Social Engagement in Interactive Queues and Applications in the Public Realm

Material Information

Social Engagement in Interactive Queues and Applications in the Public Realm
Rosenbloom, Jana
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
Department of Landscape Architecture, College of Design, Construction and Planning, University of Florida
Publication Date:

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Master's ( Master of Landscape Architecture)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Committee Chair:
Hoctor, Tom
Committee Members:
Alexakis, Costis


Subjects / Keywords:
Architectural design ( jstor )
Cities ( jstor )
City squares ( jstor )
Exhibit cases ( jstor )
Landscape architecture ( jstor )
Observational research ( jstor )
Public space ( jstor )
Research design ( jstor )
Social engagement ( jstor )
Social interaction ( jstor )
Graduate Terminal Project
Project in Lieu of Thesis


Cities and communities which value human progress foster social engagement in their public spaces. Such places encourage discussion and exchange of ideas amongst their citizens which leads to a more involved, thoughtful, and creative society. One way that urban designers, including landscape architects, might encourage social engagement in the public realm is through the implementation of interactive projects or installations in public places. To successfully design such interactive projects, the designer must understand human behavior and psychology, engagement design, and gamification - and the relationships that can be woven between all of these fields to produce social engagement as a result. This research project first studies the interplay between these fields, and then creates a study based on these relationships. The study aims to identify which specific characteristics of interactive exhibits most consistently produce social engagement, and why. Observation was completed in a Central Florida theme park, where six interactive exhibits in attraction queues were examined and analyzed. After social engagement behaviors were tallied and compared between exhibits, preliminary results suggest that interactive exhibits are most socially engaging when they, among other things, are: collaborative; intended for groups; a medium level of clarity; unexpected; celebratory; used at night; supportive of letting users watch others first; placed on thresholds. The project concludes by making recommendations that serve as a guide on how to promote social engagement through interactive elements in public space. This guide is intended for landscape architects, designers, and allied professionals who create queues, waiting places, and freeform spaces within the public realm.
General Note:
Landscape Architecture Terminal Project

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Jana Rosenbloom. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
1022120882 ( OCLC )


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Social Engagement in Interactive Queues and Applications in the Public Realm of the requirements for the degree of: MASTER OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE at the UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA by Jana Rosenbloom Committee Chair: Dr. Tom Hoctor Member: Mr. Costis Alexakis April 2016




iii Abstract Cities and communities which value human progress foster social engagement in their public spaces. Such places encourage discussion and exchange of ideas amongst their citizens which leads to a more involved, thoughtful, and creative society. One way that urban designers, including landscape architects, might encourage social engagement in the public realm is through the implementation of interactive projects or installations in public places. To successfully design such interactive projects, exhibits most consistently produce social engagement, and why. Observation was completed in a Central Florida theme park, where six interactive exhibits in attraction queues were examined and analyzed. After social engagement behaviors were tallied and compared between exhibits, preliminary results suggest that interactive exhibits are most socially engaging when they, among other things, are: collaborative; intended for groups; a medium level of clarity; unexpected; celebratory; used at by making recommendations that serve as a guide on how to promote social engagement through interactive elements in public space. This guide is intended for landscape architects, designers, and allied professionals who create queues, waiting places, and freeform spaces within the public realm.




v Acknowledgements To my terminal project committee chair and member, Dr. Tom Hoctor and Mr. Costis Alexakis, for allowing me the freedom and unending encouragement to do research that I believe matters. To Dr. Kathryn Frank, Dr. Ferdinand Lewis, and Dr. Mark T. Brown, for shaping who I am and how I see the world. To the remaining faculty and my 2013-2016 landscape architecture cohort class at the DCP School of Landscape Architecture and Planning, for your guidance, patience, and friendship. my years of graduate study and for being my place of solace and encouragement always. A sincerest thank you.




vii Table of Contents Abstract iii Acknowledgements v Table of Contents vii List of Figures Viii List of Tables; List of Charts iX Chapter 1: Introduction & Literature Review 1 Introduction 1 Statement of Desire 1 Research Questions 2 Introductory Context 2 Literature Review 2 Social Engagement 5 Behavior-Environment Research and Engagement Design in Landscape Architecture 8 Chapter 2: Case Examples 21 Section 1: Parks, Plazas, and Open Space 22 Permanent Projects 22 Temporary Installations 26 Themes and Comparisons 31 Section 2: Transportation and Bus Stops 32 Permanent Projects 32 Temporary Installations 35 Themes and Comparisons 38 Section 3: Inspiring Social Change 39 Chapter 3: Methodology & Results 47 Results & Comparisons 56 Results 56 Comparisons 59 Exhibit Comparison 59 Characteristic Comparison 63 Matrix-Based Comparisons 63 Additional Comparisons 68 Chapter 4: Discussion 75 Project Limitations 80 Conclusions 81 Ideas for Further Study 82 Appendix: A Guide for Designers 85 Bibliography 90


viii List of Figures


ix List of Tables List of Charts




1 Chapter 1: Introduction & Literature Review Introduction STATEMENT OF DESIRE N obody enjoys waiting in line. As landscape architects, we have committed to making the quality of life in public urban space the best that it can be but queues are too often overlooked in the eyes of the designer. This project suggests that any tactics that might reduce the anxiety, uncertainty, and boredom that come with the potential of the landscape to provide users with exhibits that provoke social engagement, so as to better the overall user experience of public urban space while encouraging citizens to talk, share ideas, and connect with one another. This terminal project, entitled “Social Engagement in Interactive Queues and Applications in the Public Realm,” aims to recommend characteristics of interactive exhibits that would be best suited for queues in public spaces such as those in commuter rail and bus terminals, theaters/performance spaces, and outdoor dining areas. It goes on to suggest recommendations that may be transferable to freeform public space. The project will accomplish this through the completion of: A comprehensive literature review which studies the history of engagement design in landscape architecture, Case studies which look at the various themes and successes/failures of interactive exhibits and installations in varied geographies, contexts, and sizes. Data collection and observation focused on measuring social engagement at six interactive queue exhibits in a Central Florida theme park. types are also studied. The project also includes a visual guide for designers with recommendations ( Creating Social Engagement Through Interactive Exhibits: A Guide for Urban Designers ) based on the above analyses/conclusions.


2 RESEARCH QUESTIONS Which characteristics of interactive queue exhibits lend themselves to the most social engagement behaviors, and why? How might designers use the more successful characteristics as a framework to best promote social engagement through interactive exhibits in public spaces? INTRODUCTORY CONTEXT Throughout history, many of the most innovative and creative human ideas were born of discussion between people engaged in informal discourse in public space. The Ancient Greek Agora, 18th Century British teahouses, and the Starbucks in Silicon Valley circa 2002 all have something in common: they were some of the most creative spaces in the world (Molloy, 2013). By bringing people together and giving them comfortable spaces to talk, places like these have fostered human interaction. Whether at the Starbucks or the Agora, people in these places exchanged ideas, discussed the latest technologies, and argued about philosophy, morals, and current events (Molloy, 2013). Jonah Lehrer believes that the best ideas occur when people unintentionally collide and meet; he says, “The most creative spaces are those which hurl us together. It is the human friction that makes the sparks” (Lehrer, 2012). Oldenburg calls such informal gathering spots “third places” – public social environments that differ from the home or work environment, which anchor community life and help facilitate broader and more creative interaction (Myers, 2012). This research project is a result of personal inspiration from the realization that landscape architects can play a huge role in the support of such spaces, and the subsequent human discourse and progress that results. Ordinary people involved in discussion with their fellow community members can do incredible things, if only we provide them with the space and reason to talk. Literature Review Throughout this literature review and the subsequent research project, I argue that landscape architects, designers, and allied professionals should aim to better understand the behavioral psychology behind why as a powerful tool by landscape architects and designers as a way to encourage desired behaviors (such as those that promote environmental and social sustainability). By studying behavioral-environment research, engagement attention and interest, and why. Combined, these areas of study give us guidance on how we might increase social engagement in the public realm. Increased levels of social engagement, then, can begin to encourage larger scale positive social change.


3 While creating “positive social change” might seem beyond the standard responsibility a landscape architect holds, the profession is actually situated in a unique position of leadership and power to create such change as the father of landscape architecture, closely followed new developments in public health and argued that great public parks would function as “the lungs of the city” in a time when residents of New York City were living the Sanitation Commission further established an early formative connection between landscape architecture and public health (Green, 2010). Today, we confront similarly poor living conditions in the rapidly growing cities result from modern social behaviors and cultural patterns (Green, 2010). There is a strong body of work which details the connections between urban green space and public health. Access to green space is now being framed as a social justice issue because there are such strong correlations between green space and physical activity, to health problems have also been studied in landscape architecture for several years (Green, 2010). Landscape architects quite often take it upon themselves to help alleviate problems like these the recent shift toward more lifestyles and related health problems that suburban sprawl encourages (Frumkin, 2002). Beyond traditional public health, landscape architects have restored endangered wetlands, reduced hospital stays with healing gardens, secured government buildings and monuments, and removed toxins from water (“What Exactly Does a Landscape Architect do?,” NBM). We have reinvigorated once-abandoned neighborhoods and waterfronts, planted edible landscapes, and addressed climate change impacts such as sea level rise (ASLA, “The Edible City”; “Combating Climate Change”, 2015). achieving a balance between the built and natural environments that allow landscape architects to do work with Thomas Fisher explains that like all design disciplines, over time, landscape architecture has become highly dependent on what clients and communities deem important (2010). We implement the visions of others, who tend to have a more limited and self-serving understanding of larger systemic problems, limitations, and performance. In a time of rapid environmental, social, and technological change, it is important that landscape architects stand up for what they believe is best for the long-term success of people and their environments. abuzz with citizens who are given the tools they need to work together toward a society with a foundational and understood value of progress? Such a society would feature a constant upward movement with growing levels of all at the hands of its own citizens (G. Jacobs, 1999).


In order to create such progress, there is a need for a new approach to collective knowledge. Torbert discusses “collaborative inquiry” as a preferable model of research compared to current social science models (1981). His research model places the researcher on par with everyday citizens who are all interactive participants. Chevalier builds on this idea of collaborative inquiry (2008). According to him, knowledge can no longer be huge segments of our society. He describes the need for “engaging all human beings, without exception, in the application and co-generation of knowledge” as essential due to the varied global human and ecological challenges we face. By making inquiry and discussion socially relevant, and by providing opportunities for experiences, and reasoning of many diverse people and may move forward toward common good on community, regional, and global scales (Chevalier, 2008). A widespread norm of public dialogue and social engagement are imperative in the use and creation of this kind of new knowledge approach. are associated with social relationships (Corner, 2011). Social capital is often valued as a vital component of sustainable development (Corner, 2011). However, there are indicators that show a steady decline in social capital in modern Western societies as compared to previous generations, who were more likely to volunteer in their levels of social capital, they tend to be more likely to agree with things such as pro-environmental policies and engage in pro-environmental behaviors because they are already engaged in collectivist problem solving that (Jones, 2010). Perhaps by making environments more conducive to social engagement, we can create a society that is more creative, collaborative, and trusting. to-quantify concept. It then discusses the need for more behavioral research and applications, along with a used more often in an urban design context. This organization was employed in order to suggest how social engagement within the urban public realm might be produced and supported by behavior and engagement I aim to address a gap in current literature that lies in the connection between behavior-environment research, begin to create landscapes that encourage many types of more meaningful human experiences, including social engagement.


