Presentation “Playfully taking ownership over your media city” (in Dutch)

As announced in the last post, on 6 March 2013 I gave a talk for the urban game project Rezone in Den Bosch about (digital) play and citizen engagement with the media city. The evening was a kick-off for a – hopefully – new project I am participating in. The crowd was a n interesting mix of architects/planners, media and game developers, (semi-)government and the cultural sector.

After my talk a lively discussion arose about the potential of play and games for citizen engagement.

Below the presentation that I gave that evening (in Dutch, pdf 1.2 MB).

Spelenderwijs eigenaar worden van je mediastad.PNG

Reports on the ‘Designing for Ownership’ workshop at Strelka Institute, Moscow

From 9 − 14 July 2012 The Mobile City (in this case Marc Tuters and I) developed and gave a six-day workshop ’Designing for Ownership’ at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow. The workshop is part of a series of Summer at Strelka workshops aimed at a practical change in the city’s microrayons. The microrayon where we did research and development is Yuzhnoye Medvedkovo (south Medvedkovo).

This workshop aims to help create an actual long-lasting change for the better in an urban neighborhood in Moskow. This is done by bringing together creative workshop participants and various neighborhood stakeholders (citizens, local government, businesses, neighborhood organizations, and so on). The workshop aims to find out how these different people can communicate better with each other, by making a prototype for a product, an event, or a service that acts as a catalyst for conversation.

The workshop also aspires to create a methodology for activating citizens with the aid of digital media technologies that could also be applied elsewhere. How can we design a process that allows people to feel ‘ownership’ over their living circumstances, and actively participate in making their environment a better place?

Read my reports of the six workshop days on the Partizaning Blog.


New publication (in Dutch) about City, Play and Digital Media

Recently I contributed a short chapter to this publication:

De Lange, M. (2012). Stad, spel, media: spelenderwijs eigenaar worden van je stad. In E. Holleman, R.-J. de Kort & S. Lindemann (Eds.), Balkan in de polder: naar organische gebiedsontwikkeling in Nederland? (pp. 78-82). Amsterdam: Mondriaanfonds (pdf 120 KB Dutch).

In this chapter I try to develop some thoughts on how play and games are informing the changing professional practices of urban design.


Balkan in de Polder. Naar organische gebiedsontwikkeling in Nederland?
Zijn Nederlandse planningsprofessionals bereid eindbeelden los te laten en meer ruimte te bieden aan initiatieven van gebruikers in een gebied? Is het denkbaar dat we pas in tweede instantie gaan plannen en structureren? Bestaat er een alternatief voor het negentiende eeuwse model van stadsontwikkeling waarbij de overheid de infrastructuur aanlegt en de particuliere sector de kavels invult?
In Balkan in de Polder komen deze en andere vragen aan bod. Experts reflecteren op de Nederlandse situatie en doen aanbevelingen als uitgangspunt voor verder debat, kennisontwikkeling en vooral: concrete acties.
Ellen Holleman, Robert-Jan de Kort, Sabrina Lindeman, e.a.met beeldessay van Su Tomesen
Vormgeving: Ankie Stoutjesdijk
116 pagina’s, geïllustreerd, €12,50 (samen met andere 3 cahiers: €30)


More information about this publication on the Mondriaan Fonds website and the Fonds BKVB website (which has merged with Mondraan Fonds).

The Mobile City @Adaptation, Shanghai August 14-17 2010

‘Designing the Hybrid City’

Dutch Cultural Centre, Shanghai August 16-17 2010

Organized by The Mobile City and Virtueel Platform, in cooperation with Shanghai eArts, V2_, Cybercity Ruhr and Dynamic City Foundation.

Extended background information on ‘Designing the Hybrid City’:

Download the Call for Participation ‘Designing the Hybrid City’ (PDF)

As part of Adaptation, The Mobile City and Virtueel Platform organize ‘Designing the Hybrid City’. This event takes place in Shanghai on August 16-17 and focuses on the role of digital media and technologies in urban design

Mobile and wireless media, as well as technologies that can sense and react to what is happening around them, increasingly shape our urban environment and turn our cities into ‘hybrid cities’. What does this mean for urban design? How should we deal with this emerging relation between new media technologies and the city? Which approaches have already proven successful? Which experiments have the most promise? What can different disciplines involved in urban, media and interface design learn from each other? And how is the process of urban design itself changing?

Read more at The Mobile City website >>

Article in Second Nature journal about The Mobile City project and urban gaming

The second issue of the RMIT journal Second Nature is about “Games, Locative & Mobile Media”. I wrote a short article about urban games and their importance for the issues we address with The Mobile City.

In this article I discern five possible ‘levels’ to understand urban games: (1) the city is often used as a model to construct an architecture of computer and video games; (2) the city itself has historically been understood in multiple ways as a game or playground; (3) pervasive games take digital games out to the streets and bridge the digital-physical distinction; (4) (serious) games are used in the process of (re)building actual cities; (5) urban games are a metaphorical lens through which to look at utopian and dystopian futures of cities. For each of these ‘levels’ I raise some relevant questions.

You can read the article here >> or download a PDF of the article (1,6 MB).

There are a number of other interesting contributions. See the journal’s table of contents.