A real strength of this collection is a movement between theoretical pieces proposing conceptual models for thinking about civic media and engagement and more case-study based pieces which document specific design practices or implementations of civic media within local communities.
They taught me about the motivations people have (or dont have) for engaging in civic process and civic life more generally.
As the flow of information is increasingly fluid across national borders, these gatherings are reminders that human connection requires more than digital connectivity. You are trying to bridge the theory-practice divide, in other words.
The poet Charles Baudelaire wrote about the flaneur, the urban wanderer, who sat in a Parisian café looking out at the crowds of people on the sidewalk.
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The main benefits of bringing theory and practice together might just be that it destabilizes both, creating a possibility space that remains fluid.And conversely, what insights do you see emerging through design that modifies or challenges existing conceptions about civic engagement?Weve seen so many alumni go on to engage in social change work that is often guided by their experiences in Salzburg, and sustained by the network that still supports them.
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I know youve started to shift your focus from games to play more broadly defined.So, quite distinct from gamification, which has become a business trend wherein game mechanics are used to efficiently motivate people to achieve stated goals, meaningful inefficiencies are the elements of civic systems that prompt play for plays sake.
So, as I continued to work in this unlikely intersection of games and civics, I started to ask how these meaningful inefficiencies found in game systems are being practiced in civic life in all sorts of unexpected ways.From playful performances in public spaces to methods of public management that integrate unorthodox feedback loops, or even, when games get designed and played to facilitate public process.
Each of us can say, unequivocally, that our academic work has deeply informed our practice, and vice versa.What value do you think the conceptual work brings to design practices and applications?