ASPIS Conference Gent(BE)_Live Reporting: Day 02(AM)

The morning sessions of day two are over and we had some interesting talks on participation and as David Wortley calls them: serious games. Here are the summaries:


Luc Wallys (Omgeving) – Keynote Speaker   

Luc Wallys has started off the day talking about the different aspects of participatory design, which he sees as very relevant tools in the design process:

1. Participation as a source of inspiration

2. Participation as a source of information

3. Participation as a design tool

4. Participation as a design guideline of the existing context

5. Participation as a tool of social control

Conclusion: participation is hardly a recipe for success, the main thing is how the information is interpreted. Public control does not always determine the future of the project. “Participation is good thing, but it’s not a magic formula.”


Burak Pak: The potentials of affordable Geoweb 2.0 applications to support the deliberation of urban projects, working with Professor Johan Verbeke

There is a need for integrated affordable planning environments due to problematic urban situations, such as in Brussels.    

–          The problem of brusselization – different historic neighbourhoods have been  deconstructed in the name of ‘urban planning’.

–          Within the potentials of the geoweb 2.0 we find the transformation of participation and geospatial technologies.

–          It is a web based geographic virtual environment for the deliberation of urban projects for Brussels.


Maurice Hendrix: Re-using Serious Games by encapsulating them in Learning Objects

The presentation concerns the sustainability of computer games with the purpose of education. Learning tools nowadays have a very wide spectrum so it is important to try and connect to an audience in an entertaining way. This is not easy because once a game is created, it is very hard to change the game itself, only small changes are possible. The most important way is to investigate how courses can be exchanged and how the intended pedagogy should be defined. It is not easy to assess the standard of existing games. The most important part is to know if the game works for its specific context, establishing if users have learnt from it.


Helçna Gûtmane & Marc Geldof: Games-based learning in planning: training programs for professionals and students

The presentation is about trying to bring the field and the lab together in the design process. Participation plays a main role and it is sought to encourage everybody to take part – from designers, architects and planners to other participants such as the locals and government. Urbanists and designers should be ready to listen and communicate with all possible participants in order to take people out of their usual role as passive end-users. For Helçna Gûtmane and Marc Geldof, designing and creativity is a means to an end: “Use design as a tool to create social life”.


Simona Sofronie: A locative urban game to collectively visualize spatial tactics. Discussion of a case-study, working with Professor Oswald Devisch.

The game is a tool to support participative processes; providing information for architects, raising awareness and increasing motivation. Games and architecture have the power to reinforce each other through the right balance of playfulness and seriousness.

–          Pervasive games: transforming the familiar environment into a play space.

–          Location based games: use the city as a playground.

In testing a site specific game was created: in Hasselt, analysis of the site to create a frame, from this game scenarios were produced. The game is connected with Facebook and SMS, creating habits using existing platforms. The interactive game was carried out over five days. Unexpected factors were found to have meaning and relevance, data which architects were then able to use.  


David Wortley: The ASPIS learning tools

A presentation about how games could become a tool to teach, especially trough simulation and role playing games. With the APSIS game the aim is to promote learning for public participation in urban planning. It is a single player role-playing game based on a character ‘Peter’, who makes certain quests. A example for a quests could be colleting suggestions and gathering evidence. It addresses difficulties that will be encountered during a urban planning assignment.

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