Communication on the evaluation process