*** Draft on its current version - complete credits and references will be released early 2019. Edited by Wendy Ann Mansilla, wendy.mansilla(at)ntnu.no

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Multi-use Playspaces

Re-imagining community spaces using creative loose parts and technology

An ongoing toolkit by Wendy Ann Mansilla

What has happened is that...professional artists, architects, landscape architects, and planners, have had all the fun playing with their own materials, concepts and planning alternatives, and then builders have had all the fun building the environments out of real materials; and thus has all the fun and creativity been stolen; children and adults and the community have been grossly cheated...

- Simon Nicholson, 1971

PREFACE We live in a times that demand innovation. To stay current, you need a toolkit or a guide for innovation that brings you to the core issues and the best hands-on methods for change. Over the years, our consumption, lifestyle and the way we communicate has changed. As an artist, designer, technologist or creative, we must move with these changes.

This guide will adopt the iterative approach in Design Thinking where everything begins with a thorough understanding of the people and problems you are developing for. This empowers you to create solutions on an entirely different plane by embracing on experimentations, coupled with prototyping and feedback, and allowing you to fail and break out of the box. Failing fast leads you to recognise and eliminate the weak areas in your project so that you will finally succeed in the end.

Use this book as a guide map. You might be wondering about your destination in the beginning, but that`s fine because this will keep you in tune and empathic with the real people with real challenges in real spaces. You will ultimately be confident that your destination will be relevant, creative and innovative!

You have technological skills
or resources to produce
activities in the space?
You want to use existing
resources of the space to
enhance the community
and cultural expression?
You want to use the space
for creative or scientific
enquiry or research?
Interested to make a
difference in your
community as a resident?




Multiuse Playspace

Learning from from the remix innovations which is often marked by a reframing of existing narratives from innovative perspectives comes the idea of a Multiuse Playspace. The idea is to invoke a public space facility to explore technological infrastructures and mobile materials that can be taken apart, moved and combined, and placemaking interactions and best practices that can be reused and redesigned in a number of ways. Placemaking is a process and tool for creating places and building stronger communities by allowing the creatives and ordinary people to see how their ideals can contribute into the broader process of making change in the city.

A Multiuse Playspace enable new and unconventional ways of thinking and making by providing open infrastructure and urban space as hotbeds for artists, creatives and the community to organize art and technology inspired interventions. Similar to remix innovators such as makerspaces and commons, a Multiuse Playspace is a hotbed for innovation and facilitates creative projects by providing technical and artistic best practices support for creative ideas, activities or projects.

Multiuse Playspaces aim to spark creativity and engagement by cultivating robust forms of play, learning, and engagement in a public space. This guide or toolkit will show you the design-led development process for creating an exemplar Multiuse Playspace.

How this toolkit works?

To sustain adoption of a Multiuse Playspace over time, I encourage you to document your own creative placemaking best practices by following the reusable design-led templates as exemplified in this guide. As you go through the guides and templates recommended herein, you will notice that your playspace is people and place-specific and may slightly differ from my examples here. That`s alright. Don`t panic. Just keep going. The most important thing is that you found a place to start and modify. Remember that this toolkit is available to help you think, test, fail early and often.

While you are experimenting and failing fast don`t forget to continuously update your document or service platform as it suits you. Keep iterating and sharing project use cases and creative placemaking experiences with your team. Keep emphatizing with people you are designing for and don`t be afraid to reformulate your ideas and solution. Some ideas works and others not.

This guide works with the right mindset. Join me with optimism and confidence in embracing ambiguity and learning from failure. We choose to believe that there is an answer somewhere and by focusing on people and asking the right questions will lead us to the solution we never thought before. If you share these philosphy, I`m sure we will get very far.

Many of my examples here points to our experiences in designing Addressaparken as an interactive park and other outdoor art installations. But don`t worry because this toolkit is not only for public spaces but also for the community, activities, and phenomena too. I`ll continuously update this guide with examples so you`ll get a grasp of what I mean.

Bridging the Gap Bridge a/the gap Cambridge definition: to connect two things or to make the difference between them smaller. 13
Bridging the Gap in Engagement and Technology

Creative participation within a local community is challenging to organise and even more challenging to sustain overtime.

Trondheim has several collective community-operated workspaces and incubators for ideas and business startups. In Trondheim we have Adressaparken, a park that provides space, technology, and infrastructures for various types of community activities. There are successful projects out of these community workspaces and infrastructures but getting people involve continuously is a challenging project by itself.

We often hear people ask what is the right formula for getting people engaged. I believe to keep people going, your proposed activity should already be part of their lifestyle or daily perception of social and environmental accountability. It should be as seamless as clicking a facebook "like". Positive response in social media for instance can create social impact and rewards people who receives the "like" and this explains why many people repeat doing them. It is the same for our role in recycling garbage everyday, we pay attention to that action because we know we are creating social and environmental impact on big issues like climate change.