5 SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT What is “social engagement” and why choose to use it as a measure of success of a landscape? To start, let us to attract and keep someone’s interest . It is important to both this study and to landscape architects in general to understand engagement (and how (Schoenfeld, 2015). the interaction between individual(s) and/or group(s) of people . collective activities. Social engagement must always include all of the following: 1. an activity of some sort, 2. an interaction (or, at least two people involved in the activity), 3. a social exchange, and Social engagement can be quite easily confused with other social science concepts that may be tangentially related, but at their core are very different; so it is necessary to make the distinction of what social engagement is not : Social networks: The linkages (real-life or virtual) and personal relationships between different individuals or groups. In recent times, the term “social network” has also been used as an abbreviated version of “social networking website” those such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram which allow users to post and share Social media engagement: How groups (typically businesses) use social networking websites such as Facebook to build customer relationships and create a great or unique customer experience (York, 2015). This allows companies to not only promote a product or service, but to also have a convenient place to participate, interact, and communicate directly with consumers (York, 2015). bystanders as well” (Sander, 2015). Social engagement can lead to social capital. Civic engagement: Citizen “participation and contribution to civic and public life.” Examples of civic engagement include voting, being politically informed, and actively engaging in community service (Brown, 2010). Public engagement: In the context of landscape architecture and allied professions, this term describes a practice


6 that urban and regional planners take part in. Because any public design proposal must include a certain amount of public input, public engagement processes are often the simplest and most inclusive (when done well) way to allow citizens to make their voices heard, and play a part in visualizing the future of their communities. Public engagement strategies traditionally include activities such as charrettes, focus groups, community conversations, and preference surveys. While important in their own right and sometimes related to social engagement, the items above should be recognized as separate concepts. Support community social networks Create more resilient and sustainable communities Reinforce social capital and social norms Improve happiness, health, and wellbeing Promote and facilitate human creativity Inspire social progress According to Millican, social engagement between groups of diverse backgrounds creates more resilient communities by bringing people, including marginalized groups, into community discussion and planning, while simultaneously strengthening the bonds and trust between these groups (Cooke, 2010). is of concern partially because research supports the idea that social capital is an important part of individual happiness (Leung, 2011). Dimensions of social capital that can be used as predictors of subjective well-being studied in relation to climate change adaptation; communities with higher levels of social capital tend to have more adaptive capacity and take action toward adaptive policies and techniques (Pelling, 2005). Further, people who are socially engaged tend to be healthier individuals. Veenstra found that attendance at religious services and participation in clubs are related to health, especially for the elderly (2000). Similarly, older adults living in assisted living facilities that encourage and provide opportunities to develop meaningful relationships have higher levels of life satisfaction, and fewer depressive symptoms (Park, 2009). architect understand social engagement and use it as a measurement tool? The primary reason to study and measure social engagement is because of a general lack of behavioral study in landscape architecture (Francis, 1982). Landscape architects design spaces for people, yet often do not


similar concepts as measurement tools, we can more objectively and fully evaluate the success of a public space. There have been various attempts to measure social engagement: Most relevant to this project is a work titled Fluid Grouping: Quantifying Group Engagement around Interactive Tabletop Exhibits in the Wild (Block, 2015). This study was done by the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University, and looks at social engagement interactions with multi-touch screen tabletop exhibits in a relevant to the research addressed in this paper (as groups are relatively obvious when they are standing together in a queue). However, these insights are useful to someone studying social engagement with exhibits as related to engagement behaviors. These include items like “Pointing: A visitor points at an element” and “How-To Talk: Visitors discuss how to operate the exhibit/user interface” (Block, 2015). Another study by Schroll is relevant for its methods of measuring social engagement within a nursing home others” and “pursues facility involvement” are listed, and researchers measured what percentage of residents in across all study countries, but marked lower levels of engagement among people with lowered physical or homes incorporate more level-appropriate activities that will offer residents “meaningful involvement in their to be used as a tool in the future – then, appropriate clinical and policy changes can be made to the facilities as a A study by Mor that also takes place in a nursing home setting takes a slightly different approach to social engagement measurement; this study places more importance on amount of time spent involved in activities, rather than simply exhibiting behaviors (1995). A work by Haywood also studies engagement in the context of an interactive museum exhibit (2006). In this case, engagement was measured primarily through interviews of visitors after they had experienced the exhibit (Haywood, 2006). Then, analysis and coding of the interview data was done to identify common themes and concepts which underpin the engagement of the users (Haywood, 2006). The semi-structured interviews resulted While different measurement methods are clearly appropriate in different cases, it seems that perhaps a combination approach that combines observed social engagement behaviors, time spent engaging, and interviews could be useful.


8 BEHAVIOR-ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH AND ENGAGEMENT DESIGN IN LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE This section has two parts: (1) Behavior-Environment Research (2) Engagement Design Behavior-Environment Research and Engagement Design are closely intertwined, and therefore should be vice versa. Behavior-environment research is a topic heavily studied in psychology, which aims to understand the relationships between the physical environment and human behaviors within those environments (Wohlwill, encouraging public interest and involvement. Viewed together, behavior-environment research and engagement design might resemble phenomenology the interpretive study of human experiences (Seamon, 2000). The phenomenology of landscape architecture, then, because human beings are always everywhere immersed in their worlds, which in part is physical” (2000). A deep understanding of phenomenology and environment-behavior design will allow landscape architects to design places that are created both for and with people. David Canter is generally credited for work expressing the need for environmental psychology to orient itself in a way that looks at environments as wholes rather with their environments must be studied as a part of larger and more complex systems, rather than as separate entities. By studying these systems as a whole, we are better informed to plan and design the spaces that house them. . architecture. The study of social engagement is one piece of this puzzle. The main reason for exploring social engagement, in particular, is to encourage people to interact with each other . Though not appropriate in all contexts (i.e. positive interactions with both friends and strangers. By doing such, we support the natural social networks and systems of a community, allowing people to more easily share thoughts and ideas. This leads to a more robust and meaningful public realm.


9 In his 1982 paper, Mark Francis, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of CaliforniaDavis, outlines the idea that despite large interest in the research of behavioral aspects of landscape architecture, there are many barriers and constraints that have held the profession back from a better understanding of behavioral factors in both landscape practice and education. Francis explains that one problem is that universities tend to have lectures on behavioral research and design, but fail to adequately translate these ideas to design studios (1982). Students are being taught that understanding the nuanced ways that people interact with each other and the built environment are important, but have no idea how to use this information to better implement design solutions on a site. Landscape architects have long studied “user-based design” to help answer questions like: How can physical environments be most effective and supportive? How do we react to/with the environment? How does the environment impact how we relate to other people? With good intentions, landscape architects may complete post-occupancy evaluations to study how successful their designs are in terms of the questions above after they have been built. However, another problem in the current framework of environment-behavior study is that despite best efforts, such evaluations are often not completed due to limited funding or general disinterest (Hadjri, 2009). When evaluations are completed, they are often a one-dimensional feedback process with no simple or standardized way to carry results into future projects (Hadjri, 2009). want to understand and design for environmentbehavior relationships, but they lack many of the proper tools and systems to do so. William Whyte & Others Landscape architects and other design professionals have frequently turned to other disciplines such as psychology and sociology in order to improve designs, and understand why previous projects may have failed to produce desired or expected user behavior. William Whyte serves as our primary example of an urbanist who studied and described user behavior of Small Urban Spaces (1980) , are undoubtedly the leading primers for urban designers on behavioral research. The work studies the behaviors and movement patterns of people as they visit plazas in New York City. Whyte was interested in why some plazas were successful while others were not. Indeed, the dynamic human interactions observed proved much more intriguing than the static characteristics of the landscape that they occurred in by the quality of social life in public space. He further believed that we, as designers and community members,


10 have a moral obligation to create “physical places that facilitate civic engagement and community interaction” (“William H. Whyte,” PPS). Later in his career, Whyte called for participatory action research (PAR) as a “powerful strategy to advance both science and practice” from initial design explorations through post-occupancy evaluations (Whyte, 1991). PAR seeks to both understand and improve the world by changing it. This is done through collective and lives (Baum, 2006). PAR has been widely used in public health and social work contexts, with close ties to the urban public realm. For instance, community based PAR is common in focus groups, visioning exercises, and community forums held by groups that aim to foster Healthy Communities and Healthy Cities movements that work to prevent chronic diseases and reduce health gaps (Minkler, 2000). In a similar way, PAR is also used by planners and designers to involve and familiarize climate-vulnerable communities with climate change adaptation and resilience options, plans, and policies (Gidley, 2009). Whyte also created a “theory of triangulation,” the process by which an external stimulus (such as a sculpture or musician) provides a social bond between people that prompts strangers to talk as if they know one another they can also serve to bring people together” (2011). He goes on to explain that understanding triangulation is 2011). This Dutch architect believed that buildings were much more than the sum of their functions, and that they should always “facilitate human activity and promote social interaction” (Demerijn, 2013). Van Eyck thought that functionalism left the human aspect of architecture forgotten (Demerijn, 2013). He is famous for designing hundreds of playgrounds in a postwar Netherlands. These playgrounds were often placed in the empty lots that resulted from bombings during war (Demerijan, 2013). Reinvigoration of the urban fabric in this way allowed previously abandoned spaces to become social nodes of the city (Demerijan, 2013). Jane Jacobs and her famous work, (1961) also placed great importance on the study of behavior-environment relationships. Her approach has much in common with Van Eyck, in that it fosters a more human and community-based approach to understanding and nurturing urban life with a focus on Ecological Psychology & Behavior Settings human behavior is ecological psychology. ecological psychology and related disciplines (Popov, 2012). The term “behavior setting” emphasizes the role that the environment has in the determining of individual behavior, and works under the assumption that human behaviors can be predicted and even controlled by physical context (Thwaites, 2000). Barker and those in his camp speak of the “ecological-psychological gap,” or the disconnect between the psychology of people and the


11 operations of environments (Fuhrer, 1990). afford various behaviors in people (1966). He believed that the foundation of human perception and subsequent behaviors comes from the environment, rather than a peripheral or internal sensation (Gibson, 1966). He called this ‘ecological environments at all, but from internal human processes and desires (Perkins, 1988). However, more likely is that both setting-related components and person-related components (Fuhrer, 1990). advance their understanding of the places they design. Behavior mapping was created on the basis of both behavior setting and affordance theories to objectively measure relationships between places and activities that better conceptual frameworks for landscape architecture which move design focus away from excessive function and style, toward, instead, a focus on wider human experience (Thwaites, 2000). Such humanistic approaches to landscape architecture understand the landscape as an expressive medium for design, but more importantly as Social Performance Prototyping Behavioral research should not only be done by researchers at universities. Real time “beta testing” of projects should be widely used by practitioners in order to observe and measure the potential outcomes of different design alternatives (Miller, 2012). The profession of landscape architecture is very familiar with appearance prototyping. We use this as a tool all the time in the form of models and renderings, usually to help sell an unbuilt product and show others what it will look like at completion. A lesser-used, but arguably just as important tool, is “experience prototyping.” Jane Suri of IDEO explains experience prototypes as something includes programming, event, and temporary installation allows for experience prototyping and user feedback in advance of expensive permanent construction” (2012). This kind of direct project-based behavioral research is rarely carried out in practice. However, West 8 Toronto provides a useful example. While working on a waterfront plan which proposes the weekend on the elevated roadway instead (Miller, 2012). This allowed them to gather data on the higher level completion. Events like these can even help projects gain public buy-in (Miller, 2012). Other temporary experience prototypes like kiosks, pop-up parks, and hammock or swing installations are already used quite often by landscape architects and allied professions. However, these events and installations are typically treated solely as demonstrations rather than as tests from which to gather information and they ought to be both (Miller, 2012). By testing designs ideas and alternatives on-the-ground, we gain valuable insight into how the community will truly use the space. User feedback as part of the design process, then, becomes behavioral research should be combined with an increased body of academic behavior-environment literature.


