Design for Tangible, Embedded and Networked Technologies









Serious Play Strategies in the Design of Kinetic and Wearable Devices 

Lois Frankel, Ellen Hrinivich 

Carleton University, Canada

Keywords: collaborative design processes; humour; role-playing scenarios; gestures; multisensory explorations


Encouraging spontaneous creativity is an on-going quest in design. Play embodies this. This paper builds on the concept of “serious play” as a design strategy for creating new and innovative ideas. It discusses a qualitative study involving six teams of designers, each generating initial concepts for wearable and interactive kinetic devices. It describes the playful interactions that emerged as a common strategy for their collaborative and creative ideation practices. It contributes features that further clarify the nature of serious play in relation to humour, role-playing scenarios, gestures, and multi-sensory involvement. 

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

download the paper (PDF)

Cite this paper: Frankel, L., Hrinivich, E. (2016). Serious Play Strategies in the Design of Kinetic and Wearable Devices. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

This paper will be presented at DRS2016, find it in the conference programme

Take part in the discussion: Your comments