Week 12 2017

After several disruptive weeks – pushing child friendly cities and play in media and at events I am back on the PhD research.

The feedback form the Assessor was to use Stevens work as a basis rather than Lefebvre. This led to an revised PhD proposal and contemplation about new research questions.

Project Proposal can be accessed here: PhD Proposal 23 March2017

Maciocco, G. & Tagliagambe, S. (2009). People and Space, New Forms of Interaction in the City Project. Urban and Landscape Perspectives 5; Springer. doi 10.1007/978-1-4020-9879-6_1

The City Project: intermediate Space and Symbol (p.164)

“The loss of the differential quality the city has suffered in its drift towards the “generic city”, a phenomenon of reduction of diversity, standardisation of life and the space produced by shopping, which has become “a primary way of urban life”, “the apotheosis of modernisation” (Chung 2001), the foolish outlet of the doctrine of form (of the city) that follows the (consumer) function in the same way throughout the world, the “unexpected revenge of functionalism” (Chung, 2001).

Chung C. J., Inaba J., Koolhaas R., Tsung Leong S. (2001) Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping, Taschen, Cologne.

Linked to the “generic city” is the process of “thematisation” of the city, the transformation of the city as a theme-park, an experience of places that is also the model of the place of pleasure (Jacobs 1998), a model that requires a glance turning everything into a show, that tends to blend in with its surroundings (Caillois, 1984) and that produces an absence of reference point, like the space of a labyrinth, spectacular and supervised, making the contemporary city uniform (Bataille 1970). But it is a desired labyrinth, that represents a complete mosaic of different types of landscape that make up, indeed, the “dark object of desire” of society (Vos and Meekes 1999).

Bataille G. (1970). Le labyrinthe. In: Bataille G. (ed) Oeuvres complètes, Gallimard, Paris. Caillois R. (1984). Mimicry and legendary. Psychastenia, October n 31.
Vos W., Meekes H. (1999) Trends in European cultural landscape development: perspectives for a sustainable future. Landscape and Urban Planning 46 (1-3).

The representations, images, our society creates for itself of landscapes as “desired products” express detachment from reality. In this detachment between reality and representation lies the contemporary incapacity to “represent” the city , to “see it”. What is projected in images aberrant to the point of losing their reference point is nothing more, probably, than the loss of the reference point as such, a loss affecting language, the same loss that affects the inhabitant when he tries to imagine the city (Soutif, 1994). If we do not go to meet the real, in the lived in space, unsettling pairs of opposites like real city/simulacrum city and citizen/non- citizen (de Azua 2003) will become established, where the figure of the “non-citizen” will correspond to the loss of the urban collective conscience and, with it, the loss of the city as a conceptual unit.

Soutif D. (1994) Topes et Tropes Le plan de Ville et la Référence. In: Dethier J., Guiheux A. (eds) La ville Art et architecture en Europe 1870- 1993, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

de Azua F. (2003) La necessidad y el deseo. Sileno nn. 14-15, pp. 13-21

“The space of the mind that gradually develops as the subject understands, in his acting and often after he has acted, the sense of this actions and those of others and that, in this sense, opens up to the world of relations that feeds the collective conscience.” (p.165)

–> Is the post capitalist city a place where symbols are exchanged? “The expressive strength of the symbol is essential for collective gaining of awareness of the elements that preside over our spatial life. ” (p.165)

The symbol represents,  always, “something else”, it refers to something different and never uncodifiable. (p.166)

“A symbol can be understood as a “bridge cast” between the universe of visible phenomena and the invisible, between reality and possible worlds.” (p. 167) –> play is a possibility and create opportunities for reaching out to a different world!

“The active, collective glance at the city makes us feel we belong to a whole, it reveals to us the contemporary public space.” p.13

Brodsky J. (1995) On Grief and Reason: Essays, Farrar straus Giroux, New York.

“The more substantial an individual’s aesthetic experience is, the sounder his taste, the sharper his moral focus, the freer- though not necessarily the happier- he is (Brodsky 1995, pp. 49-50).