12 Miller explains that doing this would provide designers with a working social model and allow them to better predict how their interventions might change this model (2012). He further explains that the designer should test user response to both appearance and experience prototypes, to produce design iterations that perform increasingly well. User experience testing is used extensively in the development of products, applications, and web-interfaces – so why not also in the landscape? In Queues psychology is highly complex, and here we will only skim the surface of the topic and what it might mean from the perspective of a landscape architect. We know that what negatively affects queue-goers the most is the anxiety, uncertainty, and boredom that can often accompany the wait. Enduring a longer-than-expected wait time, and having someone else cut in front of us in line are also of concern (Cole, 2015). Wiess discusses the problems that come with traditional line queues and their user experience (“The Waiting Game”). While lowering waiting times is one way to increase visitor satisfaction, he instead focuses on the is that the designer must be aware of spatial layout in order to develop queues that “encourage the perception of progress.” For instance, narrow, winding queues where you cannot see how long the line is in front of you, are better than lines where you can see most of the group waiting (Wiess, “The Waiting Game”). Further, if a wait ends on a happy note, such as the queue speeding up toward the end, we remember the entire experience positively despite being unhappy for the majority of the time (Cole, 2015). Because much of the day at a theme park is spent waiting in queues, theme park designers have become experts ride; this is a huge feat (Swanson, 2015). Thus, a study of theme park queues provides us with a good summary of how to create an enjoyable experience despite a long wait. Swanson and Cole (2015) believe the primary ways in which they accomplish this are by: Having one long queue, not multiple shorter ones (reduces anxiety and indecision of which to join). Making the queue winding (this encourages a feeling of progress). Providing distraction with things to do/look at (interactive exhibits, highly themed details to look at). Managing expectations (provide expected total and “from this point” wait times) pleasantly surprised). Sometimes, people do not mind long queues at all. Quite often, the desire to not miss out on what the rest of the group is doing urges people to join a line even if they do not know what is at the end of it. The user, following a “herd instinct,” assumes there must be something of great value at the end simply because there is a long queue (Cole, 2015). Another particularly unique example of willingness to wait is the celebratory queue. Most people are not bothered by waiting, for instance, outside the Apple store for the newest iPhone release or at the base of the Eiffel Tower preparing for a ride to the top, because excitement about what is at the end of the line overpowers any potential boredom or annoyance (Cole, 2015). Celebratory queues have a unique atmosphere of excitement, partially because temporary communities are created by these lines where all people in the queue hold


13 a common interest (Bendix, 2015). This is especially relevant when speaking about social engagement, because there is a built-in topic that all parties care about and relate to. Queues in places like the grocery store or bank are the opposite of a celebratory queue, with little to no common interest between people in line. Perhaps by better understanding the dynamics present in celebratory queues, we can embed similar notions of community and excitement into more everyday queue experiences. Note on Social Marketing: Richard Larson, who instructs on queue theory at MIT, argues that queues are ideal places to sell things to a very successfully promote a product while actually increasing happiness of the queue audience. In landscape architecture, “advertising” components could very easily be transformed into social marketing concepts. Social marketing is the idea of marketing desired behaviors to a target audience rather than products of our design repertoire. Perhaps a captive audience in line for the bus could be encouraged not to buy the latest gadget, but instead to recycle, conserve water, or discuss a political issue with their neighbor. Landscape viewing certain types of sea level rise imagery can result in more sustainable behavior choices (Sheppard, 2005). It seems that if this sort of marketing were to be used within a queue environment, behavior change may be even more likely due to the captive audience effect. Early versions of engagement design have been inherent in landscape architecture since the beginning of the profession. Landscape architects have long designed to engage people both with environments and with each engagement design in the historical context of the profession. Current Research Today, new forms of engagement design are being studied. As interactive digital screens become the norm for engaging interactive displays (Muller, 2013). Integrating displays into built environment pieces like street furniture and bus shelters poses interesting challenges and opportunities for the designer, as these displays are characterized by issues unique to the urban setting including physical integration, robustness, content,


stakeholders, and social relations (Dalsgaard, 2010). More broadly, others are working to understand the dynamics of engaging interactions in public spaces. It has been proposed that engagement may be understood as a product of the relationships between four elements: cultural, physical, content-related, and social (Dalsgaard, 2011). Research is also being done on how to create and sustain social engagement within community networks (Millen, 2002). Designing to encourage behavior change design (Tromp, 2011). GAMIFICATION non-game contexts in order to make experiences more fun as constructs of rules or methods designed for interaction. By understanding the underlying mechanics that make games enjoyable and engaging, we can then transfer their applications to other instances where we want to engage a user. Some examples of game mechanics include: competition, cooperation, risk, reward, and strategy (Deterding, 2011). “ Non-game contexts” applying these game mechanics, elements, and/or game design techniques to something that is not a game, and making that something appear more game-like (Sicart, 2008). incorporate the “social” and “reward” aspects of games into promotional software (Deterding, 2011). Almost urban public realm. – The concept of applying game-design thinking to non-game applications to make them more fun like achievement, competition, altruism, and status.


15 True Games – Rule based, with an emphasis put on beating the game (i.e. playing and winning). Game Mechanics Constructs of rules or methods designed for interaction, including things like competition, cooperation, risk, reward, and strategy. Public Space – Social spaces that are open and accessible to all; including squares, plazas, parks, public beaches, and streets. Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivations Motivations can either be intrinsic (driven by internal rewards which originate within an individual) or extrinsic (driven by outside rewards such as money, points, or prestige). Experiences are usually more meaningful when you act because you want to, not because you are being rewarded. However, triangulating and outside pressures such as extrinsic rewards often undermine intrinsic motivations motivation the user may have had for the activity. One theory describes three innate needs for intrinsic motivation (Schell and Deterding, 2011; adapted from “Self-Determination Theory,” Deci and Ryan 1985): Relatedness: The universal need to interact and be connected with others. Competence: The universal need to be effective and master a problem in a given environment. It is important to take note of the differences between meaningful than using points, leaderboards, and scoring systems to engage users (2012). A frequent critique is that lazy (a leaderboard ranked student progress; they received badges as rewards), students over time showed less play , rather than elements of scoring (Nicholson, 2012).


16 experience” which relates to innate human goals (i.e. mastery of an environment) (Nicholson, 2012). Even more powerful is an experience that creates this positive internalized experience but is also Encouraging Desired Behavior anything concrete, earning a “gold star” or badge is often enough reward in itself to encourage behaviors (Frith, for those who design physical space. Improving User Experience and User Engagement techniques, they are most always aiming to engage and satisfy the user by putting fun into new contexts (Deterding, 2011). Breaking the Norm Pellitero, who studies the mapping and monitoring of intangible aspects of the landscape, beautifully explains the view, but inside of it, creating it by the same corporeal action and body awareness. The collective game, based on the cooperation and the self-organisation is not only happening in the Internet, but also in the physical space and the landscape. The collective game, unexpected, breaks with the daily banal life. With the play, time stops for a while. This pause in the daily life, with the objective to have fun, can trans form reality into a musical, establish new and temporary behavior rules, provoke transgression, always during a short period of time, to return later to the normal life (p. 69). performance in a busy plaza) enrich and enliven the way we experience our world (Pellitero, 2011). Even more importantly, they allow us the chance to share ideas and connect with one another.


Increased Tourism memorable travel experiences. Egger and Bulencea suggest doing this by linking experience staging with game design thinking (2016). They give the example of Wroclaw’s Dwarfs . In the city of Wroclaw, Poland, there are about three hundred small dwarf sculptures scattered across the landscape. Since the beginning of their installation in 2001, the dwarfs have become both a tourist attraction and a symbol of the city itself. Each dwarf has its own story, and many relate to attractions or restaurants near where they are placed (Egger, 2016). Dwarf hunting (searching for new dwarfs with friends) is a favorite attraction in Wroclaw that allows experiences such as this often increase social engagement it is common to see people telling stories or taking photos while gathered around a dwarf statue (Egger, 2016). Wroclaw Dwarfs act as real-life easter eggs. Overlay that business and product designers using game mechanics are demeaning their art form and creating things with little to no meaning. Zichermann disagrees with this common criticism, explaining that critics use a circular argument: just as well-designed and poorly-designed games exist, so does well-designed and poorly-designed motivation for the activity (Zichermann, 2011)? This is, in my opinion, the most important critique for a designer Coercion and Deception persuade people into doing things that they otherwise might not have done (Nicholson, 2012). Froehlich


18 opportunity to do something they people to do something you in Project 51 below). However, landscape architects can Urban Data Collection measurements to a large database directly from their smartphone (Marti, 2012). The idea behind this is that use the data in further analyses and decision making processes. In the noise pollution example, participants would use cell phone geo-location data and microphones to study noise pollution. Generally, users aim to take samples in many different “cells” in different parts of the city, and interface, rather than something inherently designed to be a part of public urban space. However, it is still useful Bike Relocation The Millennial generation has a greater willingness to use public transportation, rideshares, and bikeshares example, and one which designers and planners should take note of. What if cities were designed to be more complementary to these types of redistribution games? How might our current and future development/ redevelopment plans accommodate such things?


19 1 [a] Playable Cities Coined by Watershed, a charity in the United Kingdom, the term “Playable City” represents a framework of a city that generates social dialogue by creating shared experiences through play. Watershed sponsors a Playable City Award which invites designers to propose projects that make cities more livable, open, and human. Many of the projects created for Playable City rethink the city infrastructure and use it as an opportunity to respond to the “coldness” and “anonymity” of the urban environment with activities that bring joy and human connection. generated. Some case examples in Chapter 2 have won this award. Project 51 is a deck of playing cards that prompts residents in the Los Angeles area to go explore the LA River by completing different activities along its banks. The cards have encouraged people to view the river as a regional resource instead of a neighborhood one. While many people had only seen the small portion of the river that runs through their area prior to the inception of the project (often due to poor transportation options), the cards have helped people understand that the 51 mile rivershed is all a linked system. By transcending political boundaries (almost half the river is located outside of the city of LA), the project helps inspire collaboration between neighboring cities. This project also is integrative across groups in that the cards are intended to reach out to residents along the river as well as those who have never seen the river at all. By creating something that is accessible across groups with varied values and ideologies, the project has a greater impact. Social media and public involvement is also highly important in this case – citizens are asked not only to go explore the river, but to also create their own [c] 99 Tiny Games This project places tiny games” throughout the city of London, to gamify its public space. Quick and easy game instructions written on circular plaques were placed on buildings and sidewalks, to encourage visitors to play. Unlike the other examples, 99 Tiny Games other than “just for fun” – an important goal in itself. 1 ences” section below the main bibliography.


20 CONNECTING BEHAVIOR-ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH, ENGAGEMENT DESIGN, AND GAMIFICATION TO PRODUCE SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT My own research is based on the assumption that all of these topics can be weaved together, where behaviorproduce social engagement in public spaces. sociological, psychological, and environmental implications of interactive architecture are currently being studied (Fox, 2009). Architecture literature has even discussed advances in socially interactive spatial design to generate One way we might bridge these topics in the landscape is through public art and other installations. As an Interactive installations like his, which are meant to encourage exercise, merge ideas from all three of the above research topics. Artists who create public installations should be close allies of the landscape architect, as their work often acts as a catalyst to spark social engagement. Public Space (1992) . These needs are: 1. Passive engagement with the environment, where we observe others and what they do. 2. Active engagement through intellectual challenges posed by the space, or through engagement with the people in it. 3. Excitement of novel discoveries within the space. spaces, and that these are a widely underused resource (2012). Clearly, interactive exhibits are only one of many potential ways of promoting social engagement in the public realm, but they shall be the focus of this project. study should form the basis of a new conceptual framework that supports social engagement in public space. shown to increase social behavior (Memarovic, 2012). However, little research has been done on what kinds of interactive exhibits are most effective at producing social engagement. My research project begins to address this gap in knowledge.


21 Chapter 2: Case Examples I elements and explore their observed (or potential for) increased social engagement. The successes and limitations of these case studies shall serve as examples of what has been done, and will further serve as inspiration for possibilities that lie ahead in engagement design. Engagement with interaction design often manifests itself as interactive projects or installations (Dalsgaard, 2011), so these examples are the focus of this chapter. This chapter is organized into three sections: (1) Parks, Plazas, and Open Space, (2) Transportation and Bus Stops, and (3) Inspiring Social Change. permanent projects and temporary installations . The projects are divided in this way, because permanence greatly affects the way landscape architects plan for interactive exhibits. We often have a direct hand in the creation of permanent projects. Temporary temporary art is that, because it is understood that the exhibit will only be there for a limited amount of time, the artist and landscape architect are free to use more challenging and cutting-edge messages and mediums (“William H. Whyte,” PPS). Landscape architects can support these interactive public art installations both by collaborating that have goals of shifting behaviors, cultural values, or norms toward more positive or useful paradigms. These case examples 2 are also intended to represent diversity in physical location and context. As such, examples are provided from around the world. 2 the main bibliography for sources organized by case example.


22 SECTION 1: PARKS, PLAZAS, AND OPEN SPACE [1] Possil Gym Wall Glasgow, Scotland This “Urban Gym Wall” concept was developed by ERZ studios for an area outside a health center building in north Glasgow, Scotland. The client asked for a concept which would promote public health in an innovative way. A once empty walking path that leads from the parking lot toward the building has been transformed into a social exercise space. The wall is oriented toward the street, which “enables both the public and patients of the Health Centre” to engage with both the interactive wall and each other. This is a particularly good example of engagement design because it shows that even very static elements we often work with in urban hardscapes can actually be highly interactive. This is relevant to my own work, especially because it places a focus on social engagement. While the exercises can be completed alone, they are more enjoyable when being done with others, encouraging social interaction.


23 [2] Musical Chair Toronto, Canada This musical chair turns an ordinary bench into a functional xylophone. A mallet is chained to the backrest, and steel tubes of varied lengths emit different notes when they are struck. The designer, exhibit artist Paul Aloisi, explains that the bench “generates interaction between members of the public while putting them on stage in a performative environment” others perform seem like natural catalysts of discussion. The performance aspect of this project can surely be applied in other ways as well. Also of interest is the dual use and reimagining of standard street furniture.


