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Play as a Player in Design

Rethinking a ‘Curious Practice’ for Co-designing Public Space

Abstract

‘Move the Neighbourhood’ is a research project experimenting with co-designing playable installations for a public green space in Copenhagen through a design-based collaboration between children and design-researchers.
We employed a co-design process to investigate whether deconstructing the rules for both play and design could trigger new ways of thinking about playable spaces. The aim was to test a participatory process in order to identify what might be meaningful in relation to both play and designing for play, along a spectrum ranging from rules to collaborative improvisation. Our fieldwork cultivated what Haraway calls ‘response-ability’ in a ‘curious practice’ that explores the unanticipated in the collaboration between children and designers.
The metaphor of a ‘jelly cake’ from play-research was used to illustrate the messiness of play and to frame the discussion on collaborative design. We see play as a serious co-player that evokes collective worlds through productive, messy fields of action, and enables actors to engage in the co-design of playable public space.
In this article, we investigate how play can create agency, spark imagination and open up practices in both artistic and academic processes. Drawing on Barad’s concept of ‘intra-action’, we investigate design/play as a dynamic engine for exploring collaborative design practices as a dialogue between art, play and co-design.

 

Published:
Pages:25 to 44
Section: Art and Activism
How to Cite
Winge, L., Wagner, A. and Lamm, B. (2020) “Play as a Player in Design”, The Journal of Public Space, 5(4), pp. 25-44. doi: https://doi.org/10.32891/jps.v5i4.1312.

Author Biographies

University of Copenhagen, Landscape Architecture and Planning
Denmark Denmark

Laura Winge is a Senior Design Anthropologist and Ph.D. fellow at the Division of Landscape Architecture and Planning, University of Copenhagen. She holds a degree from Institute of Visual Design, from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Design. In her research Laura investigates co-design methods as a way to include citizens in the political agenda and the transformation of urban public spaces. She has many years of experience as an independent designer and consultant on the involvement of citizens in social design projects, co-design processes and public innovation. Winge is part of the practice-based research project. Move the Neighbourhood that explores co-design processes of urban environments with children.

University of Copenhagen, Landscape Architecture and Planning
Denmark Denmark

Architect, PhD, Assistant Professor at the Section for Landscape Architecture and Planning, University of Copenhagen. With a background in practice, her research focuses on urban transformation and collective outdoor space within contemporary urban planning. 

University of Copenhagen, Landscape Architecture and Planning
Denmark Denmark

 Landscape architect, PhD, Associate Professor at the Division of Landscape Architecture and Planning, University of Copenhagen. Lamm’s research addresses the interaction between the urban environment and lived life in the public realm. 

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ISSN 2206-9658