University of Oulu

Pihlajaniemi H., Luusua A. (2020) Playful and Playable Lighting in Smart Cities: Towards a Holistic Framework of Design. In: Nijholt A. (eds) Making Smart Cities More Playable. Gaming Media and Social Effects. Springer, Singapore.

Playful and playable lighting in smart cities : towards a holistic framework of design

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Author: Pihlajaniemi, Henrika1; Luusua, Aale2
Organizations: 1Oulu School of Architecture, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Oulu School of Architecture/INTERACT, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2020
Publish Date: 2021-07-24


In this chapter, we will explore the phenomenon of playful and playable lighting in smart cities. We will describe and discuss participant experiences of playful and playable lighting based on the design and evaluation processes of four case studies. These studies, we argue, provide aspects of participation, communication and self-expression; experiences of the sense of place, meanings and beauty; and activities of play and physical exercise. We will look at these case studies, and the aspects of playfulness and playability, through the lens of both smart city literature and relevant theories, and the practical experiences from the processes, examining also the afterlife of the case studies. We reflect on the presented case studies and their experiential aspects, asking: How can playful and playable lighting be made viable in a city? Finally, we conclude by presenting a design framework which consolidates aspects that, we argue, should be acknowledged, considered and addressed in the design and decision-making processes of smart cities, neighbourhoods and urban places in order to create playful experiences of playable urban lighting in a viable way.

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Series: Gaming media and social effects
ISSN: 2197-9685
ISSN-E: 2197-9693
ISSN-L: 2197-9685
ISBN: 978-981-13-9765-3
ISBN Print: 978-981-13-9764-6
Pages: 149 - 177
DOI: 10.1007/978-981-13-9765-3_8
Host publication: Making Smart Cities More Playable : Exploring Playable Cities
Host publication editor: Nijholt, Anton
Type of Publication: A3 Book chapter
Field of Science: 211 Architecture
213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
222 Other engineering and technologies
Funding: We thank the Academy of Finland and Tekes for funding the research projects, which have enabled our work: Adaptive Urban Lighting—Algorithm-Aided Lighting Design project (AF), WelLIT—Intelligent Lighting and Well-Being in Northern Learning Environments project (AF), Experiencing Artificial Intelligence in the Smart City: Co-creating applications for urban life (AF) and SenCity—Intelligent Light as Service Platform for Innovative Cities (Tekes). We also thank our fellow researchers in those research projects and all the participants of the case study projects. All the illustrations and photos are by Henrika Pihlajaniemi, except Fig. 2, which is by photographer Ilpo Aalto, published on courtesy of Tehomet Oy.
Copyright information: © Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Making Smart Cities More Playable : Exploring Playable Cities. The final authenticated version is available online at: