The innovation pilot "Chatter - a dialogue platform in AR format" explores two different digital variants of how we can talk to children about the design of their playgrounds. It is a pilot where we test a tool intended for quantitative data linked to verbs ("What is the most fun thing to do on a playground?") and tests a more experimental tool where children can furnish and test play a playground surface with 3D objects in an AR app where the dialogue about how they think generates more qualitative data and insights that we (probably) do not get in a more structured form. We explore both tracks in parallel and investigate how the two different types of input can create value in the conceptualization and design of new playgrounds and in the refurbishment of old ones. What we landed in fairly quickly when we started testing is that these two variants may very well work in the same experience in the AR variant, but the web-based one has of course the advantage of being able to be easier to distribute.
Children's voices need to be heard even more and it needs to be done with higher efficiency and greater clarity in what their voices get for the impact on their own city. We need to find new platforms to meet the city's children before the design of the environments in which they move. We have ongoing dialogues with the city's children on various issues concerning their outdoor environment. It is resource-intensive for both white-collar and white-collar workers, and there is not always room. We therefore want to develop the digital child dialogue with a focus on the children's places.
We believe that children who play on playgrounds know exactly what would be needed to make the playground even more fun, exciting, fun and challenging. The children are experts in play! We believe that a digital tool can help us prioritize in new constructions and refurbishments. We believe that this leads to the children gaining more influence over their own environment.
In a simple tool that we distribute via a website (works for computer, mobile, toad), the children can choose what is most fun to do on a playground by choosing five pictograms representing verbs of playful activities. The children make their choices together with an educator in a classroom, and in the educational conversation the children can explore what verbs are for something (we tested with year 3 who have just started talking about verbs) and talk more about play and what is fun.
Each child saves their choices and in the compilation we see which activities the children prioritize on the playground. Upscale in large quantities, we get a wide base with representation from different districts and ages.
We are currently testing a first version of the tool where we have made a number of pictograms. First we tested how the pictograms worked in themselves, then we explore how the clickable tool should look and work. Year 3 at Maria Parkskolan helps us in these steps, then we intend to scale up with more classes.
The AR variant
In November 2020, we enlisted the help of consultants from CGI who had a prototype that we could test the concept with after some adaptation to our needs. It became an embryo for an AR app that we tested with children at school and learned more.
During the summer of 2021, we set out to further develop the concept based on what we learned with the help of CGI's solution. We realized that this need to be able to display 3D objects in a furniture surface and then experience them in real size is shared with many other activities in the municipality and began to create a platform to build on for AR dialogues. Everything we build is on Github and we would like to develop this together with others. Check this out!
With the children, we are now exploring the functionality linked to teaching in school. That we weave together the dialogue work with tasks in school feels incredibly interesting and therefore we focus on this during the autumn of 2021.
In this way, we explore new, fun and inspiring ways to get children to contribute to urban development with their visions, ideas and opinions.
And here is a video where we talk about where we are in the autumn of 2021.
In the autumn of 2020, the project made a Civictech Vinnova application. There we went on to the first selection, but fell on the finish line. However, our colleagues did not, who came up with the means to test another dialogue variant that is also based on AR technology - but this time for adults. Read more about it here!