The Urban Play Network (UPN) connects people and place with design and cities, making them vibrant and liveable, reflecting their creative, linguistic, cultural, social and urban diversity.
Playful citizens connect with their town or city in new ways, sensing new ways of being, and transforming place through play. Approaches range from creative technologies such as augmented reality, digital games and IoT through to audiowalks, remapping, parklets and urban art. Impacts include benefits to citizens, to creative practice and to local government.
The following themes reflect areas of expertise across the network. Members may work in several of these areas.
Urban play as an activity reimagining, remaking, reconnecting people and place. Reimagining the idea of playgrounds and urban play for all ages. Incorporate small game invitations and social interactions into streets and cityscapes to meet people in everyday life.
Urban play as a platform for digital storytelling, creative placemaking and socially engaged practice. A place where the built environment and systems of the city itself are toyed with.
Urban play as a methodology for remapping, co-creation, play design thinking, remaking creative technologies, remaking datafication and AI. A playful approach to addressing social and ecological issues and raising awareness.
Actions of the network are focussed on creating tangible outcomes in public spaces at different scales and in relation to diverse stakeholders, including intersections between urban play with education, public art, service design, psychology, placemaking, urban design, computer science, extended reality, game development, socially engaged practice, geographic information systems, digital cultures, posthuman studies, health and wellbeing.
Mixed realities involve blending the world around us with different digital media through AR and other creative technologies. Mixed realities combine digital images with sound, touch and movement that communicate in different ways within urban environments – creating more embodied experiences.
It is intergenerational, engaging with children, young people and adults, older people, and more-than-human players. The Urban Play Network can realise small-scale prototypes, workshops, lead public debate, contribute to policy development, and deliver projects of scale through collective expertise and knowledge for project scoping and delivery.
The network has established capacity to reach: the public sector - local government, cultural organisations, community groups; industry – game developers, design studios, tech startups; and communities – trader associations, arts collectives, First Peoples cultural heritage organisations.
Fieldwork will be a major focus through close relationships with other labs, research centres or public organisations. Development of methods to engage with industry, local government and communities at scale. It will explore urban play design as a method for collective problem solving via knowledge translation, by connecting innovative ideas with emerging technologies or situating primary research in real-world contexts for example.
Dr Troy Innocent
School of Design
The Urban Play Network calls for a diverse community of artists, designers, educators, game developers, scientists, writers, landscape architects, producers, performers, players, musicians, placemakers, bureaucrats and more to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration engaging with play design in cities.
For more information please email the network lead email@example.com.
UPN is supported by the following Enabling Impact Platforms:
|Design and Creative Practice
|Applying an inventive, exploratory approach to real-world problems through interdisciplinary research, within and beyond design and creative practice.
|Researching how cities can be more resilient, sustainable and regenerative.
|Focuses on transformative research in the areas of digital society, quality of life, global mobility and research practice for social change.
EIPs enable economic, environmental, societal, health and cultural impact with government, business and the community through research and innovation.
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.
Acknowledgement of Country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.