[3] Social Spirograph San Francisco, California This case example of interactive seating in a public plaza is unique in that not only can the users physically manipulate and interact with their environment, but they can also observe the effect their manipulations have structures, visitors can watch and explore the dynamics of social behavior (Peterson, 2013). Perhaps the results of this experiment are of more interest to urban planners and designers than the average plaza visitor, but still, this unique installation serves as a fun and thought-provoking experience for all. Created by Rebar Art + Design Group and The Exploratorium, the Social Spirograph portion of the design allows visitors to rotate large swiveling seating benches to reposition them around a stationary central bench. To track the history of its own movement, the bench draws lines of chalk along its path, creating ever-changing arcs place soon after opening to the public, as the heavy benches could gain momentum quickly and were deemed a safety hazard. The Social Circles portion of the design remains fully functional, allowing wooden seats to slide into any position along two metal arcs. If the Social Spirograph portion could be replicated with a more careful eye toward safety, this project seems like a highly useful example of a way to promote social engagement. The concept forces people to pay attention to


25 [4] Play Wimbledon district of London could look like over the next 15 years, was won by Pablo Fernandez at Lugadero Studio for his Play Wimbledon entry. This plan imagines the town center “with escalators, giant slides, open air theaters and “live, work, and play” but very few place enough attention on the “play” component of this standard trio. By focusing on integrating play into empty or unused spaces such as rooftops, vacant lots, and space between blocks, the strategy hopes to recover use of the public realm. Items like giant slides which span between roof and ground level act as catalyst devices, spurring citizen engagement with the landscape, and with each other. an urban design context. Whimsical, fun, and modular in its design, this type of plan could very easily be applied to a number of major cities around the world.


26 [5] Shadowing Bristol, England City Award, alters existing lampposts on the streets of Bristol. Eight lamps scattered around the city are programmed to capture the shadows of people and objects that move underneath them. Then, the recorded shadows are projected back onto the ground at a later time. The creators describe the effect as “pockets of others who have moved through the very spot where they are standing prior to them, and who will be there after. Another aim of the project is to light up less-traversed corners of the city, both increasing safety in these areas as well as encouraging residents to go explore different parts of town. Clearly, lamppost visitors are not able to speak with their new shadow friends (they have long since moved on from the space). And yet, Shadowing still invites interaction between people. Playful and creative responses to the installation were common. People would wave, dance, and cartwheel under the lampposts to record unique shadows for future passersby. Although indirect, this is still a clear form of social engagement perhaps even more powerful than a true conversation because of the anonymity involved. Further, the installation sparks social engagement within groups that arrive together, who often collaborate to create interesting shadows to leave behind. Of note is the combination of this successful social engagement method combined with another goal (in this case, increased safety and exploration of lesser used parts of the city).


[6] Whispering Clouds Conceptual Whispering Clouds is a conceptual project that could be applicable in almost any city. A playful physical manifestation of “the cloud” where we store digital information, this installation allows people display questions spaces, and invite people to send messages to one another through them. At certain times of day, messages are displayed to match a theme or tell a story. A product of Tine Bech Studio, Bech explains that Whispering Clouds “i nvestigates how we can create new ways of connecting in public places and explores new forms of information sharing in the city” (2015). She goes on structure by which meaningful interaction can arise” (Bech, 2015). At the heart of this installation is public communication with strangers. However, the somewhat cold and inhuman aspect of the digital text-based interface might threaten the arguably more genuine interactions that occur with many of the other case examples in this chapter. Essentially an anonymous sounding board, these other options seem more likely to promote a deeper kind of social engagement: one that might only be possible face-to-face. Still, the potential of this project to make the public to feel as if they are part of a larger social community gives it a decent shot at successfully promoting social engagement.


28 [7] The Light Bridge Also created by Tine Bech Studio, this interactive and playable light installation at the University of Surrey inspires friendly competition among academic researchers. Research teams working on projects are each assigned a different color. Then, stronger research teams are able to claim more rectangular panels along the bridge footpath as their own. Research team “strength” is determined by the quantity of successes such as funding, their color to conquer more panels of the bridge. Others, including university students and the public, can also to see which research team is currently in the lead. I speculate that this project is sparking social engagement throughout the university. Researchers, who are often deeply involved in their own work, might be inspired by the bridge to ask colleagues about their projects. This is While the installation is intended to highlight “interdisciplinary research by visualizing it and encouraging collaboration,” I believe that perhaps this or similar projects could employ even greater support for discussion encourage discussion in this way (especially as compared to the current underused street below). *Knowledge spillover is an exchange of ideas among individuals from differing specializations or backgrounds (Carlino, 2001). Urbanist Jane Jacobs wrote extensively about her take on spillover, which focuses on how the both growth and innovation. She believed that exchange of information between individuals from diverse support these exchanges (Carlino, 2001).


29 [8] Bubble Building Rotterdam, Netherlands Bubble Building by DUS Architects takes them very seriously. and giant bubble wands. Working together, people can carefully create “buildings” large enough for children to stand inside. that occurs within a city. As in the real world, when a bubble building pops, people tend to immediately attempt to construct a new one. Collectivity is at the heart of this installation it is only possible to create one of the 16 “cells” of the building if at least two people help build it. This is a nod to the larger concept of collective building: the more people involved in construction, the larger the bubble structure can potentially become. This collectivist theme is essential to the creation of social engagement through the exhibit. It is impossible to not However, a criticism is that the underlying message might be lost on people here. Building cycles and economic “bubble bursts” are likely not at the forefront of discussion as people are constructing their dream bubble worlds.


30 [9] Musical Light Swings & Seesaws Montreal, Canada In Montreal, traditional playground equipment augmented with lights and music often dot the streets. Some of these installations have been so popular and successful that they currently travel to different cities around the world, enlivening public spaces wherever they go. A unique way for people to create music with their entire bodies, each of 21 musical swings emits notes of either a guitar, piano, vibraphone, or harp as people play. The higher a person swings, the higher the note played. When some swings are synchronized, the sounds move into more complex melodies. In this way, certain melodies can only be heard through cooperation with others. At night, the bottom of each swing is lit in bright white, creating swinging patterns of light that match the music. The “collective instrument” is a natural complement for social engagement, as working together with others of different ages and backgrounds is the only way to fully experience the installation. Deeper discussion is less likely in this case, as users are more focused on playing, listening to the music, and occasionally working out the logistics of synchronization. However, the hope is that people who experience these types of communal activities regularly in their neighborhoods will be more open to helping and collaborating with others in all facets of their lives. This installation, made by different designers but also located in Montreal, fosters a similar experience. Thirty seesaws of different sizes line the street, and as people use them, various tones are emitted which create harmonies with synchronization. Built in LED lights and speakers allow users to become composers. Videoprojections on nearby building facades are also incorporated. Light emitted by the seesaws moves and changes in intensity depending on the angle of the board. for designers to recognize why people might be discouraged from spending time in public space and to try to address these concerns. The interactive seesaws do this well by encouraging people to keep moving and by distracting them from the cold weather and early winter sunsets with something bright, fun, and unexpected.


31 Many interactive exhibits incorporate special lighting. Light seems to be a simple, inexpensive way to achieve available for the installation designer to explore (see Shadowing ). Unique lighting seems especially useful at night, to “spotlight” an interactive exhibit among the rest of the landscape (as in Seesaws ; ). On Scale: Interactive projects in public space can vary from the scale of a bench ( Musical Chair ) to the scale of a neighborhood ( Play Wimbledon ). The appropriate scale for a project is likely dependent upon both the intent of the project and the needs of the community. Often, it is also appropriate for smaller-scale exhibits to be duplicated and placed in multiple parts of a community (as in Whispering Clouds, Shadowing ). On Placement: Placing exhibits on previously ignored sidewalks or parking lots (as in Musical Chair , Shadowing , Gym Wall ) breathes new life into forgotten spaces. Placement in more prominent areas such as busy plazas ( Social Spirograph ) is also useful as a way to orchestrate the space in a new, more productive way.


32 SECTION 2: TRANSPORTATION AND BUS STOPS stronger communities and their public spaces through placemaking, explains that a “transit station or stop can serve much more than a transportation function; it can be a setting for community interaction” (Nelson, “Thinking Beyond”). They encourage communities to “think beyond the station” by creating public transit stops which engage riders and neighbors with attractive, clever, and imaginative public amenities (Nelson, “Thinking Beyond”). This section explores such examples. [10] Ring Around the Tree This structure by Tezuka Architects, is a bus stop where Kindergarteners wait for their buses home. Stairs, ramps, and small tunnels form an oval built around an old zelkova tree which was partly uprooted during a typhoon, but unexpectedly recovered. Two “rooms” can also serve as outdoor classrooms. Similar social dynamics that are common on a playground probably occur here. Children make up games and imaginative play storylines, using the “treehouse” as their castle, pirate ship, or space station. This is even more apparent because of the lack of prescription of the space as compared to a traditional playground. Unprescribed environments foster the ways children naturally play and socialize. Further, the exclusion of adults in the tiny tunnels and corners of the structure gives children a sense of ownership and control over their own space. At most primary schools, children simply wait in a line as they prepare for their bus to arrive. However, by giving children a space to play and interact with each other while waiting, we likely support their social, physical, and mental development.


33 [11] Xylophone Road This project, shortlisted in the Seoul Cycle Design Competition, is an interactive bicycle path on a bridge which plays music and lights up when riders move over it. An internal hammer activated by the pressure of the bicyclist hits wooden bars of varied lengths that are installed along a railing to produce the sound. The project is intended to encourage biking in Seoul in order to reduce vehicle congestion and improve air quality. It was submitted by Yeon Jae Won and Woo Jeong Heo. Social engagement and discussion are unlikely to occur as a result of this installation, but the potential for


[12] Piano Staircase Stockholm, Sweden The Piano Staircase subway station, where most people previously chose to take the escalator over the steps as they exited to the to do. Now, as people walk up the stairs, notes that correspond to an actual piano are played. The installation was The unexpectedness of an exhibit like this seems to be the primary factor that might lead to social engagement. Users might discuss the different patterns of sound that their steps make, or even try to play a song. Although surely possible, I am skeptical that the installation would result in discourse about healthier lifestyle choices among regular citizens. Discussion about the social issue of public health and exercise is not the goal of this project, and no signage or other material are provided in that regard. Although almost everyone would agree that encouraging climbing stairs is a healthy and positive idea, Piano Staircase we modify behavior without individual consent, even when the new behaviors are objectively “better”? Some may feel they are being “tricked” into healthier behaviors. However, more transparent programs may be less effective. This ethical dilemma is important to consider in any installation aiming to alter public behavior.


35 [13] Songboard at King’s Cross Station Songboard is an installation placed outside a major railway station in London. It was designed by students from Spaces and Objects programs. A grid of balls which are each half black and half yellow line an exterior wall. The balls can be turned individually on their vertical axis, allowing people to create patterns, words, and images train schedule. When people spin the balls, sounds are created. Dragging a hand along a horizontal row will actually play familiar and recognizable melodies. The installation was created by university students as part of a of the Games. The board served as a public forum and free place of expression. Some would spin the balls at random or create a small image, while others came prepared with sketches of intricate designs of a larger scale to copy onto the wall. By providing a place where creativity and individual expression are expected, social engagement likely thrives here.


36 [14] Bus Stop Heater Quebec, Canada This bus stop in Quebec allows people to complete an electrical circuit with their bodies, turning on a heater in the ceiling above. If more than one person is at the bus stop, they can link hands while touching the sensors at each end of the structure. Then, four vents light up and release hot air into the shelter. The project creates actual warmth through the metaphorical “warmth” between people that occurs when holding hands. It was sponsored and built by Duracell. . Because the bus stop heater is only activated with human connection, the project makes its narrative of interaction with strangers very obvious. By encouraging a physical connection that oversteps personal space, people are more likely to talk with their fellow bus-riders. The heaters stay on for several minutes after the circuit has been broken, representing the idea that warmth between people is strong enough to endure even when the source has been cut.