Week 8+9 2017

Last week I’ve been doing more editing on the overall PhD proposal. This lead to the conclusion to decouple the introduction and work with Andrew on the refined version of the one pager.

I’ve commenced pilot fieldwork in Canberra on Friday and Saturday.

Found that I need to further revise my matrix reflecting some of the actual play activities:

One of the most compelling findings, is that of those people that displayed play behaviour the majority were listening/ consuming music.

This reflects some of  Debord work “The Society of the Spectacle”:

‘Stars of consumption, through outwardly representing different personality types, actually show each of these types enjoying an equal access to the whole realm of consumption and deriving exactly the same satisfaction therefrom. Stars of decision, meanwhile, must possess the full range of accepted human qualities; all official differences between them are thus canceled out by the official similarity which is an inescapable implication of their supposed excellence in every space.’ p. 39

‘Thus false conflicts of ancient vintage tend be resuscitated- regionalisms or racisms whose job it now is to invest vulgar rankings in the hierarchies of consumption with a magical ontological superiority. Hence too the never- ending succession of paltry contests- from competitive sports to elections- that are utterly incapable of arousing any truly playful feeling. Wherever the consumption of abundance has established itself, there is one spectacular antagonism, which is always at the forefront of the range of illusory roles: the antagonism between youth and adulthood.’  p.40

Reflection on the fieldwork pilot in Canberra

Pilot observation took place on a Saturday from 7.00 am to 3.30 pm (due to camera failure and weather change the observation concluded).

Observation remarks:

  • most people walk alone and listen to music (7 am -9 am)
  • The shared spaces have predominantly a movement function. People only stop and engage with each other on edges.
  • socially marginalised people start to populate the space (8.30 am onwards)
  • Cafes and shops open (8-9 am)
  • people use intersections for crossing only/ play happens either at the edge of or on a footpath
  • pillow sculpture focal point for playful behaviour
  • people usually sit on benches near pillow
  • people flow mostly through the middle of Garema
  • music player sets up near pillow (1 pm and stays there for the afternoon)
  • people sit on cubes
  • window shoppers stay under the awnings near the edges
  • two children play with sloped pavement surface around the trees (not too much with the coloured pavers) –> starting to use loose element from tree droppings to play with

Play behaviour assessment:

53 people – playing around
9 people – playing up on words
7 people- playing a part
6 people – playing for time
5 people – playing tricks

Critical remark: This assessment was purely based on my own interpretation of the situation. I found it uneasy to capture all activities. Therefore I questions somewhat the reliability of this part of the observation, unless one interviews the people right after the observation. Although I believe that most people are not even aware that they actually display play behaviour.

Human behaviour:

Group sizes:

Majority of people are alone. However, the proportion of people that are not alone, most of them are allocated to the group size of 2 people, followed by 4 people (mostly families), three people and rarely 5 or more.

Preferred play setting










Week 6 2017

Based on the constructive meeting with Milica last week- the epistemological contribution of this research project became very clear and led to a revision of the PhD proposal.

The revised draft can be accessed here and has been send over to the supervisor for comments.


  • the title has changed to : “Play in the city- an international exploration of the play experience in urban streets.”
  • the literature review changed completely and includes the definition of play as well as the operationalisation categories of play in cities.
  • the objective and the aim has been amended.
  • The research paradigm includes an an explanation of the conceptual triad of spaces
  • The methodology part lays a rational account why I choose Yin’s case study approach and two instead of three units.
  • The PhD thesis structure is now in a traditional format.
  • Budget requirement is significantly lower as as the Vietnam case has been dropped, but can be revisited at a later stage.
  • The methods remained the same, but I man thinking of changing the interviews from unstructured interviews on the street, to targeted semi-structured interviews with targeted individuals instead.  (This will allow me to link the ream of memory and play to the great streets (Jacobs, A. research) in the city for play.


click here to access the revised PhD proposal

click here to access the new thesis-structure

click here to access the revised case-study-design-approach


Richard Sennett (1990). The Conscience of the eye. The Design of Social Life of Cities. faber and faber. London & Boston.

