Alexander Holland;
Alexander Holland, University of Melbourne

Sydney 2018: Infrastructure and co-design

The proposed session will integrate and exhibit two interactive digital games produced by ongoing research. These platforms are the result of work investigating how design can integrate mobile devices, responsive simulation and game design techniques to improve outcomes in sites that resist change through traditional methods.

The first game, PocketPedal, simulates the experiences of urban cycling. It brings together diverse design stakeholders in a positive, intuitive and productive environment by converting statistical data on road usage and traffic accidents into immersive, exciting and informative experiences.

The second, Mould Racing, exposes designers to a geo-located simulation where they learn about a complex urban park location by racing colonies of speculative virtual organisms. By moving across the site, participants simultaneously interact with the physical landscape and the overlaid datascape. Through this, insights emerging from on-site experiences can be intuitively compared and contrasted with numerical evidence.

The session will take a form of an interactive event where attendees will be able to 1) play sample versions of the games themselves; and 2) observe responses to these platforms in the field through short videos. The session intends to function as a further probe in exploring whether such work can help designers engage whole ecosystems rather than discrete objects. The project contributes to STS research by reflecting on emerging methods of participatory practice deployed and observed on-the-ground as working demonstrators.