[15] Augmented Reality Bus Shelter This bus shelter, sponsored by Pepsi Max, uses a live feed video camera combined with virtual reality technology abductions, robot invasions, and tentacle monsters appearing from underground. Other times, people are lifted by a large group of colorful balloons, or a tiger casually walks by. Some of the interactivity here is actually involuntary. The augmented reality interacts with ordinary people on the street without their knowledge, by incorporating them into an imaginative scene. The people who view these scenes are simply passively watching them occur from inside the shelter. Then, does this promote social who are part of the augmented image likely are not a part of this engagement at all. After the initial surprise, people often realized that they could put themselves into the bizarre scenes, and would stand in the correct places and “react” to what they knew was happening virtually. Meanwhile, others often recorded video of the production from inside the shelter. Perhaps this was not the original intent of the installation, but interactions like this are much more complex as compared to some of the other examples in this chapter. Much can be learned from a multi-step interaction such as this that needs no written instruction. When the interaction is relatively intuitive but citizens come up with “their own” idea of recording themselves in a scene, the installation than one person (as someone else must be inside the bus stop to record), so social interaction is required.


38 On Sound: Many of the installations in this section employ sound as a technique to engage the public. Sound provides an interesting opportunity for creativity in the public realm, as most objects are usually silent. Sound should be used carefully, as to not simply add to the urban cacophony of cities; noise pollution is a concern in many places, and designers who add things to the environment should be cognizant of this. However, when employed well, sounds can be used in highly thought provoking, interactive, and playful ways. On Surprise: Surprise tends to promote discussion and connection between people who experience it together. Things that are unexpected, such as Bus Stop Heater and Augmented Reality Bus Shelter urge people to pay attention. This seems like it would be useful when trying to convey a message – particularly one about social change.


39 SECTION 3: INSPIRING SOCIAL CHANGE [16] Owlized Sea Level Rise Projection San Francisco, California This virtual reality installation, on the surface, appears to be a coin-operated telescope landscape viewer identical to those often stationed at famous landmarks. However, the viewers are actually programmed to overlay digital images of projected changes to the landscape caused by sea level rise. The user sees the landscape as it might look in the future in 360 degrees and in 3D. By allowing people to interact with the future projections in such an intimate way, they may better grasp the potential consequences of not responding to threats of sea level rise in a timely manner. Public education on such issues can also lead to greater support for adaptation plans. Another key feature of this installation is that it invites users to record their own comments and reactions to what they ideas about an uncomfortable topic. Beyond sea level projections, this product can also be used to project any past or future landscape. Historic sites have used it to display the past over the present, to allow visitors to travel back in time. Landscape architects and other designers might be excited to learn that the product can also be used with digital renderings. Often, they are used to gather community feedback by allowing the public to visualize and comment on design alternatives. In terms of social engagement, this installation is likely to make people stop and discuss what they see with their party. However, due to the somewhat controversial ideas about sea level rise, people likely will not begin a conversation with a stranger about the topic as a result of this installation. Perhaps more important in this case is the potential for the production of civic and public engagement, meaning that after viewing images through , citizens begin to want to speak to community leaders, advocate for new legislation, and give their feedback on potential adaptation plans.


[17] COMMPOST Concept for Austin, Texas composting process for themselves they are able to add their own food scraps and water into pits of the sculpture to watch them eventually turn into soil. They are also encouraged to scan QR codes with cell phones to learn more about ecological food disposal. The concept was created by Daniel Gillen, Colby Suter, and Gustav Fagerstrom. Social engagement may occur as people gather around the unique sculptural form, and together try to understand its message and how to interact with it.


[18] Joy and Pain Mapping Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota This traveling installation by Rebecca Krinke asks people in public parks to draw on a map of Minneapolis/ St. Paul and highlight places where they have experienced either joy or pain. Gold and grey colored pencils accompany the custom map to signify either joy or pain. The artist explains that while this idea was originally conceived as a quiet and personal activity in a public space, she was surprised by the “profound sharing of stories at the map” – people felt compelled to explain things that had happened to them to one another as they completed the activity. As a result, more people engage in dialogue related to environments and how they might encourage different feelings and experiences around their own cities. Perhaps this might lead to more serious discussion about inequalities throughout the city (Are some areas This case is an interesting one because deep discussion evolved out of something that was expected to be much more passive and personal. We know that people like to tell stories, especially when the stories are about themselves. Providing safe spaces to do this in a public way seems like a highly effective method of encouraging discussion between community members. The designer appears to support this idea and mentions that the success of the project “underscores the need for new types of spaces and public engagements that invite a larger range of human emotion and interaction” (Krinke, 2011).


[19] LED Fish Bellies San Marcos, Texas While rather simplistic in its design and interactivity, the LED Fish Bellies installation is intended to encourage people to think about and discuss local biodiversity. The Fish Bellies interactive sculpture by public art designers the sculpture is illuminated with LED lights that are interactive: students can adjust both the intensity and saturation of the lights. Created to encourage both play and awareness of the biodiversity present in the nearby San Marcos River, the designers hope that students might make parallels between ecological diversity and the demographic diversity of the TSU campus. installations are often too vague or abstract for the general public to “get it.” If no signage or other material should be vague enough to where they invite thought and discussion, but not so vague that their message is dismissed entirely. The biodiversity theme and intent behind this is exciting, but might be more successful if executed differently.


[20] Tetrabin Sydney, Australia Tetrabin block stacking video game, Tetris. When a person puts their trash into the bin, the trash “becomes” a tetris block based on the approximate size and shape of the real object. This is done through sensors, LED lights wrapped around the outside of the bin, and mapping capabilities. Users must drop their trash into the bin at the right time Tetrabin with a goal of better understanding how to create positive change in urban environments through digital technologies. The idea was originally composed as a simple way to combat littering in Sydney, but actually became much more. The bins, as part of a larger festival (Vivid Sydney: a citywide celebration of light, music, and ideas), created discourse and promoted environmental awareness related to the collection and management of waste in cities. They were designed by alumni of the Design Lab at the University of Sydney, Sam Johnson and Seven Bai. A core vision of the installation is that everyday street furniture can quite easily become playful smart-objects that interact with people in the community. Social engagement occurs as people work together to move forward important outcome here is the potential for people to talk to each other about how waste is managed in their city, and about other environmental issues. This installation may be particularly useful to teach children, who may have never thought about where trash goes after it is thrown away.


OVERALL THEMES (PUBLIC SPACE + TRANSPORTATION + SOCIAL CHANGE) On Clarity: Art, including public art, is often unclear and left open to interpretation. This is typically a good thing, as people can then bring their own meaning to a work when they look at or interact with it. However, if the exhibit is the above examples seem to lack this clarity ( Bubble Building and Fish Bellies ). These installations may only be understood as a simple and fun distraction by the public, with the deeper social message unfortunately left behind. It seems important that interpretive signage or something similar be used when an installation alone and prescribed ( COMMPOST ), user-initiated ( Social Spirograph ), inward-focused ( Joy and Pain Mapping ), or cautionary ( ). Interactive exhibits allow us to distribute knowledge to the masses, and it seems important to be cautious about exactly what kind of information we are putting into the world. On Collaboration: Collaboration is perhaps one of the most important ideas explored in this chapter. The most compelling instance of collaboration throughout these examples is By both visualizing and gamifying the idea of collaborative research, University scholars are given more opportunities to work with one another across disciplines on important research topics. Other instances of collaboration ( Bus Stop Heater , Bubble Building ) are useful because they only allow users to fully experience the exhibit if they work together with other people. Activities like these most clearly support public social engagement and subsequent social progress by forcing On Technology: Technology is employed in many of the case examples. By using a relatively advanced technology that most people are not familiar with in their day-to-day lives ( Tetrabin , Augmented Reality Bus Stop ), designers can pull in an attentive audience. Technology also tends to be easy and fun to discuss with others, especially if it is new; this supports social engagement. On Street Furniture: Working with street furniture gives designers of the public realm the opportunity to be creative, innovative, and thoughtful about the items we place in the landscape. From unique seating placement or mobility ( Social Spirograph Tetrabin ) and lampposts with memories ( Shadowing ), furniture affords us the opportunity to take advantage of items that are public necessities by giving them multiple purposes. Allowing such pieces to inspire play, discussion, and social change makes our cities better places to be. Such approaches thus “enhance the experience of interacting with urban furniture...encouraging more active attitudes from people On Multi-purpose: Common across the examples are multi-purpose installations. Many street furniture items were augmented with additional uses (streetlights in Shadowing , benches in Xylophone Bench , and trash cans in Tetrabin ). Ring Around the Tree


On Behavior Change: Some of the explored installations encourage immediate behavior change ( Tetrabin and Piano Staircase ), while others support a more gradual approach prompting users to slowly change their mindsets and potentially their behaviors ( Whether one of these is preferable is yet to be seen, but littering is a behavior that can be adopted immediately, but learning to compost your own food waste is much more complex, requiring more education and understanding, tools and equipment, and regular maintenance. When designing installations that encourage behavior change, the artist or designer should have a complete adopt it. Then, their exhibit should help the community adopt it at a pace that is comfortable and realistic.


Chapter 3: Methodology & Results Project Methodology, Queue Exhibit Descriptions, & Observations D ata collection and observation focuses on measuring social engagement at six interactive queue exhibits in a popular central Florida theme park. The theme park was used as a laboratory in order to most accurately has a vast number of visitors from diverse parts of the country, and world. Further, the theme park laboratory was chosen for data collection. Theme park observation also allowed access to 6+ different interactive exhibits left numerous variables which would have had to be accounted for before comparing results. While theme parks charge admission and are therefore not truly public space in a traditional sense, this project valuable than, perhaps, public plaza or park observation with results that might only be applicable to the city the observation occurred in. However, it is important to recognize that the theme park does leave out many groups in particular, those with low incomes, and those who simply prefer other types of entertainment or vacation options. This is a primary limitation of the framework. Matrix Framework To organize the exhibits observed, the following matrix was used: Group (GCo) (GCh) (ICo) (ICh)


and “Challenge” features are two common game mechanics. Collaborative the full experience of the exhibit; a collaborative game mechanic is one where a community is rallied to work together to solve a problem. Challenge rules in order to “win.” A challenge game mechanic is one which places users in a battle either against the game itself, or against each other on opposing teams. In Collaborative activities, users are motivated primarily by social connections. In Challenge activities, users are motivated primarily by individual mastery of the exhibit. Comparing these with “Group” and “Individual” components of the matrix allows study of the different social dynamics that occur in each of the four interior matrix combinations. Social dynamic differences are of interest because a primary concern of this study is understanding what types of social environments are most conducive to social engagement. More exhibits with an Individual component are studied as compared to those with a Group component both because more exhibits focused on individuals simply exist at the observation site, and because exhibits that are individual-based tend to be more realistic options logistically for the urban public realm. Exhibits intended for individuals typically can be used more quickly and easily, as they do not require the additional input of others. The framework is structured so that conclusions can be made that suggest which of the four exhibit then be explored more thoroughly by looking at different kinds of activities and types of implementation which fall under these type(s). Observation Methodology thirty minutes of observation per exhibit. Each exhibit was observed during a Morning-Afternoon observation session, and an Evening observation session. This was done because the visitor demographic tends to shift slightly as more families with young children exit the park while more teens-young adults enter as the evening begins around 5:00pm. Morning-Afternoon sessions were observed between 9:00am 5:00pm Evening sessions were observed between 5:00pm 11:00pm Observation was focused on measuring social engagement that results from interacting with an exhibit. Social prior to the day of data collection. These social engagement behaviors were very closely aligned with the ones


used by Florian Block et. al. in the paper “ Fluid Grouping: Quantifying Group Engagement around Interactive Tabletop Exhibits in the Wild” which studies social engagement at touchscreen tabletop exhibits in a museum environment (2015). This research began with a more extensive list of nineteen social engagement behaviors, which were reduced down to nine after observation because several occurred either so rarely (<5% of the time) or so (Block, 2015). Due to the selectivity and in-research elimination process of this past work, this project moves After these minor adaptations, the list of social engagement behaviors looked for during observation were selected as follows: How-To Discussion Guests talk to each other about how to operate the exhibit. Content Discussion Guests talk to each other about what they see. Negotiation Guests negotiate what to do amongst themselves. Point Guest points at the exhibit. Delight Guest expresses joy (smiles, laughs, states to the effect of “this is fun!”). Multi-Party Manipulation Guests from different groups interact with the exhibit at the same time. Turns Guests take turns controlling the exhibit. Preventative Gesture* A guest stops another guest from interacting with the exhibit. *Note: This is the only behavior which might be viewed as a “negative” behavior. However, for our purposes, preventative gestures actually correlate positively with social engagement. A preventative gesture was tallied when either (1) someone was so engrossed in the exhibit that another member of the party had to coax them to move forward in line or (2) someone wanted control of the exhibit so much that they would interrupt another user. In both cases, social engagement occurs as a result of the exhibit because there is a clear interaction and social exchange between two or more people. A simple tally of the number of times each of the above social engagement behaviors occurred was recorded. Exhibits with more observed social engagement behaviors, for the purpose of this study, are considered more effective/successful. During observation, group size and approximate age composition (children, teens, adults, mixed, etc.) was also noted. Keep in mind that each exhibit is well-themed to the story associated with the ride it belongs to. However, this research focuses not


