Session about Research/Pedagogical Approach (draft)

Gabriele Ferri + Martijn de Waal

Session about Research / Pedagogical Approach that they want to bring to the project
→ Gabriele: We have more questions than answers!

Clarification different Actors that do different types of research

1 Research For Design
Participants / Designers / Teams research for their designs, for example about spaces, stakeholders, goals…

2 Research Through Design
Research Actors / Project Partners guide and observe what participant teams are doing and generate knowledge

→ questions:
what level of expertise/toolkit do we assume participant teams already have?
what do we give teams to work with?
how uniform is this across

Related to question of what kind of participants
→ if we target early career game designers, we can expect some previous knowledge, but teams will be thankful to get methods
→ could be interesting to organize exchange of assignments / methods between partners, for example teams must 2 of 10 design/research tasks

Challenge for partners: Curating / Selection from existing toolboxes

→ question:
how much do we want to standardize the design process?

Maria: What is the level of freedom? What is obligatory?

Noemi: more general question about „how to interact/engage with any process“? what is specific of urban game design process?

Anthi: How to include stakeholder engagement in design process?

→ Would be great to find agreement on barebones process and leave some parts optional

Martijn: clear candidates for mandatory process steps (let’s collect more!)

  • Stakeholder mapping
  • Prototyping
  • Playtesting

Method that could be relevant: Values in Design

More aspects about Research Through Design

  • goal: find heuristics for „urban game design“
  • evaluation metrics for urban games
  • interviews with participants / design teams / learners

→ what about communication/discussion with players?
→ „deployment study“ / „audience study“ could be useful

Seb: Do we focus and evaluate urban design or urban design processes?
Gabriele: Failure needs to be part of the process
Noemi: What are criteria for failure?
Anthi: Creating a level of trust is important aspect
Gabriele: But success is in this aim is not a given, we are capacity building project
Iris: We only promised to build skills
Gabriele: Failure is part of iterative process, it’s impossible to get things right in the first version

Gabriele: How do we deal with documentation?
Matteo: Main goal of platform, focus on pictures has been important
„I’m still using pictures that a professional photographer took 10 years ago for pitching new projects“

2 aspects

  • „documentation“ as part of urban game design practice, can also be marketing, outreach etc → specific to urban play?
  • self documentation of school as part of community building

How do we capture „research data“

  • example: prototype is tested in square, game influences street vendors, who notices/observes
    Maria: part of our job is to make designers see/observe in a holistic way


  • one team member is observer/reporter?
  • make an event/or a challenge out of it

How to include whole consortium in research period May-June before training
Should „Research for Design“ techniques be taught online?
Noemi: we need to design online process for school

One output of Amsterdam is course that will be taught at university, probably elective

games or play?

  • how to teach in an evolving terminological landscape?
  • Gabriele: definitions are not necessary, but self reflection is important!
  • Martijn: „activation of space as public space“ is main focus
  • seb: being fluent in relevant discourses (games, play, public space) essential, unlearning fixed concepts

seb: art or design?

  • Martijn „For me a space becomes activated as a public space specifically when people start questioning, exploring relationships, can be challenging/artistic“

related: how much/what kind of play is mandatory/essential?

→ discussion about baseline values of the school is important todo

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