Knowing the role we play, the choices we make is producing a positive difference our world provides a squirt of dopamine rewards every time. Such perception of benefits or opportunities I believe encourages people to keep going thus acts as a bridge to that complex gap in people engagement versus everyday life demands and technology


"Everyone loves a solution that doesn't change their lives..."


So if you think you have tried everything, invested all your resources and time, and made sufficient user studies but your pilots and concepts are still not receiving the attention or support from the target users as you expect then, maybe its time to:

1. Think and identify a gap that exist in your planned activity or project. It could be a situation where people, expectations, and things are so far apart from each other but are essential glue to the success of your project.

2. Explore what you can do to make the gap smaller. Create a user journey and see which interaction points in your project fails to engage or connect people.

3. Create action points or solutions and redesign your user interaction flow if needed.

4. Prototype and test your new solution. Iterate.





A Study on Norwegian Lifestyle: Running and Walking

Running or brisk walking has become an increasingly sociable affair rather than a just a solitary sport in the recent years. As more and more people move and travel overseas for leisure, business, or study, running or walking in groups is becoming a popular way for people to make new contacts locally and abroad.

Running events are usually organized through social media. In facebook we can follow successful stories of group of runners with varying experience meets once every weekdays at a local brewery or craft beer bar, runs anywhere from 5 to 10 kilometers, then returns for drinks. Mikkeller Running Club Trondheim in Norway holds monthly run on Saturdays instead of weekdays.

About the people:
Most Norwegians spend weekends and holidays at the family cabin which makes popular weekend running clubs with social events mostly feasible only once a month. However in Norway and Scandinavia, you could always see a lot of solitary runners and walkers everyday even on winters.


Between the Digital and Physical Space


A great technology not only gathers and stores data but take that data and translate it into useable information to improve our lives. Mobile technology plays a significant part in running or walking as much as in our other everyday activities.

Technology has helped lots of runners off the start line, guide them using digital trails, and monitor their performance. Various training plan such as Zombies, Run! or comparing results with fellow runners using an App such as Runkeeper are now available for runners.

Do you know that your power walking and running can be converted to useful energy? Pavegen Systems is a technology company that has developed paving slabs or kinetic tiles to capture energy from footsteps and convert it into electricity.

Knowing the lifestyle of your neighborhood, how they use technology in relation to their daily activities can help you identify a potential bridge to circumstances where people or entities in your project are not meeting together. As you can see there are number of technologies or resources that we can use to enhance our experiences which can seamlessly blend in to our everyday lifestyle.

Re-using or Redesigning RGB Playspace

RGB Playspace is a commissioned public art installation for Adressaparken at the city of Trondheim, opened to public last 2017.

It is a permanent lights and sound installation for creative empowerment that can be manipulated and transformed through play. This public art installation invites children and adults alike to physically explore the interactive space to instantly become a composer of music and lights.

RGB Playspace is designed with a robust architecture where light fixtures, sound playback and sensing technologies can be extended or redesigned in the future. Based on the user journey study made for RGB Playspace, several actions has been identified including potential solutions to further increase citizen participation and inclusion by making the installation more environmentally or socially aware. For example, think of a playful installation in the city that can solve big issues like obesity or climate change.

In this section, I am going to examine how RGB Playspaces can be redesigned to extend its social and environmental relevance in the community. I propose to add a technology called Pavegen Systems that converts energy from people`s footsteps into electricity. Walking or stepping into RGB Playspace will not only encourage people to have fun, be physically active and keep doing it if they want to contribute in the production of a green energy.


ENVISION We can envision the problem we are trying to solve by first pursuing a clearer understanding of the community or social impact that we want to focus on. 23
Getting Started with an Open Challenge

You got ideas or insights but not sure where to start or how to use them? You can share them. I want to encourage you find a person or a team to share your ideas and challenges with. Someone who can give you advise on how to find collaborators, funding or coaching to jumpstart your project.

You can also learn a lot on ideation process by joining open idea accelerator communities online such as OpenIDEO. In this platform, community members come together in designing solutions to issues presented by non-profits, and the open forum allows everyone to send and receive feedback.

If you are a hands-on type of creative or non-profit, you can send me an information on what you can provide or will need, I`ll try my best to connect you to a list of volunteers and non-profits who needs local resource such as people, skills, or bold new ideas.

In an international setting, you can also try Skills for Change, an online platform that connects willing volunteers with non-profits.

Please contact me here:

Be Aware of the Needed Loose Parts

In creating an activity, an event, or a place where people can enjoy themselves - a playground, it is important to examine the needed "loose parts".

According to Simon Nicholson`s "Theory of Loose Parts", many places of human interaction do not work well because they do not have the required loose parts. Places or activities are "clean, static and impossible to play around with".

I have three projects that considers the Theory of Loose Parts (Adresaparken, RGB Playspace, and Reframe / In Front of Me). Based on my professional experience here are some needed loose parts I ponder upon before starting with my ideas or project:

1. A holistic environment where everyone can be creative and inventive.

2. Loose parts are free variables which goes beyond open-ended physical materials to include phenomena (activity, music, gravity, concepts, ideas, etc.).

3. Bridging the gap between the digital realm and participation. Interaction and participation that not only offer lots of flexible loose parts or variables but encourages people to come together for real.

4. A human centered design approach where participants and their behaviour can and need to be part of the design process of a space.

5. People involvement is not a scripted methodology, only place and people-specific approach.

6. A journey into the real-life stories, experiences, and issues of people is a must.


7. Flexible and open loose parts, materials, infrastructures that allows people to invent, construct, evaluate, or remix their own.

8. Inter-disciplinary group of people dedicated to bridge a gap.

9. Educational evaluation of how participants use the loose parts.

10. The process of community or people involvement, once started, never stops.

Begin with a Purpose in Mind

So, you want to build or organize a creative environment or activity with a certain purpose or impact in mind. If you think your idea is aimed at creating an impact or is bridging the gap, you come to the right place.

Your first step will be to envision the results or the impact you want your project to achieve. Just try to describe it in few sentences for now. For instance,

"I want to organize an activity in a park where people will learn about health and obesity".

When the envisioned results you defined requires social feedback or participation, you might want to study further the factual conditions of well-being your community seeks for in your local area or neighbourhood. This includes having conversations with a wide range of people in your community to prioritize and develop consensus around the results you will pursue together. While community members can often be eager to jump right into identifying problems and solutions, a results-based process helps you and your target beneficiaries be more strategic moving forward. This is also a dynamic process, as many communities will return to their results agenda over time as they learn more and as conditions change.

Assessing the result in the ideation phase of your project is a quick way to help you articulate and improve what you are trying to accomplish. It gives you an easy way to define and share what you're trying to do, and the assumptions and evidence upon which this is based.

If you aren`t ready to construct your results agenda, go ahead and study more ideas on how to create an impact or bridge the gap, here.


The Results Agenda worksheet is designed to help you think more broadly about your work's effect on your target beneficiaries and other involved organisations. The tool will guide you in constructing a result-based case for the impact you want to pursue.

The Results Agenda worksheet comes with questionnaires to guide you. So, go ahead, use your creativity and brainstorm with your team. This tool provides a structured way to project the effects of your project or activities onto the future. This will help you reflect on what you may want to change or retain. This tool also helps to highlight at an early stage any potential issues and assumptions.

It is also important to make the participant understand what you want to improve or enhance in an environment or activity to motivate them to support your cause. Use this tool to empower you to confidently describe the end result of the condition or social impact you want to exist in your community or organization.

Empathize Empathy is important in a human-centred design process which allows thinkers to set aside his or her own assumptions about the world in order to gain deeper insight into users and their needs. 33
Build Empathy in your Neighbourhood

There are 3 ingredients that make up a social world - people, things and organisations (Kimbell, 2012). To understand people in a public space, (often referred to as a residents, neighbourhood, participants, workers, etc.) we need to emphatize about them, their environment, and the things they use, interact with or extends them.

The Empathy process involves observing, engaging with and listening to a resident or group of people within the neighbourhood as they live their everyday life. Observing and engaging with people gives you a better understanding of their experiences and motivations, as well putting one`s self in the physical environment can reveal aspects that will help you create a deeper personal understanding of the issues involved.


You might to try using Journey Maps to capture the experience of a user during the interaction with your project. They are a visual trip of the user across the solution. In Chapter 1: Bridging the Gap, I showed a Journey Map of my installation called RGB Playspace. You can use that as a sample template. In the Journey Map I presented in Chapter 1, I structured into some kind of a journal, where user notes their thoughts or feelings about their interactions with the installation. Their feelings or emotions can be pain points and the moments of delight. I also noted down some keypoints and the potential actions or solutions. The keypoints are based on the interview I conducted to the user to explain or clarify feelings or thoughts they had experienced during the interaction. The second tool that I am suggesting here is to build a questionnaire for interviewing your target users. Casually speak to people about your project and the place. I provided here all the means of knowing about the people. I`ll try to keep updating this section to give you more examples.

Experience Journey

The Experience Journey allows you to see your project through the eyes and experiences of the people who be using it or benefitting from it. It comes with several points of a journey starting from the person`s awareness of the place up until the potential contact with your work.

Identifying routes that are connected to your work, and identifying potential interaction from people will help you reflect on how you will engage with these people and take your work further.


Use the Journey Mapping worksheet as a guide in your experience tours or visits in the neighbourhood. You may expand the documentation of your journey through the following ways:

- Take pictures or draw sketches of the place and the activities it triggers.
- Write down observable behaviour of people and their activity flow.
- Ask residents, tourists or business establishments to verify or seek opinion on a specific observation or an interest. You may want to show them a scenario sketch to ask them how they relate it.
- Casually speak to passersby to get more opinion about the place.

Journey Mapping 39

Drawing personas or people shadowing inspires you to understand people's behaviour and motivations that guide you to reach the core of how your work can have an impact on the community.

There are several angles you might want to consider when drawing personas. You might want to observe the public indirectly by spontaneously asking them about their everyday experiences and opinions. Another way is to explicitly collect data from conversations with people.

Once you have thought about the result you are looking for, you might want to study how your work will impact your neighbourhood. Stand next to your target space, depending on what is socially acceptable within a specific situation or culture, you might want to ask permission to conduct an on-the-spot interview with passers-by or a group of people. It is also a good idea to observe people from a distance which will allow them to maintain their natural flow as they go about their everyday life.


Fill out the worksheet for each person or group of people you are observing or spot interviewing. Feel free to modify and include elements that are important for your project. You might want to ask the participant what he or she likes about the place or city or how he or she envisions it. If you are following a person or group of people, you might want to take note of their routines and activities while interacting in a place.

As a research tool. Use the template to structure an interview with someone, to help bring into view different aspects of their life and world. As a workshop activity. Use the template in small groups, to build up a picture of a persona and his or her world. Take each of the aspects described in the template and then free associate around them, capturing your ideas in writing and drawing on a large blank sheet. Include things which don't seem directly relevant to the service you're designing, but are essential for developing a meaningful, well rounded persona who the whole team can engage with.

Interviewing your Neighbourhood

The best way to get to know your neighbourhood is to start a conversation with them. Reaching out to them in a face-to-face conversation will give them an opportunity to express their concerns and experiences on the project idea you have in mind.

Speaking with a neighbourhood about their everyday lives can give you a clear idea of the their challenges on a particular issue. It will direct you to understand how your participants can affect the environment and the project that you want to work on. Interviews can justify how and why your project proposal can contribute to the community.


This worksheet is a guide on how you can prepare your interview questionnaire which all relies on scope of your project. Feel free to specify specific target groups you should consider talking to for instance nearby residents, passersby, business establishments or government officials.
There is usually a mix of practices as well as underlying motivations you want to explore. Focus your questions on asking 'What' and 'How' and then probe deeper into people's motivations by asking 'Why'.

Here is a four step framework to structure your interview:

Explain the result you have in mind.
It is important to make the participant understand what you want to improve or enhance in an environment. This can be done by empowering them with the description of the end result of the condition you want to exist in the community. An example of a result could be that "Adressaparken is utility place for students who are healthy and prepared to succeed in STEM education". The result is not about the program or the development of your project but how it can contribute to the well-being of people.

Open up a familiar scenario.
Introduce a familiar daily scenario that will allow your participants to be connected and comfortable with your conversation. For example you can ask them a question about a playground in a nearby park, about the facilities that children like to play most with.

Go Broad
Prompt bigger, wider thinking on related issues that they may not normally address on a daily basis (aspirations for the future, How are things connected?).

Probe Deep
Dig deeper on the challenge at hand and prompt with challenging 'what if' scenarios.


Our dependence on material things in our daily lives is an unquestionable proof of our intimate entanglement with them. We co-exist with natural objects (e.g. trees, stones, or hills), man-made creations (e.g. buildings, streets, or pavements), and digital productions (new technology, mixed reality, wearable technology, or surveillance system).

Greater reflection shows us that these material objects also act consequentially on us, and even transform us in their own image. In recent years, diverse academic disciplines across the humanities and social sciences (such as anthropology, archeology, philosophy, literary criticism, and art history and theory, among others) have begun to reverse this taken for granted view by inquiring into how, in the words of anthropologist Daniel Miller, "the things that people make, make people."

In designing a project or program with creative place-making in mind, we think it is important to learn how material things make people. So, what exactly is the relationship of the people, the neighbourhood, with the digital and material things which are all part of the space you wish to transform?

Inspired by:
Project for Public Spaces. What Makes a Successful Place?