50 recommendations that may apply in diverse contexts in the public realm. Rather than referring to the exhibits by their attraction names, I have assigned each exhibit a one-word name, which represents the activity that the user engages in when they interact with it. This naming structure further supports the focus on exhibit mechanics, instead of unnecessarily complicating the data by alluding to ride theming and storylines. Exhibit 1: Pop | Individual Collaborative (ICo) Exhibit 2: Explode | Individual Collaborative (ICo) Exhibit 3: Sort | Individual Challenge (ICh) Exhibit 5: Spin | Group Collaborative (GCo) Exhibit 6: Operate| Group Challenge (GCh) Placed in the matrix framework, the exhibits appear as follows: Group Pop For each exhibit, graphic icons are used to show:


51 Exhibit 1: Pop | Individual Collaborative (ICo) Within the Queue Exhibit Location: Beginning Sequential Relation: Several Exhibits Prior, Several Exhibits After Intuitive: High This exhibit is very low to the ground, which implies that it is intended mainly for young children. The user turns one of four “steering wheel” shaped objects located on each of the sides of a transparent box. Turning the steering wheel causes small balls to “pop” into the air, and bounce violently around the box. Pop is classed as Individual Collaborative because only one person at a time can control a steering wheel, but all four users collaborate with the goal of “popping” as many balls as possible into the air. Limitations: This exhibit is located in an area with more freedom to come and go as compared to the other tested queues. This makes it a less controlled environment. Exhibit 2: Explode | Individual Collaborative (ICo) Within the Queue Exhibit Location: Middle Sequential Relation: First interactive exhibit Intuitive: Not at all Explode allows users to create and oversee an explosion that occurs near the ride itself, beyond the viewing platform the guests are waiting on. This is unique because of the interplay with people already on the ride. This 1. Check how much power the charger has. 2. If the charge is low, rotate the crank. 3. Crank until arrow reaches the green section which says “Blast” 5. Look up to view your explosion. of three sets. Charger/detonator sets in the middle of the six were observed. This was done with the assumption not yet bored of the idea. Explode is classed as Individual Collaborative because individuals collaborate (typically groups of two to three users from the same party) to accomplish the goal. This is done in groups because usually there is only enough time to complete the activity if one person cranks while another detonates before the group must move forward in line.


52 Exhibit 3: Sort | Individual Challenge (ICh) Within the Queue Exhibit Location: Middle Sequential Relation: First Interactive Exhibit Intuitive: High This tabletop touchscreen exhibit features twenty-six stations along a straight linear path. Each station is a sorting and matching game on a digital screen, where users drag and drop items of the same color and size from a large common pool into their own collection. However, “your own” collection changes very rapidly as you progress through the line and move from station to station. So, for example, it is common to abandon your work been sorted and matched, a celebratory animation occurs on the screen to acknowledge the accomplishment. Sort is classed as Individual Challenge because it is a sorting and matching task with a time limitation that is done as an individual. Exhibit 4: Point | Individual Challenge (ICh) Within the Queue Exhibit Location: Middle Sequential Relation: Only Interactive Exhibit, Extended Intuitive: Low This exhibit is unique in that it is a scavenger-hunt style game that is completed throughout the course of the belong among a collection of matching items. Small screens/digital projections are found along the queue where both matching and non-matching items are brought into view. The researcher observed at the second and third stop on the scavenger hunt, with the hope that at this point, users would understand the game and not yet be bored of it. Point is classed as Individual Challenge because it is a matching task done as an individual (sensors only recognize one point at a time). Limitations: Because pointing is a critical aspect of this game, “Point” is omitted from the social engagement


53 Exhibit 5: Spin | Group Collaborative (GCo) Within the Queue Exhibit Location: End Sequential Relation: Last Interactive Exhibit Intuitive: Medium-High This exhibit allows the user to spin a large, highly detailed, and visually pleasing object that is bolted to the ground. These feel heavy to a child before momentum is gained (as such, usually more than one person works to spin an object together). When spun fast enough, an animation is projected onto the ceiling directly above the object. Seven of these objects are located in close proximity of each other, in a circle. When all seven of the objects are spinning in unison, a new, larger, and more rewarding animation is projected in the center of all the result to new users. Spin Exhibit 6: Operate| Group Challenge (GCh) Within the Queue Exhibit Location: End Sequential Relation: Only Interactive Exhibit, Extended Intuitive: High In this exhibit, a series of large screens are placed along the queue wall. In front of each screen, along a handrail, are button controls which allow users to play a series of three mini games on these screens. Every individual in the group operates an intuitive, 3-button control system to work on the mini-game missions. Each game lasts approximately 90 seconds, with a 90 second rest time in between games. The screens rotate through each of the three game options automatically, and all users play the same game at the same time, no matter which screen they are in front of. While each mini game has a slightly different objective (to assemble, collect, or destroy different Operate is classed as Group Challenge because teams (users working on the same screen on the same assigned task), earn a “Group Score” at the end of each mini-game. This seems to encourage people to peek at screens behind or ahead of their own, to compare their group score with other groups. Individuals in line who otherwise would not care for the game may feel obligated, or be coerced, to play by neighbors so that they can increase their group score.


Quotes Overheard Exhibit 1: Pop | Individual Collaborative (ICo) “Turn it like this” “Good job” Exhibit 2: Explode | Individual Collaborative (ICo) “I did that!” “You made it explode” “Awesome job” Exhibit 3: Sort | Individual Challenge (ICh) N/A Exhibit 4: Point | Individual Challenge (ICh) “Did you see that?” Exhibit 5: Spin | Group Collaborative (GCo) Exhibit 6: Operate| Group Challenge (GCh) Interjections were common in this video-game like environment. Players who were deeply involved in the game would say things like “Ah!” “No!” “Ugh” and “Got it!” “We won!” Additional Observations Exhibit 1: Pop | Individual Collaborative (ICo) This exhibit is the most elementary of the six exhibits studied. It is a simple cause/effect reaction that does not require much thought, strategy, or discussion. Exhibit 2: Explode | Individual Collaborative (ICo) Instructions are not at all clear or intuitive. Five steps to read, comprehend, and execute is likely too much to expect of the user in a constantly moving queue.


55 Users pointed quite often at the explosion result of this exhibit, especially at night. Exhibit 3: Sort | Individual Challenge (ICh) Some users did not realize both color and shape need to match, and would continually try to drag mismatched shapes to the wrong place. Low height appropriate for both adults and children. Exhibit 4: Point | Individual Challenge (ICh) Instructional signage seems poorly designed. It occurs on multiple signs a small distance before the exhibit itself is visible. This may lead to confusion and/or users ignoring the signage. Further, the instructions themselves are unnecessarily wordy, and in a poem-like format. Many users seemed confused as to what they should be doing when they reached the exhibit. Simple, concise instruction located closer to the exhibit would likely increase understanding. Some parts of this Multi-Point exhibit are too high for children. However, parents often picked up their children to allow them to see/point, which likely increased social engagement. Children who are not picked up may try to climb railings and faux rocks in order to view the exhibit. People often try to wave or “shoo” at the exhibit instead of point; these gestures are often unrecognized by the sensors. Instructions are not lit up at night, causing further confusion. Exhibit 5: Spin | Group Collaborative (GCo) A lot of pointing occurred during observation of this exhibit, because the resulting projections on the ceiling at the ceiling to view them. Exhibit 6: Operate| Group Challenge (GCh) Users often observe others for a round or two before joining in the game.


56 Results & Comparisons RESULTS Two of the eight originally observed engagement behaviors were omitted following data collection. These were “Turns” and “Multi-Party.” Both scored close to zero recorded instances of the behavior, and thus were removed museum setting (Block, 2015), but these two behaviors proved to be less relevant in a queue setting. Taking turns occurred very infrequently, likely because there is little time in a constantly moving line to purposefully switch back and forth between dominant users. Similarly, multiple parties using an exhibit together was uncommon you, typically those in your own party. The interactive exhibits studied were probably designed with such things in mind; all exhibits can be experienced quickly without hindering the progress of the line. It should also be noted that half of the exhibits (Spin, Operate, Sort) have the capacity to handle 30+ people at a time. However, people using the exhibit together is not the same thing as social engagement across parties. Typically, guests would not discuss or display other social engagement behaviors with anyone other than those who they arrived with. In addition, the researcher must make a judgment call as to which groups of people are “together” versus engagement is recommended though, as this could be an important part of designing for social engagement in study of appropriate placement of interactive exhibits in public space to maximize discussion between strangers. For each of the six exhibits, the total tally of all observed social engagement behaviors for one observation session (day or night) were added, with a sum result. Then, for each exhibit, day sum and night sum were averaged resulting in an average sum and night observation totals. The average sum was used when comparing one exhibit to another. In the case of exhibits and 2 group exhibits), the average sum(s) of the exhibits on each side of the comparison are averaged (so, I 1 +I 2 +I 3 +I 1 +G 2 /2 are compared in the Individual vs. Group example). Weighted sums (noted added), but instead of each behavior being valued equally, discussion behaviors (both How-To Discussion and Content Discussion) are given more weight. and average sum tallies are often referred to as scores (i.e. an exhibit with a higher sum scored higher, and thus showed greater amounts of social engagement). Similarly, an exhibit can win a comparison by a certain number of points. Points are directly equivalent to sums or weighted sums, but the term is used for ease of language and consistency purposes.


58 Behavior Weighting Each of the following comparisons will include both an unweighted and weighted average sum of the observed social behavior tally. It can be assumed that some behaviors might lead to deeper social engagement than others. For example, it was observed during data collection that discussion about the content of an exhibit could quite easily turn into parents and children playing make-believe together this is probably deeper kind of social engagement compared to engagement that is created by other behaviors such as “pointing” or “delight.” For this reason, a weighted average sum that heavily favors discussion behaviors (How-To Discussion, and Content Discussion) is examined. All remaining observed behaviors are weighted equally. The adjusted sums are given the following weights: How-To Discussion: 25% Content Discussion: 25% Negotiation: 12.5% Point: 12.5% Delight: 12.5% Preventative Gesture: 12.5% So, weighted sums are calculated using the equation: (Instances of How-To Discussion * 0.25) + (Instances of Content Discussion * 0.25) + (Instances of Negotiation * 0.125) + (Instances of Point * 0.125) + (Instances of Delight * 0.125) + (Instances of Preventative Gesture * 0.125) * 6 Total Behaviors = Weighted Sum Throughout the following results and analyses, the term “weighted” always implies “weighted favoring discussion behaviors” using the above percentages. Margin of Winning When comparing exhibits or characteristics of exhibits to one another, it is necessary to discuss the “margin of winning,” or, by how many points one exhibit/characteristic “won” the comparison. We should those that result in small win margins. Win by: less than or equal to 12.99 points is considered a “Small Margin” Win by: 13.00 19.99 points is considered a “Moderate Margin” Win by: 20.00+ points is considered a “Large Margin” These margins were determined after looking at the spread of the data, and observing numerical differences between moderate win margins and atypical ones.


59 Additional Notes When interpreting the following results, note that the “Point” social engagement behavior could not be objectively observed for the “Point” exhibit . In this case, the act of pointing is the correct way to participate in the exhibit and thus is not viewed as a social engagement behavior. For this particular exhibit, pointing is the equivalent of touching a button on an exhibit where buttons cause a reaction. This would be considered engagement, but not social engagement as there is no clear interaction with another person. So, to account for the exclusion of this behavior, the Point exhibit data is assigned the average of all day and night behavior Point scores from the comparisons. characteristic comparisons was created to align with the original matrix framework which studies Group/ Individual and Collaborative/Challenge components. The second set of characteristic comparisons explores additional categories related to queue environments including exhibit location, distribution, and sequencing. A third set of characteristic comparisons studies additional categories related to a more general context including time of day, exhibit clarity, and physical/digital exhibit outcomes. All comparisons aim to help us understand which attributes of the interactive exhibits tend to produce higher levels of social engagement. COMPARISONS The total recorded tally of observed social engagement behaviors in the day and night observation sessions were added to obtain a combined sum and combined weighted sum:


60 From highest total social engagement score to lowest, the exhibits were ranked: Unweighted Weighed (Favors Discussion) 1. Spin 1. Spin 2. Explode 2. Operate 3. Operate 3. Explode 5. Pop 5. Point 6. Point 6. Pop The top three scoring exhibits were consistent among both weighted and unweighted scores. The analysis assumes that something about the characteristics of these three exhibits makes them more successful at encouraging social engagement when compared to the other three lower scoring exhibits. The two charts on the following page visualize the relative total social engagement scores between all six exhibits. read starting from the center of the hexagon wheel; an exhibit that is plotted further away from the center of the chart has a higher social engagement score. Thus, exhibits that are charted with dots closer to the center of the hexagon display fewer social engagement behaviors.


61 During the day, Spin (GCo) is the clear winner, and receives the highest overall social engagement score (both weighted and unweighted). Pop , Explode , Sort , and Point receive much lower scores. At night, Spin (GCo) and Explode (ICo) both receive extremely high overall social engagement scores. Scores for all exhibits tend to be higher at night. Explode makes a huge jump from being one of the lowest scoring exhibits during the day, to the highest at night. In both day and night observations, Operate when weighted. Pop and Point are the lowest scoring exhibits. Top Three The following section aims to look more closely at unique characteristics of the top three scoring exhibits. This is done because, post-interpretive analysis of the data, it was clear that additional factors beyond the static categories exhibits were placed in affected the results. Below we look at what else is happening that might make the top three exhibits successful. Spin : This exhibit received the highest overall social engagement score in both weighted and unweighted results. It occurs just after moving from the outdoors into an enclosed, cave-like structure. This sudden change in surroundings may prompt users to pay closer attention to the environment including the interactive activities, even though other interactive elements were available prior to this point. Projections used in an unexpected way (on the ceiling) also make this exhibit unique and more successful in terms of social engagement.


62 Explode : This exhibit is of interest because of its huge gain in social engagement from day to night observation. The exhibit actually places last during the day (5th/6th) but scores so highly during evening hours that it gets consistently bumped into the top three overall rankings. Of course, this could have been a spurious event with an abnormally excited crowd during the evening observation period, but there are likely additional factors in play. Most notably, the overall experience of this exhibit is much more impressive at night. In the evening hours, explosions which during the day are a simple mist spray and sound effect, are dramatically lit with purple, blue, and white lighting. In addition, older teens and adults (with fewer children around in the evening hours) are likely better able to quickly negotiate the complex instructions in order to achieve the effect. Operate: This exhibit is unique in that it is extended, allowing the user many opportunities to observe and/or join in the game. People who are competitive by nature are likely drawn to play, and the ability to observe other team scores and them against your own seems to heighten social engagement. Additionally, its concepts and structure are familiar to anyone who has played a video game. While I assert that novelty and unexpectedness are likely of more value when creating social engagement, in this case familiarity seems to help the exhibit.


63 In all of the following comparison cases, understand that due to the limited number of exhibits studied, results may be easily skewed by one or more exhibits; some exhibits may have outlier characteristics that greatly affect comparison averages. Further, some comparison categories only contain one out of the six exhibits. In these cases, extraneous factors relating to the characteristics of that particular exhibit can dramatically alter results. In cases like these, refer to the sections above to understand unique exhibit characteristics. (1) Individual vs. Group Group Pop Exhibits designed for groups appear more likely to promote social engagement than those designed for individuals.


(2) Collaborative vs. Challenge Group Pop Exhibits designed for collaboration appear more likely to promote social engagement than those designed as challenges. However, when weighted, collaborative and challenge-based exhibits earn identical scores.


65 (3) Individual Collaborative vs. Individual Challenge Group Pop Unweighted, exhibits intended for individuals to collaborate score slightly higher than those for individuals to compete with each other. Weighted, the reverse is true. Individual Challenge exhibits score slightly better than Individual Collaborative exhibits.


66 (4) Group Collaborative vs. Group Challenge Group Pop Exhibits with both group and collaborative characteristics score higher when compared to exhibits with both group and challenge characteristics. However, weighting helps the group challenge exhibit score jump one exhibit.


In the win margin table above: Comparisons that win by small amounts (less than or equal to 12.99 points) are given a very pale green color. Comparisons that win by moderate amounts (12.00 19.99 points) are given a medium green color. Comparisons that win by large amounts (20.00 points or above) are given a deep green color. In the case of a tie, the comparisons are boxed together with a medium green outline. This color coding system is used for all win margin comparisons. Win margins seem to favor groups and collaboration. In the unweighted matrix comparison, Group Collaborative beat Group Challenge by the greatest margin of the four comparisons. When weighted, Group from Group vs. Individual won by the greatest margin. more general, and can likely be applied in non-queue contexts. All six of these comparisons use average sums for comparison, as in the section above.


68 (5) Exhibit Location: Beginning, Middle, End How does exhibit location within the queue affect social engagement? Exhibits at the end of the queue score the highest, while exhibits at the beginning of the queue score the lowest. This is a case where both “Beginning of Queue” and “End of Queue” may be heavily altered by outside factors related to their lone exhibit in each category. (6) Exhibit Distribution Does the distribution of the interactive exhibit of interest have an effect on social engagement? Here, distribution is divided into “One Point,” “Extended,” and “Multi-Point.” One-Point exhibits are stand-alone structures which the user interacts with once, and then moves on. Extended exhibits allow the user to interact with the exhibit for longer amounts of time, as similar but related exhibit setups appear over the course of an extended part of the queue (example: multiple large screens placed along a path). Users typically interact with some, but usually not all, parts of an extended exhibit to achieve the full experience. A Multi-Point exhibit has structures placed in multiple parts of the queue that are all clearly part of a larger experience (example: a scavenger-hunt style game). These structures have visual and other cues that tell the user all parts are obviously related despite (sometimes substantial) distance occurring between one structure and the next.


69 Extended exhibits score highest in both weighted and unweighted categories. (7) Sequencing effect on the level of social engagement? “Third” interactive exhibits score the highest in this comparison. Again, note that the spread of exhibits with only 1-2 exhibits in each category alters results. This comparison is useful to help understand the sequential


(8) Day vs. Night Do people seem to exhibit more social engagement behaviors during the day or at night? Social engagement scores are higher at night compared to during the day in both weighted and unweighted comparisons. (9) Clarity/Intuitiveness Does the level of exhibit clarity matter for encouraging social engagement? Do more initially confusing exhibits actually promote social engagement, because people tend to discuss what they do not understand? The very intuitive exhibit received a lower score when weighted favoring discussion, while clear and unclear received higher weighted scores. This means that “Clear” and “Unclear” exhibits prompted more discussion. Exhibits in the intermediate “Clear” category consistently score the highest in both weighted and unweighted social engagement scores.


(10) Physical vs. Digital Exhibit Outcome How does the type of reward/result that occurs from interacting with an exhibit relate to observed social engagement behaviors? Does a physical result such as an explosion or pop create more engagement versus an on-screen digital result such as an animation or numerical score? Exhibits with digital result outcomes receive higher social engagement scores compared to those with physical results.


Extended , Third , and End won by moderate to high margins. In the general comparisons (8-10), only weighted Night wins by a high margin. Winners in all of these comparisons were consistent when both weighted and unweighted. The two charts above allow us to compare the social engagement scores of all categories observed within the matrix comparisons (left) and additional comparisons (right). The matrix comparisons are relatively stable across comparison results vary widely.


All ten of the above comparisons (matrix + additional) are displayed visually in the chart below, allowing comparison between their relative weighted and unweighted social engagement scores. This is useful as it allows us to quickly understand characteristics that produce above-average social engagement scores (visual peaks in the chart), and those that produce low social engagement scores (visual valleys).


Chapter 4: Discussion M what makes true games interesting and applies them to a non-game context, the queue. Additionally, the framework of this project allows for a study of engagement design, because each interactive exhibit is designed to be played with and hold user attention. Lastly, the project serves as an opportunity to study user behavior that research as a whole entity that results in social engagement, this project addresses gaps in the current literature. one another are clear. The questions posed at the outset of this paper are: Which characteristics of interactive queue exhibits lend themselves to the most social engagement behaviors, and why? How might designers use the more successful characteristics as a framework to best promote social engagement through interactive exhibits in public spaces? This section aims to answer both of these inquiries. In terms of observed social engagement behaviors, Delight and Content Discussion amount. Natural responses to interactive exhibits seem to be smiles and discussion about what the exhibit does among friends and neighbors. Delight occurred very often in all exhibits except Point (likely because how to interact with the exhibit is not very clear) and Operate (likely because in this video-game style exhibit users are more focused on navigating the games than on smiling at them). Content Discussion occurs very often in all exhibits except Pop , where the premise of the exhibit is so simple that discussion seems unnecessary. Seen least often in this study was Negotiation , though this is likely due to the limited time available for more complex, multi-step social engagement behaviors in a constantly moving queue. The lack of negotiation may also be related to the theme-park context studied. Negotiation, bargaining, debate, and the like are more spirited behaviors, perhaps better saved for public forums with a more mature target audience compared to a theme designed for that type of social engagement could prove very effective. Further studies might investigate negotiation applied to interactive exhibits in public space. Since it was observed very little, negotiation was not weighted more highly in the weighted sum does deserve to be weighted on par with “discussion” as a more complex behavior. The remaining observed social engagement behaviors in this study, How-To Discussion , Point , and Preventative Gesture occurred in moderate numbers, suggesting that these occur fairly regularly across most exhibits.


Throughout, it is clear that unweighted Collaborative activities (whether individual or group) tend to encourage more social engagement as compared to Challenge activities. This is to be expected, because the nature of collaborative activity lends itself to intricate social exchange. In all Collaborative examples, the exhibit is more easily understood and more engaging when it is experienced with another person. When weighted, combined Collaborative vs. Challenge activities actually tied in score. This result may seem contradictory, but my assumption is that the high discussion result in Challenge activities may simply be based on surface-level another person, were tallied as a “Content Discussion” behavior. Further study with a strong focus on quality of discussion would be necessary to determine if this is actually the case. However, based on an understanding that collaboration requires a deeper level of communication and on initial case examples ( Building), it seems that Collaboration should typically be more successful in terms of social engagement when compared to Challenge-based activities. Exhibits with a Group characteristic (Group, Group Collaborative, Group Challenge) consistently receive higher social engagement scores as compared to Individual exhibits. Again, this is to be expected as Individual-based exhibits simply require less communication with others. Exhibits viewed at night scored much better than exhibits observed during the day. I hypothesize that this might be due to a demographic shift in the park from what appeared to be mostly families with babies and children during the day to more teenagers and young adults in the evenings. Actual demographic data from the theme the peer teenager/young adult groups (Smetana, 2010). Further, parents attempting to wrangle children in an unfamiliar environment may not take much interest in interactive elements as other things take priority. Families with very young children also might skip or not socially engage at exhibits because the parent assumes the child will not understand the exhibit. All of this could help explain the increased social engagement at night. Another potential reason for the increased engagement is that certain exhibits may appear more exciting or attractive at night. For example, the outcome of the Explode exhibit creates a much more dramatic explosion at night due to special lighting effects. Perhaps in order to create more social engagement, designers should place more emphasis on visual or other effects during the day that match the excitement of those used at night. interactive exhibits in the same line; perhaps users become gradually more comfortable with the idea of engaging with the exhibits as they watch others use the early exhibits. Alternatively, users might simply be bored toward the later stages of the queue after presumably waiting for a long time, and are therefore more interested in a fun distraction. Similarly, extended exhibits which give the user a chance to observe others before engaging themselves scored familiarize themselves and become comfortable with something unknown. When users are allowed some time what to do. An alternative to the extended exhibit is the one-point exhibit altered to where visitors can watch others interact with the exhibit before they reach it themselves (i.e. Sort ). This seems to offer a similar effect.


