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The fluidity of the ‘magic circle’: using playful interventions in the design process

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper


Publication date09/2011
Number of pages4
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Conference5th DiGRA : Think Design Play


The use of games as part of the design process has been extensively explored in much of the current design research literature (Brandt, 2004, 2006, 2008)(Habraken and Gross, 1988)(Johansson and Linde, 2005). However, to date, the research focuses primarily on three key aspects, collaboration, theory and method of games with intended outcomes. Academic research for games and more generally play within a creative and collaborative context is wide and varied. This is evident from management theory (Schrage, 2000)(Roos, 2006), through computing (Prensky, 2000) and into design (Brandt, 2004)(Johansson, 2005)(Lockton, 2008). Nonetheless, research into other potential contexts within which play can be applied is limited. This paper examines the effects of using playful interventions within the design and creative processes by using the exploration of the boundaries of the ‘magic circle’ within a game-like activity as a means to assert new and creative outcomes. Through the use of previous design-games1 research, the refocusing of the play elements within the process as well as borrowing heavily from the games design research this paper aims to establish and manipulate context within the design field through the use of play.