Designing for dialogue and sociality in smart cities

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Designing for dialogue and sociality in smart cities Enlarge image Gualtiero - The revolt of the masses (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Fields of View is a research lab that aims at a better understanding of the urban environment, working in cooperation with local administrations, academia, industry, and civil society. Situated at the intersection of technology, social sciences, and art, Fields of View adopts a games and simulations as effective tools to produce and communicate research insights.

What is the problem space we will address?
We will design for events and activities – such as urban games, geo-localized storytelling, etc., – to promote dialogue and sociality, fostering an inclusive and participatory culture. Even in highly-digital smart cities, we believe that sociality and connectedness cannot develop exclusively online: for this reason, we call for physically-situated playful activities, events and spaces for citizens to start spontaneous and bottom-up dialogues, and to engage with their surroundings. We leverage the design of game-like interactions as a means for creating compelling situations for users to engage with, as well as to motivate them to temporarily act outside their routine. As we generate design concepts for these activities, we will also take into consideration the role of the urban environment and its interaction with the citizens we engage, as well as how artifacts in public spaces that support and become part of playful events.

Which methodologies will be adopted?
We will begin our design charrette by demonstrating mapping methodologies to identify actors, their mutual relationships, their resources and constraints. We will then use these data to formalize ’to-states’, expressing desirable and undesirable future scenarios, as well as the probable pathways to reach them. Finally, we will leverage elements of (urban) game design methodologies to ideate and sketch playful interactions.

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