Digital and Physical Play Environments III

Last changed: 04 April 2023

A further development and implementation of the play concept DigiPlayScape.

The focus in this project was childrens' play, that is one of the most important tools for them to understand the world. A big societal challenge is that cities are increasingly less accessible for childrens' play, that means that they have to depend on adults in order to go outdoors and play. When housing areas in Sweden are restored, important ideas about how to plan good environments for play close to home are forgotten. This means that run down play areas between houses are taken away. In this project we instead tried to support and design for restoration of these play areas close to home.

Children spend more and more time with digital media. The researchers are also finding that children are not physically mobile to a sufficient extent and they believe that computer gaming could be one of the reasons. Outdoor play has been shown to give both physical and psychological benefits. Computer gaming has however also been shown to give benefits such as improving working memory and speech development.

The view in this project was that both the digital and the physical can provide qualities that can increase wellbeing. A play concept called DigiPlayScape was developed in step 2 of this project and has been evaluated in a shoolyard and at housing areas with children as participants. Digital components such as sensors that register sound, moisture and movement are integrated in a landscape and let children use natural materials such as stones, sand, mud, water and pine cones to excite the sensors and get sound and light feedback from the equipment. The technology is connected to internet and thus themes and functions can easily be administered using an IPhone. In step 3 DigiPlayScape is further developed and implemented at different sites.


Project leader

Eva-Lotta Sallnäs Pysander, Professor, Swedish Royal Institute of Technology, KTH - Dept. of Media Technology and Interaction Design, +4687906626
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Project participants

Susan Paget, Senior Lecturer, Division of Landscape Architecture, SLU (-2020)

Project time


External funding

Sweden's Innovation Agency (Vinnova) dnr 2016-03777