Playable, Liveable Cities _

ABSTRACT This transformation of city locations into playful spaces is part of a broader urban design and civic engagement agenda being pursued by a number of cities globally (see Our approach draws on civic agency to aid the design of localised spaces, enhance both a sense of place and the liveability of the inner-city environment, and explore how citizens define ‘play’ within this context. The data generated by citizens’ engagement in specific digital experiences (‘playing’ with the pieces of infrastructure we design), together with feedback and input from the local community, will generate new knowledge around civic engagement and the localised design of spaces within Newcastle. DETAILS

FASTLab is working with the City of Newcastle its industry partners at Design Anthology and NewIe Ventures to develop prototype Lightboxes (or ‘henges’) that'll create interactive digital experiences in three locations across Newcastle's CBD.  We're developing opt-in playful interactions that foster wellbeing in the community and also have the potential collect anonymised data that can be used for further development of smart technologies. The three target sites will be used to assess if the innovative infrastructure-based, design-led strategy for creating interactive engagement aids in community accessibility, usage and re-imagining of the possibilities of these spaces. Insights gained through these elicitation methods, together with data generated by the interactions themselves, will inform design iterations of the Lightboxes for placement including in other Newcastle locations

The project will also contribute more broadly to new knowledge in the field of ‘playful’ cities. 

The team are interested in the transferability of these results, and the project has been set up to ensure that the research is highly reproducible and transferable. The design-led innovations can be replicated, the civic-centred research approach to generate rich levels of engagement and feedback from local communities, can be commercialised and/or offered to other smart city regions (in Newcastle and the Hunter region and throughout Australia). 

COLLABORATORS Paul Egglestone Mario Minichiello Craig Hight Jon Drummond Rewa Wright Zi Siang See Simone O'Callaghan Michael Cuneo