What does “Gameful Architecture” mean for City Placemaking?

72 Hour Action, a german based community architecture group, and Invisible Playground, a technology based company that produces site specific games, partnered to organize a “World Championship of Gameful Architecture” in the Ruhr-valley town of Witten, Germany. The group announced an international call for artists, makers, planners and gamers, asking them to design and build site-specific, temporary interventions that would invite the citizens of Witten to come together to play. Lesley Bain of Framework was invited to be part of team Hagen Bilder, one of five teams that would have a small budget and 72 hours to accomplish their mission of “gameful architecture.”
The site was a neglected space adjacent to the town’s large pedestrian mall, where a large service dock infringed on a neighborhood street. The project mission was to create a “border” that reconciled the two scales. The piece was based on the idea of strangers meeting, first by unseen interaction, then gradually leading to a face-to-face meeting on a loveseat. The game included push-pull play on opposite sides of the piece. Seating nooks on either side offered places to talk, still unseen. The love seat at the end is a place to finally come together. The team worked closely with local neighbors as we discussed ideas and built.  People of all ages mobbed the finished product at the opening celebration.

Framework Principal Lesley Bain, member of Team Hagen Bilder 

Collaborators: artists, makers, planners and gamers
Brett Hunter, United States
Julia Borchardt, Germany
Anne-Laur Gestering, Germany
Dale Parson, Norway
Juan Vallejo, Columbia 
Frederik De Schmedt, Belgium
David Valle, Columbia 
Fabio Lopez, Columbia 
Denise Winter, Germany
Lesley Bain, United States 
Kim Dallarmi, Germany
Joe Iano, United States 

All Photos by Joe Iano