Exploring the Social Impacts of Temporary, Playful, and Artistic Interventions: A Case Study on Public Spaces in Cyprus

By Anna Merry and Carraz Rene.

Published by The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: November 16, 2016 $US5.00

This paper reveals a development in research focusing on how playful installations can positively transform and improve our societies, examining not only the aesthetic aspects of installed works but also the improved levels of social interactions. The concepts of public space, placemaking, and playful design are explored theoretically and empirically, resulting in a case study which was conducted within a Cypriot public space encompassing the inclusion of a playful design. Research reveals that public spaces in Cyprus are currently underused and under-utilised, thus preparing the ground for new and innovative methods of public space designs. Through the demonstration of a playful and interactive case study, this research reveals the positive social impacts that can be gained through the means of participatory design. A nation-wide survey, on-site observations, interviews, and behavioural mapping methods were applied in order to carry out empirical research, additionally the concept of “play permission” is theoretically elaborated and tested. Through implemented art and installation design within public space this research proposes a renewed thinking for public art projects, allowing for a creative solution to a global problem. Overall the paper stresses that playful design has the potential to produce perception changes and new usages, thus turning under-utilised public spaces into vibrant places suitable for public life.

Keywords: Playful Interactive Installation, Urban Public Spaces, Cyprus

The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp.29-46. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: November 16, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.339MB)).

Anna Merry

Special Teaching Staff, Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Frederick University, Cyprus, Limassol, Cyprus

PhD candidate at DeMontfort University, Leicester, UK; and Special Teaching Staff, Department of Fine and Applied Arts, Frederick University, Cyprus, Limassol, Cyprus

Carraz Rene

Research Director at Urban Gorillas, Urban Gorillas, NGO, Nicosia, Cyprus, Cyprus

Research Fellow at BETA, Strasbourg University, Strasbourg, France; and Research Director at Urban Gorillas, Urban Gorillas, NGO, Nicosia, Cyprus