‘A city of differences and of fragments of life that do not connect: in such a city the obsessed are set free.’ p. 125

‘Deviance is the freedom made possible in a crowded city of lightly engaged people. But a community of single, middle- aged woman also deviates form the ‘normal’ connection between family and community; immigrants who barely speak the language of natives deviate, so do political radicals… Were one would add up all the “deviant” populations in many big cities, the deviants would form the majority.’ p. 127

The moral order is disorder. ‘The  urban dweller passes from place to place, activity to activity, taking on the coloring of each scene, as easily as a chameleon changes colors in various surroundings.’ p. 127

‘A fragmented self is more responsive. Thus Enlightenment unity and coherence are not, in this urban vision, the means to self-development- an ever more complex, fragmented experience is.’ p. 127

Chicago urbanists came to the conclusion that ‘differences produce disordered reactions rather than the clear perceptions that occur in simpler, more controlled environments’. p.127

Sennett suggests in response to the conclusion ‘Nor did the Chicago urbanists equate and a community: if stimulation occurs as individuals move between communities and scenes, gradually people lose an inner life, they become their skins, their “segmented roles.” This was how the Chicago urbanists came to celebrate the outside, the exposure of humans to one other.’ p. 128

Thought: is a healthy city and place which contains spaces for the inside, safety, intimacy and reflection. A space where people can take their time of explore and making sense of the connections between outside and inside. Playful engagement as a means to gain consciousness.

‘Sheer exposure to difference is no corrective to the Christian ills of inwardness. There is withdrawal and fear of exposure, as through all differences are potentially as explosive as those between ad drug dealer and an ordinary citizen.’ p. 129

‘The essence of developing as a human being is developing the capacity for ever more complex experiences. If the experience of complexity is losing its value in the environment, we are therefore threatened “spiritually”, though the spiritual life of a modern person must unfold is an exactly opposite direction from the path taken by the early Christina who sought to become a “child of God.”‘ p. 131- 132.

The power of interpretation are not disconnected from power and money, but they are more than pure reflections or representations. p.132

‘The medieval city was conceived by its burghers as a place in which people could write their own secular laws, exert their political will, rather than be bound by inherited obligations of manor or village. These laws were as irregular and varied as the streets of the towns, often self- contradictory or unclear, enacted with little sense of anxiety about form, made for what suited the moment. Clarity remained in the realm of the divine’. The motto “Stadtluft macht frei” appeared over many city gates. p.135

In Arendt’ view people in cities fear to make contact as a lack of the will to live in the world. p.135

Goethe notes ‘that without help from many external means, one had enough substance and content in oneself, so that everything depends solely on unfolding this properly’ p. 136 or Goethe, Dichtung und Wahrheit,  Mainz, Beuter Verlag, p. 664

Lavater understood Goethe that there is no destiny or true human nature. There is only struggle from freedom in here and now, or a radical struggle for freedom in the outside. p. 136

‘Transcending identities should make us look at others on the street in a new way’ p. 137

‘Hannah Arendt and James Baldwin represent two people of response to indifference. At one pole the subjective world is shunted aside so that people can speak to each other directly, resolutely, politically. At the other pole subjective life undergoes a transformation so that a person turns outward, is aroused by the presence of strangers and arouses them.  That transformation requires the mobilizing of certain artistic energies in everyday life.‘ p. 149

‘The power that marks a society as modern seem to have everything to do with people seizing control over the physical world through inventions.’ p. 151

‘The modern urban analogue between invention and discovery might seem to appear in the contrast between carefully designed streets and streets with no one author’ p.151

‘The power of discovering something unexpected to the eye gives them their value. Such streets are prized, we commonly say, as being full of life, in a way that traffic arteries, for all their rushing vehicular motion, are not.’ p. 151- 152

“Street life” is a symbol of urban provocation and arouse, provocation that comes in large parts from experiences of the unexpected.’ p. 152

Critique of Kevin Lynch’s legible streets: his streets are ‘streetscapes, places that are all about fixed identities of race or class or usage. But no form made apparent on the street leads to the equal and opposite evil, the grid experience of neutrality. How then to invent a form which provokes discovery? How to link invention and discovery?’  p. 152

Thought: Could play lead to discovery and transcend the mind at the same time. We need to define where design sits inside or outside.