The highest scoring exhibit, Spin , occurs immediately after the threshold where the surrounding queue environment changes dramatically (in this case, from outdoors to within a cave-like structure). The buildup of anticipation while waiting to move into a new environment could play a role in users being more socially very different. Results of this study are also in line with what was suggested in the case study chapter (2) on the theme of clarity. Exhibits that are either highly intuitive or overly complex receive less social engagement than those somewhere in the middle. I suspect that the user becomes easily bored with an exceedingly intuitive exhibit. quickly. A sweet spot occurs in between, where how to work the exhibit or begin is clear, but there are still some complex elements or steps which make the user think. Social engagement is a given in this instance, as users discuss what they are seeing and what steps to take next. The complexity also gives the user a sense of accomplishment and pride after successful completion. This seems especially true when the “answers” cannot are built, presumably strengthening interpersonal relationships. This is one of the most important take-aways for the designer, especially as applied to exhibits placed in the public realm and those which intend to spur social change. Like case studies Bubble Building and Fish Bellies , queue exhibits Explode and Point were often interacted with, but the overall experience and message was overlooked or dismissed due to unnecessary vagueness and complexity. Good examples of the “sweet spot” between too complex and too elementary include the case study Augmented Reality Bus Shelter , and queue exhibits Spin , Operate , and Sort . All of these examples are clear enough to be understood by most people including children, yet do not “dumb down” the experience and provide a puzzleFurther research on the topic of clarity suggests that people, especially children, create their own internal engagement by taking away the need for fantasizing and interpreting cues by oneself (Haywood, 2006).


Based on literature and prior research, socially engaging interactive exhibits should: Attract and Hold Attention Be Aesthetically Pleasing Make Sense in Context/Place Have Interesting and Relevant Content or Message Based on the results of this research project, the following items are added to this list. To be socially engaging, interactive exhibits should also be: A Medium Level of Clarity Made for Groups Collaborative Unexpected Celebratory Appealing at Night or Mimic Successful “Night” Characteristics Supportive of Watching Others Play First Placed on an Edge/Threshold space for them in the design of public spaces. Then, these spaces may be utilized later by traveling exhibits or art installations. Alternatively, designers may partner with public artists, architects, or interactive design agencies during the original design development phases for potentially better-integrated work. The most obvious way to use the results of this research in practice is to explore the potential of similar exhibits in queues that occur in outdoor public spaces. Since long, winding, themepark-esque queues are not generally the norm in public spaces, these results are most transferable to places where waiting in public space is common. Beyond waiting spaces, further recommendations that are made based on the content, structure, and function of interactive exhibits can be applied more broadly to freeform public spaces. In all cases, recommendations are existing project budgets. Waiting Just as people wait in queues for attractions, people wait in public space. These waiting instances can occur either in organized queues or more casual group waiting areas. Waiting provides urban designers with a unique opportunity to make productive use of time that potential exhibit users would otherwise probably spend staring


at cell phone screens or otherwise not engaging with those around them. Examples of public space waiting include: Public transit terminals, stations, and stops Amphitheater and performance spaces Outdoor dining Public landmarks, monuments, and tourist sites Meeting places Park amenity use (waits common to check out equipment, rent boats, use restrooms, etc.) K-12 public schoolyard pick up/drop off times There is potential for interactive exhibits to be applied by landscape architects and allied professionals in any of the above circumstances. Beyond Queues and Waiting Some of the results of this project are surely relevant to freeform urban space as well. Freeform urban space refers to places like public parks, plazas and streetscapes where people move freely through the space in any direction. Recommendations which are unrelated to the queue environment comparisons studied (queue environment comparisons include and Sequencing ) and correspond instead to the core of how the exhibit functions and is used, should theoretically be able to be applied in both queue and freeform ways. It should be noted though, that the queue environment likely affected observed user behavior. For example, since individuals in queues are considered a “captive audience,” they may be more likely to engage with something they would have ignored on the street in a freeform environment grab initial user interest enough to momentarily derail people from their busy urban lives. Still, it is worth looking at the recommendations related to the innate function of exhibits and exploring how they might be transferred into a non-queue context. Results show that extended queue exhibits which allow the user to observe other people interacting with them are able to pause and watch others interact and play with installations. For instance, a narrow sidewalk may not be well suited for an interactive element if social engagement is a goal, because limited space limits capacity to observe (prospect), and to observe without being seen (refuge). Landscape designers are already very familiar with the idea of prospect-refuge theory, and use it often in the design of public space to provide areas of respite (Dosen, “Prospect and Refuge”). It seems that providing places for people to watch one another might be a useful tactic not only to afford resting places, but also to support social engagement in the public realm. Results from this study also show that social engagement may be more likely to occur at thresholds or edges that occur in queues, where surroundings change drastically. Once again, this can be applied to a freeform urban context: interactive exhibits might do best in “edge” environments, or transitional spaces within parks or plazas. For instance, a successful edge space might occur at the boundary of a large park, as it gives way to the city


80 beyond. At these edges, people tend to be more acutely aware of their environment, and could then be more likely to engage in an interactive exhibit. Additionally, more people will likely be exposed to the exhibit in an edge environment as compared to an exhibit placed in the middle of the park. This is supported by the idea that Other recommendations such as “Intermediate Clarity” and “Appealing at Night” are likely just as applicable in a plaza, park or other public space as they are in a queue. This is because these recommendations are based on made based upon the “bones” of how the exhibit functions and the inherent design approach used to convey exhibit instructions. The Night recommendation is based upon the completely external factor of time of day. queue public space environment. It should be understood that this is a preliminary study, and all data and analyses provided should be taken as such until further studies can achieve similar results. This research was collected on only one day, from one researcher, in one geographic location, with limited observation time. A much stronger study sample would be necessary to ensure that results are conclusive. Throughout the results section, it is clear that some exhibits might simply be “better” than others for reasons that are beyond any of the predetermined categories. The Spin exhibit tends to win comparisons often, but that of course does not mean that simply being the third interactive exhibit or near the end of a queue makes exhibits in general more socially engaging. The categories (especially those in the “Additional Comparisons” section) do help us better understand the data – but more importantly, point us to look more carefully at outliers to examine other possible reasons for exhibit successes or failures. Additionally, comparisons often compare an average of multiple exhibits to one lone exhibit (or lone exhibits to one another) due to the kinds of categories used. This is further reason to carefully examine results as individual exhibits are not strong enough on their own to carry recommendations. to the content of multiple conversations at one time likely many How-To Discussion and Content Discussion instances were missed in the tallied results. Line speeds vary over time and from queue to queue. At times, lines move too quickly for a user to fully engage in an exhibit, if at all. Total capacity and average wait time varies from queue to queue as well, which may affect engagement. However, queues with interactive elements tend to be those which are in high demand and have long wait time averages (attractions with shorter queues are not given interactive exhibits, as they are not needed). This somewhat acts as a control, but smaller variations in line crowds and movement speeds may have altered results. Other variables such as short ride break-downs or delays may have affected wait times and line speeds (and thus social engagement) even further. Additionally, the total number of individuals moving past the exhibit during each observation session was left unaccounted for. Had there been resources for multiple researchers to work together, it would have been useful


81 to have someone count each person who passed, so that percentages of people who did or did not exhibit social engagement behaviors could be compared across exhibits. The theme park environment somewhat accounts for this limitation, as a “steady stream” of people was always present while imperfect, this served as a type of constant. causes or does not cause social engagement. Other methods, for example, recording the elapsed time spent interacting with an exhibit or the duration of discussion related to it might provide more telling data. Due to limited time and resources, such measurements were not feasible in this study. There are also likely numerous other social engagement behaviors that could have been useful to study. The six that were selected for this project were simply chosen as basic examples that could lay the groundwork for future If given enough time and resources, it would also be useful to study reactions about the exhibits from the users themselves. Surveys might be conducted after the user exits the queue and ride to learn more qualitative information about which exhibits they preferred or held their attention, and why. This could lead to a deeper understanding of user mindset and preference. The kind of data collected and types of exhibits available in this study also does not allow us to address behavior (refer to case study examples in Chapter 2). From this research and analysis, early conclusions about the characteristics of interactive exhibits that promote social engagement can be made. Waiting places that are celebratory encourage social engagement, because people in them have common interests and topics of potential discussion. Interactive exhibits tend to spur more social engagement at night compared to during the day this could be because exhibits often seem more appealing at night, as they often have playful or dramatic lighting. As expected, the Group Collaborative exhibit produced the highest number of overall social engagement behaviors, as well as the highest number of instances of Delight. Both groups and collaborative activities Exhibits with an Individual component produced fewer social engagement behaviors. That does not mean they are poorly designed exhibits they just have different goals. Individual activities tend to result in a more internal satisfaction, and would not be as appropriate as group exhibits if the goal is to promote social engagement. Slightly confusing tasks with less obvious instruction tend to promote discussion. However, exhibits that prove too confusing become ignored or skipped. The element of surprise tends to be useful in promoting social engagement. When people experience something


82 very unexpected, they are bound to discuss the experience with those around them. Exhibits that allow users to watch others prior to engaging with exhibits themselves, and exhibits that occur in edge environments tend to have higher levels of social engagement perhaps because these characteristics offer prospect-refuge opportunities for the user. While useful, these conclusions are preliminary. Additional research with a wider breadth and scope, paired with additional analyses, will lead to stronger and better supported conclusions. While the context of the observations done for this project lend themselves to recommendations based on queues and other types of waiting in public space, there is still much to be explored within the broader idea of implementing catalysts that encourage spontaneous social engagement. While some recommendations above might lay the early groundwork, study of social engagement in more freeform ways would be highly useful to designers who create public parks, plazas, and streetscapes. Studying interactive projects and installations such as those in the case study chapter (2) more deeply will surely prove useful. However, a challenge lies in the ability variables. Perhaps one solution might be a case study of a park or plaza that is observed both before and after an installation is put in place. Doing this would allow the researcher to study social engagement or any number of other factors in a preand post-installation format. Quantity and quality of discussion are also of interest for future study. Recording user discussion through microphones and/or video recording to measure duration of conversation and completing content analyses to interpret the quality of the discussions held at interactive installations could be valuable. Because “discussion” was not broken down into more detailed observation in this study, many questions about the quality and depth of conversation arose and complicated the data analysis. Surveys of users after they have engaged with an exhibit could also be useful, and have been successfully used in measuring social engagement in prior studies (Haywood, 2006). Coding of interview results can bring insight to the most common user preferences and concerns, and deeper qualitative understanding of how people relate to interactive exhibits and to others. Further, we may also study different types of engagement as applied to interactive installations in the public realm. Social engagement is only one of many different ways of engaging with the environment and its inhabitants. For example, we might study educational engagement, visual engagement, or active versus passive engagement, among others. Landscape architects may be particularly interested in the study of active and passive engagement, as both are human needs necessary in the landscape (Memarovic, 2012) and these concepts are Novelty is likely a factor in what makes an exhibit socially engaging. So, how often then do exhibits or installations need to be changed in order to maintain levels of engagement? Further research could include studying at what point after install exhibits begin to lose social or user engagement. In order to maintain a sense of novelty, how might we rotate different kinds of exhibits in the same space, and in what orders? What


83 effect on social engagement do traveling exhibits produce (Can we reach wider audiences in this way? Is it best for an exhibit to travel to different parts of the city, or country, or world?)? Perhaps public spaces need both active exhibition periods as well as “rest” periods where the space returns to a “normal.” How much rest time is needed? Many of these questions are likely dependent, at least partially, on variables related to the exhibits themselves. However, further research could be done to help answer any of these questions in a more general way based on human behavioral psychology and other factors. This work is relevant as it begins to lay the groundwork for further research on how to create social engagement are intricately linked to both each other and to the production of social engagement, this work optimistically anticipates production of further study inspired by the overall concept of linkages between these previously While lacking in data depth that could make the results and conclusions more robust, the results from this study provide designers with a basic and preliminary understanding of which characteristics of interactive exhibits tend to lead to higher levels of social engagement. Perhaps most importantly, urban designers may use this information to aim to create social engagement in the public realm as a goal, acknowledging that public discourse leads to more innovative communities that value human, social, and environmental progress.


85 Appendix: A Guide for Designers

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99 (2009, September 22). Piano Staircase. Retrieved from Public installation encourages play. Retrieved from circuit is only activated with human connection. Retrieved from doners Retrieved from composting Krinke, R. (2011). Unseen/Seen: The Mapping of Joy and Pain. Retrieved from Unseen-Seen-The-Mapping-of-Joy-and-Pain Laylin, T. (2013, August 21). LED Fish Bellies Celebrate Biological and Human Diversity in Texas. Retrieved

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100 Krasniansky, A. (2015, March 16). Augmented Reality Bin Turns Trash into Tetris. Retrieved from http://www. TetraBIN team. (2015). Retrieved from

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