A side effect of increased online socializing is a diminished sense for our physical surroundings, the place we take up and the relations we are part of in the physical world. To address this cultural challenge, in PLAYUR, sub-project of the VERDIKT-funde d research project YOUrban, we have looked specifically at social media and technology that foster awareness of our physical space, and support social interaction and performativity among people in their physical urban surroundings through play. In a Euro pean context this is an expanding field: urban play festivals are arranged in Berlin, Copenhagen, Den Bosch, Vienna, Bristol, Krakow etc. We will discuss the cultural and technological impact of this trend in two lectures on the conference, presenting res earch from the PLAYUR project. However, a major part of the event will be to introduce examples of this urban play culture to a participating audience, inviting them to interact with a gigantic robotic wheel roaming the Cuba area, or designing & coding an app to provide an urban game experiment.
The conference addresses the VERDIKT pillars of communication technology, infrastructure, social and cultural challenges. It aims to inspire competence building, knowledge development and innovation by introducin g an international trend of employing social media and technology in playful, non-threatening interventions of public space. This is a theme we intend to explore further in a potential H2020 application. Apart from the project group, all speakers and perf ormers are international. We hope to attract a broad audience of interested Oslo citizens, in addition to interested students and researchers of AHO, KHiO, Westerdals and UiO. A core group of approximately 60 visitors are expected, but a bigger group will be exposed to the outdoors activities. The event will be announced on social media (Underskog, Facebook, Twitter) and through the communications channels of the involved universities. It will take place at AHO.