The design of conceptual interactive play sets for the outdoor public environment

Haan, R. den (2014) The design of conceptual interactive play sets for the outdoor public environment.

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Abstract:Playnetic is a company located in Zutphen, the Netherlands, developing interactive play sets for the outdoor public environment. Playnetic believes that the current outdoor public environment is no longer in connection with the perception and the need for incitement of children. Therefore, Playnetic brings the interactivity known from computers, smart phones and tablets to the outdoor public environment. Playnetic provided a graduation project in order to look at the future for the company at a strategic level. The purpose of this project was to develop a range of conceptual interactive play sets for Playnetic, to be introduced between now and ten year’s time. This range of concepts had to push Playnetic’s interactive play sets to a higher level of interactivity. The project had to provide Playnetic with concrete concept ideas to develop in the future, making it possible to design parts and components based on future requirements. This way, Playnetic’s products can be based on a modular setup and these parts and components can be used in multiple products, lowering the overall costs. Based on a research phase consisting of multiple literature studies, an ethnography study, the application of a self-created design tool, an analysis of the evolution of playgrounds and the creation of future scenarios on the outdoor public environment in relation to play, this higher level of interactivity and subsequently future direction for Playnetic’s products were determined and captured in a renewed vision statement. Summarised, the higher level of interactivity play sets can be described as open-ended interactive play sets. In the concept phase, six conceptual interactive play sets were developed. Firstly, search fields were explored and concept directions were created. Furthermore, mind restrictions as well as technical contradictions were overcome through the application of innovation techniques. All six concepts push Playnetic in the direction towards open-ended interactive play sets. The concepts were developed to the point where the functionality is known. The solutions to achieve this functionality were explored and recommendations for further development were stated. Furthermore, product platforms behind Playnetic’s current products and the future concepts were created and visualised, explaining which parts, components and complete products can be reused within the concepts. Additionally, a roadmap was created which serves as a guide for Playnetic in their sequential product development planning. Combined, the presented conceptual interactive play sets can all be developed and introduced in the next ten years. In addition to the results aimed at the direct goal of the overall project, a prototype of one of the concepts was designed, constructed and subsequently evaluated. The children participating in the evaluation used the prototype in unintended and unexpected ways and incorporated the prototype within their play; they used it as an open-ended interactive play set.
Item Type:Essay
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:20 art studies
Programme:Industrial Design Engineering MSc (66955)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/70742
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