The course is divided in two conceptual blocks. The first block comprises a theoretical and practical understanding of play and its role in culture. This block will be focused on reading classic play theory texts, as well as more modern literature on the topic. Students will get acquainted with different definitions of play, and how those can be implemented in design practice. This first block will be structured around a 6-weeks project in which students will have to conceptualise, prototype, develop, test and evaluate a playful service (f.ex. a website, a home appliance, an interface). The second block comprises an exploration of cultural and societal topics and how they can be seen through the prism of play. From aesthetics to ethics, the second block comprises expanded readings on play, as well as a new 6-week project in which students will have to conceptualise, prototype, develop, test and evaluate a playful viral use of social media (f.ex. twitter bots, fake social networks, playful facebook campaings). Each project must have a hand-in containing:
• The prototype
• Documentation on test setup
• Results from the test
• A 5000 word (minumum) (not including references) written report that explores the process of creating the project, as well as a reflection on how it explores different concepts of play explored in class.
The exam is a written assignment without oral examination. The students need to submit the following:
- A link to the prototype they made (in case there are non-digital elements to the prototype, they should submit visual documentation: videos/photographs).
- A 5000 words max. reflection that: presents the prototype, explains why it relates to the constraints presented in class, and addresses/illustrates some of the key concepts used when designing for play, as presented in class.
As part of this course, students will have to make two prototypes, so they have to hand in these materials for each prototype.
Student groups are of minimum 3 and maximum 5 people.