Project for Public Spaces (PPS) developed a Place Diagram that can serve as a tool to help people in judging any place, good or bad. In evaluating thousands of public spaces around the world, PPS has found that to be successful, they generally share the following four qualities: they are accessible; people are engaged in activities there; the space is comfortable and has a good image; and finally, it is a sociable place: one where people meet each other and take people when they come to visit.

The material and digital things templte will guide you to evaluate how you can probe the potential digital and material advantages of the place you are developing.

Material and Digital Things 51
Organisations & External Entities

Depending on your lens, you may see organizations as:

- Clearly defined structures with agreed responsibilities, roles, rules and procedures that supports your project
- Collections of people and things that hang together through interactions, where the boundaries between organisations are fluid and dynamic
- An organization can be an internal or external entity that may or may not have a direct impact on your project.

Identify the organizations involved in your project. After having done so, include them as one of those entities that contribute and impact changes in your project.

We recommend you to take the Drivers of Change activity within your team, this will help you create a shared understanding of the entities and the issues that can shape the future context for your project. If co-created in a group, the drivers of change matrix helps a team see things from different perspectives and can support critical discussion and creativity. It can also highlight important areas of consensus and disagreement.


To facilitate Drivers of Change activity, using a very large piece of paper or window, mark out a grid with your time period running across the top. Along the left hand side, list various aspects of change; political, economic, socio-cultural, technological, legal environmental, or others specific to your work.

Distribute post-it notes to participants and ask them to write on them examples of future events, ideas, products or people they associate with any of the categories. Then ask people to share their own ideas with the wider group, gradually filling up the grid by sticking up their post-it notes.

Reflect as a group on what this picture of the future looks like and what it might mean for people and organisations. What are the points of tension, controversies or unknowns which populate the grid?

Define Defining the problem is about asking more questions and going from analysing your observations to identifying your users and their core challenges. 57
What is a stupid question?

It is one which questions the obvious. 'Duh,' thinks the audience, 'this person is clueless.' Well, guess what, the obvious is often not so obvious. Usually it refers to some common belief or practice that has been around for so long that it has not been questioned. Once questioned, people stammer to explain: sometimes they fail. It is by questioning the obvious that we make great progress. This is where breakthroughs come from. We need to question the obvious, to reformulate our beliefs, and to redefine existing solutions, approaches, and beliefs. That is design thinking. Ask the stupid question. People who know a lot about a field seldom think to question the fundamentals of their knowledge. People from outside the discipline do question it. Many times their questions simply reveal a lack of knowledge, but that is OK, that is how to acquire the knowledge. And every so often, the question sparks a basic and important reconsideration.

- Don Norman, in Rethinking Design Thinking


List down what it will take to get your end results accomplished. By taking notes of the beneficial assets you have in place and what weaknesses you need to work on to ensure your success will lead you to a richer understanding of what your project and resources can offer. Your analysis will also help you know when and where to bring external collaborators for assistance or guidance.

It is particularly useful to do a SWOT Analysis to see all the needs and challenges of your users and prepare you to create solutions for them. SWOT Analysis particularly useful in identifying and mapping all the factors that can assist you in meeting your goals and objectives or obstacles that are hindering you from accomplishing them.

Consider what you have gathered from the previous phases and get these facts and figures in place before you do the SWOT analysis. Complete each of the quadrants in the worksheet according to what you see as your or your team's and organization's strengths and weaknesses as well as the external opportunities and threats that may help or hinder you from accomplishing your project.

Include others to do the same exercise and compare their views with your findings. Sometimes talking about weaknesses or threats can even help you discover potential strengths and opportunities.

SWOT Analysis 61
Narrate Let's create stories and scenarios based on the information you have gathered and the problem statement you have created on the previous stages. This will jumpstart you to 'think outside the box', identify new solutions, and start looking for alternative ways of viewing them. 63

Creating a storyworld or persona helps a team focus on the people who are part of a service in all their diversity. The process of creating and using storyworlds also encourages the kind of creative thinking needed to generate new ideas for your service.

Using this method we can begin to develop an understanding of a person as connected to lots of other people, organisations and things rather than as an independent actor without a backstory. The method produces a boundary object which can help bring a team together and be referred back to. A successful storyworld will be discussed as if it was a real person and used to test ideas out by asking a question: "would they collaborate in our team?".


As a research tool. Use the worksheet to structure an interview with someone, to help bring into view different aspects of their life and world.

As a workshop activity. Use the worksheet in small groups, to build up a picture of a persona and his or her world. Take each of the aspects described in the template and then free associate around them, capturing your ideas in writing and drawing on a large blank sheet. Include things which don't seem directly relevant to the service you're designing, but are essential for developing a meaningful, well rounded persona who the whole team can engage with.

