Week 27: 15th – 19th August 2016

Meeting with supervisors

  • took place in week 26
  • received valuable feedback on my summary one pager. As I understood the entire PhD hangs off these 500 words.
  • Also I’ve received a valuable article, that creates a useful bridge between physical activity and play where observational methods were used.
  • Thiel, A., Thedinga, H. K., Thomas, S. L., Barkhoff, H., Giel, K. E., Schweizer, O., … Zipfel, S. (2016). Have adults lost their sense of play? An observational study of the social dynamics of physical (in)activity in German and Hawaiian leisure settings. BMC Public Health, 16, 689. http://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-016-3392-3
  • Conclusion of paper was: in order to get adults more physical active focus on fun message and carry out further studies in leisure time environments.
  • As the predominant form of public realm in cities is street space, it supports the notion that my research can add value and is so far unique.

fieldwork preparation

  • Work on observational coding table continues. I am focusing on types human playful activity, environmental composition (spaces and places) and supportive information (age, gender, body composition, time).
  • important that these measures can be related back to my original research questions.

Documents attached Purpose of research 2081016
fieldwork play types




Week 3: 29th Feb to 4th March 2016

Activities attended:

  • Creative Research unit on practice led and practice based methods
  • UC support on setting up your blog for HDRs
  • Research Design session on qualitative data analysis (25th Feb)

Construction of Meaning

Having the right theory to guide my research is important throughout the entire process. Needs to be critical reviewed, as different theories may be supportive at different stages of the journey.

Bottom up approach useful for qualitative inquiries.

Different Memo types:

  • Method design
  • Reflective
  • Analytic

Literature notes

Always write short but precise definition. Give care and get it done early as misunderstandings can easily occur when working interdisciplinary.

Conceptional mapping is another tool for data assessment.

Mind maps on epistemological approach:



Cognitive spatial mapping graphic:


Jay Appleton, Landscape preference

Familiarity in play as an outcome of exploration. Focus on “what can I do with this?” With increasing familiarity, the mental entities become manipulable. However familiarity is essential to playful rearrangement and recombination of elements towards insights and creativity.  (p.93).

Benefits of evaluation codes (p.94):

  • facilitates decision making
  • permits people to feel right now things they have not done yet
  • allow the future to colour present feelings to dominate them


Reflection and notes from supervisor meeting

new research task:

  • Norman Blaikie,  Designing social research
  • AURIN – test
  • “habitus” concept PhD Thesis from Helen Fitt
  • Yen “case study research”

General task:

Refine mind map –> test cross connections in themes (bringing together two paradigms)

Based on my theoretical and philosophical discourse around psychology may become one stream, however PhD may likely focus on perception of play and access.

Spatial mapping tool idea: MAPS Mini Tool Method  MAPS-mini tool

construction of access

  • opportunities for play
  • definitions

So far all this leads me to the question: What are the triggers (physical as well as cognitive) in enabling access to play in a neighbourhood in an intercultural case study context?

Philosophical discourse:


The word originates from „nahe“ and „Bauer“ in other words close and farmer. However, it can be also primary be understood as bordering house or apartment where people live.

In accordance to sociological theorist Ferdinand Tönnies it can also mean „Gemeinschaft des Ortes“ translating to „Collective of place“.

Modern phenomenon is: we can have a physical place of a collective, however because of modern communication technology can associate the place physically removed from reality. Hence a disengagement with the here and now. Hence a lack of social activity of adults in the local context.

Heidegger contemplates on „dwelling” from an ontological perspective. To dwell means for him to ‚belong…within the fourfold of sky and earth, mortals and divinities’ (TT p.49, BDT p. 150) p.93. Further he argues that a dwelling place is ‚near’ to one, somewhere one is ‚in the nearness’. Heidegger refers to ‚Nähe’ as neighbourhood i.e. dwelling place.

Belonging in modern times is very much a mind-set. Hölderlins highlights in „Hyperion“ the suffering if a homely society is not welcoming if one’s mind-set developed beyond physical boundaries. This disconnect can create an imbalance, despite of the search of a point of connection, while being aware of the interconnectedness of things and in fact the universal being bounded by physical law and the limitation of the biosphere of the earth system.

I believe the suffering of modern societies is that people choose to disengage with the immediate space, as modern technology, can bridge the limitation of local places. However, humans understanding of the physical world originates from a physical engagement with all five senses. If we are reducing our engagement with the real world to one or two senses, we experience a dramatic change in perception of the local neighbourhood. It is also known that children make sense of the world through play in a local context, contributing to a sense of place and the spirit of a local place. If parent disengage with them locally prevent access to sensory experiences, then an imbalance occurs and deforms the state of health of a neighbourhood. A neighbourhood where no children are playing is an indicator for an imbalance in the mind-set and therefore perception of neighbourhood.

Acknowledging that there is not just one objective truth, rather than a perceived reality constructed out of the engagement of our minds with the world. Does that mean that if people choose not to engage with the physical neighbourhood, that neighbourhood become detached from the local context creating a newly perceived reality of neighbourhood by choice? In this virtual neighbourhood that our mind-set creates humans do not necessary require all senses. Again children may suffer.

  • 3rd March Attended the free presentation at the National Gallery on ‘Embodied Museography: Animating the Archive’ by Sarah Kenderdine