The centre was during the sixteenth and early-seventeenth- century for the planners charged with importance, where people could move to and discover something. p.153

Perspectives and other elements drawing people to places and move them around. For example Rome with their arches and Obelisks. (designed by Pope Sixtus V’s). People seem to walk into horizon lines.

‘The reason lay in the trip of the obelisk: it creates a point in space.’ p. 153

‘All the things in a perspectival space can change their appearance by the draftsman’s manipulation of points and planes external to them.’p. 155

‘Perspectival vision transforms an object into a consequence of how it is seen.’ p. 155

‘The art historian Svetlana Alpers distinguished between perspectives that establish “I see the world” and perspectives that establish that “the world is being seen”. A famous instance of “I see the world” is Titian’s Venus of Urbino. p. 156

The spanish steps in Rome is an example where the experience contrasts the intended function. Instead of overlooking the city from one vantage point, the eye wonders between tunnel experience of the streets, the space with an obelisk and fountain in the middle. p. 158

‘coherence’ that encompasses restless movement for the eye through urban design. p. 158

‘Nietzsche called such nonposessive, exploratory perceptions “perspectivism”‘ p.158

‘Anti-humanism’ as used by Arendt, Satre, and their heirs, is a word one would do well to ponder. For the humanists of the historical Renaissance set the example for a visual provocation lacking in much modern urban planning…. The eye which perceived limits, incompleteness, otherness was engaged in the ocular experience of tragedy.’  p. 161

‘The urbanism of Sixtus V show how a concrete object like the obelisk can be used to create a restless, problematic space. It is a space of discovery, of exploration.’ p. 162-163

Thought: Why do spaces as Times square work –> the eye is not in control.

‘the experience of the street establishes human limits’ p.167

‘The humanism of Sixtus V, Serlio, Palladio and Scamozzi was enacted by design’ compared to a linear street in New York. Sennett suggests further ‘the street is indubitably full of life, but it is life bent on survival; it’s exchange, curbs, and negotiations occur without much reflection.’ p. 167

Sennett concludes: ‘Today, the principle of disrupted linear sequence, the street of overlayed differences, is an elusive reality in urban design.’ Further he notes that ‘the invention which designers are seeking, in order to prompt the discovery of others on a street, has something to do with time. Sigfried Giedion argued the experience of time could be designed architecturally and urbanistically- this experience was to him about free and coherent movement..Sennett responses by ‘if overlays of difference are the necessary condition for enacting a sense of connection between people on the street, is the subversion of coherent time a sufficient, complementary condition? And is it precisely this subversion of coherent time which a designer could draw?’ p. 168

Ist die Gefährdung der verbundenheit von Strasse und zeit genug der Strasse als Erfahrungsraum zu sehen? – Sollte der Designer sich diese Gefährdung nicht zu nutze machen und der Strasse in einen Erfahrungsraum zu verwandeln.

Carl Schorske ‘In the cold, traffic swept modern city of the slide-rule and the slum, the picturesque comforting square can reawaken memories of the vanished burgher past. This spatially dramatic memory will inspire us to create a better future, free of philistinism and utilitarianism.’ p. 176 –> Schorske, C. (1981) Fin-de-siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture. New York. Knopf. p. 72

‘In the tasteful glass-and-steel tower with its simple furniture carefully placed, we experience an emptiness that does not duplicate the experience of the Renaissance planners, for whom clearing way was a positive act of making- room- for in the midset of the clamor and mess of the squares and markets.’ p. 180

Clock-time came to be complemented by grid-space. This space/time relationship is anything but the beneficent conjunction Sigfried Giedion imagined. Rather than surprising discoveries, the clock seemed to offer its users only monotony.’ p. 180

in the context of modernity: ‘it is always an illusion to think broader changes in values have dates, the history of the cannon culminating in this invasion is the closest we can come to locating the birth of the modern sense of spontaneity. Spontaneous is dangerous; in the moment of spontaneity, eruption occurs.’ p. 183

Less conflicted spaces are less active and the social centre becomes the edge. p. 197

Should we design for conflicted spaces as interaction intensifies life.