Storyworld 67

The alternative to the storyworld is a storyboard. Storyboard is use to gain a sense of what is involved in your project from beginning to end. The method provides a way of focusing on the user's experience by developing a human narrative. It also helps participants to understand the gaps and overlaps which might exist between different providers.

Storyboard helps a team focus on the persons experience of your work, rather than seeing it through the lens of a single specialism or organisational function. Storyboard will enable a project that can easily be visualised and understood involving a storytelling component on a human scale rather than on a technical level.


Use the template to create your own of how a person interacts with your project. Use the template to structure a cartoon-like comic strip, to describe his or her interaction with a service over a specific time frame. Include the people, documents, technologies, places which an interaction journey might involve. If you can, use photos and print outs to bring your story to life. Ideally, do this several times for different participants, users or staff members so you see things from different perspectives. Remember that the act of drawing your ideas will trigger you creatively so do not wait to have your story worked out before you start writing it down.

Storyboard 71
Role Play

"Role playing is the practice of group physical and spatial pretend where individuals deliberately assume a character role in a constructed scene with, or without, props. The key differentiating aspects of role playing are: 1) Being 'in the moment' - an individual and group state that enables vivid and focused exploration of the situations and 2) Physicalization - using the entire body to explore generation of ideas that takes "brainstorming" to "bodystorming."" Simsarian, K. T. (2003)


"Role playing means physically acting out what happens where users interact with products or services.

Taking the role of the user and acting out their interactions with a design can prompt more intuitive responses and help you to refine your design. Role playing is particularly useful for prototyping interactions between people, for example in a service context.

Define a character or characters who will use or deliver the end product or service you are designing. Isolate key moments where these users interact with your product or service, and then act them out - with or without props. Use your intuitive responses prompted by the enactment of the scenario to refine your design."

More details:

COLLABORATE How can you start an artistic-driven collaboration in a public space?

Many artist and creatives might wonder how important collaboration really are. Why would a visual artist, sound designer, composer or painter be interested to collaborate with others when they are able to do work effectively alone? Why would sharing ideas, compromising to incorporate someone else`s style of work and thinking, and feeling obligated to give up ideas better than celebrating success independently?

While many information and training courses are available through the Internet that enables hobbyists and folks of all ages to learn autonomously and produce outstanding results independently, no one is meant to be alone. As much time we spend developing our work, imagine the benefits if someone else already has the answers to some of our greatest challenges.

So if we want to be more motivated and inspired in our work and generate new ideas and challenges, then collaborating with other creative people can help us see our work in a different perspective.


Collaboration rarely operates independent of the benefits. A collaboration that happens organically often results to a whole new level of ideas, knowledge and skills. Below are some important points:

1. Creative collaborations are rarely driven only by altruistic motives. Collaborators are driven by incentives and motivational means to compensate with their effort and time. Artists often collaborate out of a need for solutions to ideas they cannot realise, for instance if they lack technical knowledge or exposure. A technologist on the other hand may have all the technical skills but might need help from a visual artist or designer to bring forth their ideas into life.

2. Although artists and art organizations need financial resources to operate, fair share of credit is as important as financial gain. Artists and creatives aim not only for an added knowledge but to get appropriate credit for the creation of a piece or artwork. The exposure garnered from exhibiting the collaboration should benefit all of the collaborators.

3. Collaborator with similar minds and experience may not always be the best team. This is because similar minds tend to focus on one possible solution, not necessarily the best one. Collaborations enable individuals to look at future challenges from manydifferent perspective and and pick the best solution to a particular situation.

4. Dont underestimate the power of connections when collaborating with a team. During any project, it is important to get to know experts from other disciplines. These connections can enable a wannabe artist, filmmaker or composer to go through the same experience as the professional or successful collaborator.


I have been collaborating for various creative projects and research these past few years aside from producing my own artistic work. By pairing myself with another creative or technologist, there`s definitely an experience of exponential growth by developing on my organizational skills, techniques, and leads to discovery of new ideas.

Let's take a look and learn from some of my collaborations below.

Hackheim`s Tunnel Lights

I presented this project because it is a good example of a collaboration in larger group. The collaboration starts from a very open project description which is to build interactivity at Adressaparken`s tunnel through lights, sounds or projection. The flexibility and openness of the collaborative project call allowed an open dialogue to take place and as a result tapped into everyone`s creativity.

Prototype You will now produce a number of inexpensive, scaled down versions of the project or activity so you can investigate the problem solutions generated in the previous stage. 81

Prototyping is something we all do in our daily lives when we try out new things - from trying out new recipes while cooking to trying out different routes while going somewhere - it simply involves trying out an idea to see how it can be improved. At work however, prototyping is more than just 'trying out'; it is a structured way to check that you have an efficient and fitting solution or approach before rolling it out or making a big investment in it.


Prototyping is often carried out in various stages of a process with the aim of either searching for new ideas or testing an existing idea to see whether it works and how to make it better. Prototypes can be made as often as possible. The key is to keep it easy and cheap to build, focusing more on the core offering rather than smooth finishing. Feel free to use what is easily available around you as long as it helps you try out your idea rather than just talking or thinking about it.

Use the worksheet as a basic guide to help plan your prototype tests. Always clearly specify the main idea you want to test out through your prototype. Make sure to note down any learnings on how to improve your work by reallocating activities, resources, people or materials.

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ITERATE Iteration can be seen to arch over all the other modes. It is the process of testing your ideas and exploring what they would really be like in practice, to refine or rework an idea. Whilst this might seem to be the final stage, some of the things you learn in this mode may make you go back to revisit your understanding of the issue . Service organisations organised for continuous improvement (and learning) operate in this mode.

Any that need to be repeated

Improvement Triggers provides a collection of questions which can be used to help you look at your work a bit differently. Inspired by the tool 'SCAMPER' (Eberle B. 1997), these questions are designed to provoke you into new ways of thinking, and are structured in a way that lets you approach either your existing offering or a potential new solution from a number of directions. This is a great way to make your work stronger, especially in areas where lots of competing solutions are already available. The questions in this tool assume that anything new is a modification of something that already exists. This might not always be strictly true, but approaching your work from this perspective can very be useful when you're trying to articulate how what you're doing is different from anyone else (or how it builds on what's gone before).


Each of the questions on the worksheet should give a slightly different perspective on your work. Note your answers in the space provided, but try to keep it brief - the idea is to end up with something that will give you a concise overview of how your work is different, and how you could potentially improve it.

The questions on this worksheet are examples to trigger your thinking. Many other questions may be relevant as well. The key is to use the seven categories of questions to provoke thoughts on potential improvements.

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Crowdsource Crowdfunding has already proven itself to be a successful alternative in acquiring funding for a project given the proper strategy, timing, commitment and resources for planning your project or organization.

If its services and ideas you are looking for, collaborative thinking can provide solutions faster and with input from people with diverse backgrounds, thus strengthening your project.

We'll look at some of the best crowdsourcing platforms on the web, along with successful campaigns funded on each one. These tools are not your million dollar solution — just because you set up your project doesn't mean donations will automatically pour in to you. You need to mobilize your friends, family and constituents, and engage with niche communities online if you want to succeed.

1. Crowdrise and GoFundMe
What: Fundraising
Why: Effective and easy to use
How: Use it if you are a non-profit or individual supporting a non-profit

Both platforms accomodate project-based, time-restricted fundraising for a charity or personal cause. GoFundMe for instance has categories for just about any cause you can think of, and an 'other' category in case your cause is really out of the box. As with most fundraising platforms, there is a fee, so find which option works best for you or your organizations.

For non-profit, you might want to check out Causes, they have a fluid Facebook integration which makes them popular these days.

2. Kickstarter and IndieGoGo
What: Fundraising for projects
Why: Builds community and provides a reward structure
How: Use it for any creative project

Both platforms are project-based fundraising sites, but they differ slightly. Kickstarter is for funding projects from the creative fields, from photography and film to publishing and technology. This is not the place to fundraise for a non-profit or cause.


IndieGoGo is more relaxed in their requirements, specifically when it comes to causes. While both put time limits on your fundraising, IndieGoGo allows you to keep whatever you have raised, while Kickstarter requires you to reach your goal in order to receive the money. Both also allow you to create your own rewards and to communicate easily and frequently with your donors. Both platforms has an ability to sell art for social good projects that normally difficulty to find funding.

3. StartSomeGood
What: Investing in social enterprises
Why: Invest in something with a better ROI than the stock market
How: Use if you are a social entrepreneur

Any individual or startup can submit their social business to StartSomeGood. Their project layout is similar to Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. StartSomeGood treats the donor like an investor and provides tools to manage a portfolio. They encourage you to create teams too pool money and invest together in various enterprises. All projects address a social issue and provide rewards based on donation amounts.

More tips:
* When is the best time to launch a crowdfunding project?
* To ensure success, it is recommended for you to invest heavily in planning. If you ever need any assistance setting up your project, talk to us or Backercamp might be the right team for the job.


Art Installation: Synapses Expansion
Artist: Wendy Ann Mansilla
Further information: https://www.ntnu.edu/thepark


Using LED strips, speech and audiovisual projections, Synapses Expansion transforms the park into a continuous interactive narrative of audiovisual information. As visitors move around the park, sensors connected to technological infrastructure will influence the art installation's activity. Human activity and Synapses Expansion will together constitute a current subject in the community`s social debate.


When Synapses Expansion is in its early concept stage, it was important to explain to the stakeholders how the project will contribute to the local community`s positive perception of Adressaparken. I started partially filling out the Results Agenda worksheet to outline project ideas based on the expectations I learned from the stakeholders and I presented it to our project team. Using the worksheet, we discussed amongst each other how we can expand the aims of the project ensuring benefit to the local community.

Based on our discussions, we realised that we had limited real-world understanding of how a public park is really perceived by the people in Trondheim. To find the answers, we conducted a survey on how people relate on various scenarios in a public park. We presented surveys depicting various activities in a local public park and digitally enhanced public park from abroad to the local residents and students in Trondheim. Several settings such as an outdoor playground with children, a couple sitting on a park bench, a digital sculpture in a public park and many more were presented.


Towards a Benefits Place

Our survey shows broad support for the local community identity and sense of comfort. We verified that a good place for interaction are spaces that encourage people from all walks of life to frequent, gather and want to be there. For this to happen people expect the following basic characteristics of a good place (Walljasper, 2007):

1.) It promotes sociability (a gathering place allowing frequent and meaningful interaction).
2.) It offers activities and other things to do (there is always a reason for people to stay there).
3.) It is comfortable and attractive (it has an image and people feel safe and free).
4.) It creates an improved accessibility (there are linkages to other destinations and is easy to reach and safe for pedestrians).

In addition, Technology enhanced experiences in a park is viewed to be beneficial in creating a good place for interaction, sociability, and exposure to digital technology. A place like Adressaparken with technological functionalities available to the public would be beneficial to the community if it is designed for inclusion, awareness and play.

"A platform promoting local community awareness, digital inclusion and play."

Think, Feel and Do

What the neighbourhood feel, think and do in a public space is one of the most important information to learn before any start of a project. In synapses expansion a short survey from people helped us predict how participants will react and what they will expect when an interactive installation is placed at the park. We started with a survey by asking residents and visitors in the neighbourhood on what they think, feel or do in a particular scenario that relates to a public park. We used these gathered information as an input to our storyboard.


After the short survey on what people think, feel or do, we made an experience journey. Our experience journey by researching about the place online. We positioned the neighborhood on the map and understanding its context (Geographic Context). We browsed through Google, looked at some recommended places over the Internet and got acquainted with the diversity of the local population.

We also take note of the the historic context and development of the region to appreciate the cultural nuances of different sectors of the community, the varied mindsets and motivating forces, the do´s and dont´s, the acceptable and unacceptable to the public (History and Culture).

We proceeded with the actual physical tour by going to the actual installation or project site. It is important for us to just observe and experience the place. We made a walk-through to see how walkable is the place. Is it safe for pedestrian? What are people doing? Who are passing by and who are staying? What sort of exchanges is taking place? What are the population segments (Demographics). The actual experience tour is composed of learning about the people who will be involved in and will potentially be affected by the project.


Trondheim has many names. It is a city of students, technology, culture, cycling and food. The 30,000 students, many of whom attend the Norwegian University of Science and Technology contribute to a high level of innovation and a vibrant cultural life in Norway. There are also many festivals held year-round.

Trondheim hosts festivals in genres including jazz, blues, chamber music, world music, rock and pop. The best known is the flagship St. Olav Festival, Norway's largest church and cultural festival. It has an intimate city centre which is perfect for cyclists. It also has an excellent cycling paths lead to and around the city centre, while the world’s first bike lift, located in the idyllic old town Bakklandet, is popular among residents and tourists alike.


People Assessment

The next step was to build a more in-depth persona. We asked people to tell us their motivations, goals and potential draw backs as a park`s neighbourhood or visitor. We followed or shadowed some people and use our intuition to build their character. We also noted the Power Persona they are most likely belonging to. Knowing who is in charge; decision-makers vs. influencers to the process; those with funding capabilities, strong public image, and/or sway over the different groups, etc.

We also experimented with different forms of Persona Analysis to get the best knowledge and varying perspective of the park`s neighbourhood.


To ensure the safety of the public, to avoid traffic flow disruptions and to prevent privacy violations, it was important for the team to know the directives or practices followed in the use of Adressaparken.

Directives list shows some of Addressaparken's regulations that were presented to the team by Adressaparken`s stakeholder. We took some photo and or drew a sketch of the exact location of the regulations or directives imposed or suggested in the use of the space.

Adressaparken is not encouraging developers to project lights and visuals on the surrounding buildings. Lights and visuals towards the streets may disrupt the traffic flow and security Using pleasing or moderate music or audio is suggested. No attachment on the walls due to the preservation aims of the city. It is recommended not to project any light or visuals above the line of 2 metres. 111
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