‘The planner of a modern, humane city will overlay differences rather than segment them’ p. 202

‘Displacement rather than linearity is a human prescription.’ p. 202

‘It is this deity, rather than the Christian god of suffering, whom we need to inscribe in the spaces of the city.’ p. 252

Play it is…




Week 45: 19th- 23rd December 2016

Reviewed and reflected on the feedback from Assessors report and prepared a draft response as a basis for discussion on the 21 December 2016 with my supervisors.

Discussion Report can be accessed here: Draft Response Assessors Report

Supervisor arrangements

Andrew- will take a step back in 2017 for own research and swapped positions with Milica.

From 1st January 2017 Milica will be primary supervisor until Andrew returns. However, regular meetings with Andrew are scheduled.

Definition of play

Over the weekend I’ve revised the definition and created a figure to support the theoretical write up.


 Supervisor meeting 21st December 2016


Link between Lefebvre

explain production of space

how is each element linked to play

Small review of quality of space literature in relation to play and why is play important part of it.

Why can a behaviour approach can be used in the context
Be careful with mixing resolving something and explorational pursuit

Explain the three examples more. –> explain the behavioural study

Explain a bit more the diagram and the definition.



Is play in us or in the environment?  –> hypothesis

Health and well-being needs to be more clearly linked.

Hypothesis exercise

end up being a traditional PhD.


Brainstorming after meeting

research and explain the

Social cognition and interpersonal perception

Situationist –> alternative life experiences through the construction of situations,


Lefebvre, H. (1991). Production of space.

“A society is a space and an architecture of concepts, forms and laws whose abstract truth is imposed on the reality of the senses, of bodies, of wishes and desires.” p. 139

“Metaphor and metonymy are not figures of speech – at least not at the outset. They become figures of speech. In principle, they are acts. (…) they bring fourth form  the depths not what is there but what is sayable, what is suceptible of figureartion- in short, language.”  p. 139

“Symbols always imply an emotional investment, an affective charge…and thereafter ‘represented’ for the benefit of everybody elsewhere.” p. 141

He speaks of reading of space.. which is possible. “Space is at once result and cause, product and producer; it is also a stake, the locus of projects and actions deployed as part of specific strategies, and hence also the object of wagers on the future- wagers which are articulated, if never completely.  p. 142-143

“In produced space, acts reproduce ‘meanings’ even if no ‘one’ gives and account of them. Repressive space wreaks repression and terror even though it may be strewn with ostensible signs of the contrary (of contentment, amusement or delight). This tendency has gone so far that some architects have even begun to call either for a return to ambiguity, in the sense of a confused and not immediate interpretable message, or else a diversification of space which would be consistent with a liberal and pluralistic society.” p.144-145.

Robert Venturi –> architect wanted to make space dialectical (1966). He saw the space not as an empty and neutral milieu occupied by dead objects, but rather as a field of force full of tensions and distortions.” p. 145

Lefebvre’s  conclusion “We have seen that the visual space of transparency and readability has a content -a content that it is design to conceal: namely, the phallic realm of (supposed) virility. It is at the same time a repressive space: nothing in it escapes the surveillance of power. Everything opaque, all kinds of partitions, even walls simplified to the point of mere drapery, are destined to disappear.” p, 147

He also suggests based on the notion that we are designing now buildings with steel and glass that “private life ought to be enclosed, and have a finite, or finished, aspect. Public space, by contrast, ought to be an opening outwards. What we see happening is just the opposite.” p.147

Space related to:

Form, structure and function -> structural or functional  analysis p. 147

aegis–> public areas (the spaces of social relationships and actions) are connected up the private areas (spaces for contemplation, isolation and retreat) via ‘mixed’ areas (linking thoroughfares)

shin-gyo-sho embraces three levels bound together by relationships of reciprocal implications: spatial and temporal, mental and social. p. 153

It is not about decoding a system –> rather creating one. Differences between Japanese philosophy and western civilisation. p. 156

Its about bringing the realms into harmony and not through use of sign and its analytical proclivities. p. 156









Week 41: 21st- 25th November 2016

After the comments of the assessor’s at the confirmation seminar last week, I took the opportunity to reflect and go through my own comments. Unpacking the session with my supervisors was helpful in order to contexcualise aspects. Valuable were the following:

  • keep narrowing down;
  • revisit research question and my aim as tools to narrow the scope further;
  • stick to my methodology and methods.
  • as it is not about existentialism or discourse analysis rather an observation of a phenomena providing insights into the dynamics and tension of the triad of spaces in light of the the affordance theory form Gibson and Flow. The tension can be made visible through the heuristic device of play explaining transformational change in time space of public urban spaces (streets environments)
  • This research is not traditional phenomenology (Merleau- Ponty) – environmental psychology based on Gibson and Kaplan
  • unpack further the meaning of play in the context of my research
  • justify further why the street (go back to Appleyard)
  • read again Lefebvre in order to explain the context of time when he wrote this and compare to the contemporary environments
  • the concept of “Right to the city” was seen from Andrew as an opportunity to dive further into as a basis to root this tension of space through play.

send email off the HDR waiting for feedback on the confirmation seminar that I can proceed.

Notes from literature work (23 Nov):

Henri Lefebvre “critique of Everyday Life” 1947 (translated 1991)

Since Marx and through the notion of making alienation a key concept in analysing the human situation Lefebvre was the first philosopher who connected philosophy to action. P. x

“Man must be everyday, or he will not be at all” p. xix

Own observation/ reflection

The tension in urban public spaces between the production of space and the regulation accompanied by the consumption of spaces is evident and even more prominent in the contemporary context of humans and the urban condition.

City governments around the world aim for the creation of equitable and just places, as it is supported by the New Urban Agenda. However, the current condition shows inconsistencies and tensions. Urban designers and architects aim to deliver under the promise of vibrancy and vitality quality urban spaces for all. Contemporary urban renewal processes focus strongly on objects in combination with land value capture propositions and increase liveability. Urban vibrancy is increasingly delivered under the paradigm of consumption and productivity. This not just reflects the neoliberal zeitgeist, but also raises questions around alienation and correlation to mental health issues in urban systems. These tensions can be made visual through play as a heuristic device.

Alienation leads to impoverishment, to the ‘despoliation’ of everyday life. However, Lefebvres everyday life is not reduced to inauthenticity of Alltäglichkeit, as in Heidegger or Lukács. P. xxiv

Modernity which has despoiled the everyday life of former times, which never appeared save in its metamorphoses, as in festival, which embodied a genuine ‘auto-critique’ of the everyday; it is modernity which has caused everyday life to degenerate into ‘the everyday’ p. xxvi

Modernity is the movement towards the new, the deployment of technology and rationality (which Lefebvre calls ‘modernism’), but it is also the absence of any real transformation of social relations, and leads from the human towards the inhuman, towards barbarity. P. xxvii

–> play behaviour mobile phone in public space –> transformation of the mind?? Less ‘real’ social interaction –> interactions of the minds –> disconnected from the ‘real’ –> but there is Pokemon Go??

Habermas distinction between System and Lebenswelt informed the work and impacted the debate in the second half of the 20th century in Europe.

Naïve, physically adept but spiritually innocent – Charlie Chaplin

Visually comic moments when Chaplin when he cannot adept create laughter and assure that humor never becomes awkward or embarrassing. Like pleasure, like harmony in music, laughter is stimulated by a series of resolved tensions, in which moments of relaxation are followed by even higher tension. P.10

Strangeness –> alienation

Through deviation through disorientation and strangeness, Chaplin reconciles us on a higher level, with ourselves, with things and with the humanized world of things. P.11

Restricting access to these pressures urban spaces.

“there are plenty of reasons for thinking that descriptions and cross-sections of this kind, through they may well supply  inventories of what exist in space, or even generate a discourse on space, cannot ever give rise to  a knowledge of space. And, without such a knowledge, we are bound to transfer onto the level of mental space – a large portion of the attributes and ‘properties’ of what is actually social space.” p.7

the physical experience in cities occupied by sensory phenomena, including products of the imagination such as projects and projections, symbols and utopias. p.11

space of social practice

focus on dialectic rather codes –> highlighting contents inherent to the forms under consideration. p. 18

25 Nov.

After reading several papers on Lefebvre and the context of his work it became clearer why his work is relevant in the contemporary urban academic debates.

The social space development within the triad of spaces can reflect the state of development of societies. Therefore it serves not just as an instrument for space observation (play) but may explain certain transformation of social conditions in cities. –> concepts that are non instrumental, spatial separated and public.

Conflicts can be made visual through the heuristic device of play. Stevens rightly pointed our that there is to date very little empirical evidence and understanding in the “non-functional” use and design of public space. He references Lennard and Lennard (1984), Dargan and Zeitlin (1990) as well as Borden (2001). Also he indicated that Gehl and Whytes work are mostly space- centred investigating general categories of everyday behaviour.

Stevens draw on observations of a range of cities over a long period. Critique point from him is that urban design foundation is amenity, but this can draw some people away. another issue is that we thrive to figure out how  spatial characteristics  shape people’s experiences and behaviours. Amentity again is being seen as the solution to a desired outcome that share the physical environment. However people understanding, their actions is well understood and fixed.

–> play and the city –> discover of the potential of urban streets.

–> development of an tool or a play ‘lense’ that can be used to make this tension visible and help to find solutions for urban design interventions.

Revised research question:

  • What are the aspects of play that reveal and facilitate change in the urban social spaces?
  • What are the  health co-benefits of play?
  • How can this device be used to inform optimal urban experiences?

Finding a way how to look beyond some of the limits of urban design thinking and practice.

Week 39: 7th- 10th November 2016

During this week I’ve prepared my presentation for my confirmation seminar for the 17th November. Milica, Andrew, Rachel and Paul provided vital feedback –> resulting in further editorial work on my research proposal as well as in the presentation itself.

Paul has been so kind and did a test run with me on Friday –> detail matters.

Final ppt for the confirmation seminar can be downloaded here

Final proposal can be downloaded here



Week 38: 31st Oct- 4 November 2016

Week 37 was predominately used to catch up with work and get up to speed after the conference in Quito, Ecuador.

I’ve learned at the conference that in particular my preliminary research had already an impact in cities (city of Gervais in Oregon, USA) through our Perspective Statement on Right to the City: 2016-10-08-gervais-planning-and-design-document

–> this proofs that the play research in already useful in a applied context, even before finalised.

Highlights of this week:

  • confirmation of my paper presentation at the American Association of Geographers Conference in Boston, in April 2016. Given my co session presenters have a focus on emotion in urban spaces, I was urged to change my abstract. (see under the Link)
  • Still waiting to hear back from the IPA conference (paper abstract submission here)
  • Received feedback on funding proposal for DAAD/ Universities Australia –> unsuccessful. Need to investigate new ways to fund the research trips.
  • preparation of my presentation for the Play Symposium in Canberra on the 10th November. Focus on play in cities and not just for children. Presentation can be accessed here: play-symposium-uc-greg-mews
  • Received the kind invitation to present my PhD research at TEDx in Wellington as part of the city partnership with TEDx Canberra. 13- 16 November 2016.
  • Preparation of my presentation for my confirmation seminar. The meeting with Andrew was very constructive. I need to focus on structure that works for broader audience, but also caters to the needs of the academics.