M2C Institute for Applied Media Technology and Culture (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2016 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 1508-1517
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.1324
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
The People’s Smart Sculpture PS2 (funded by Creative Europe) is a creative research and innovation project about the design of methodologies for the participative cultural evolution of urban spaces in Europe. The approach blends different levels of access: public participation, collaborative creativity, exploratory and game-based learning. 11 connected open labs integrate new art, design thinking, science, smart technologies and user culture for the participatory re-design of urbanity. It will motivate a broad dissemination of new skills, design expertise, informal learning and social knowledge relevant to urban re-design.

PS2 contributes to highly relevant topics in education, educational research, informal learning and collaborative learning. These fields are referred as key to improve broad educational effects, while picking up widely spread social dynamics and meet, as McLoughlin and Lee (2008) have lined out, “the needs of a generation of learners who seek greater autonomy and connectivity as well as opportunities for socio-experiential learning.”

Diverse approaches and tools are used in PS2, like the mass participatory platform Betaville, which was developed in 2008. Betaville allows access for everyone in urban planning and re-design and is used in PS2 for creative design workshops and learning. An important benefit of Betaville lies in the way future skills, are gained: by learning and applying new strategies of collaboration by using non-professional expertise. These non-technical skills contribute directly to the enhancement of the platform itself enabling the user to improve strategical knowledge about transformational processes and societal changes.

Another issue in PS2 is the involvement of children in urban change processes. They form a societal group which is usually missed in actual decision-making processes concerning changes or developments in urban space. PS2 develops educative approaches enabling children to take action in urban change processes of their city via informal learning methods like action learning with games and the projected “kids-app”. The children become adept to apply their familiar gaming skills to the app on different related topics and learn how to establish them in a formal way. They determine the contents of the app for other children to play with and hence increase the educative and participative impact of the media. The “kids app” as well as Betaville are based on visual communication which reduces the barriers of language and education to integration and adresses a further approach in PS2.

Opportunities and low accessibilities to participatory processes for refugees and immigrants are limited and difficult. So far an innovative train-the-trainer-concept for to professionalize the work of voluntary language instructors is carried out. It serves to promote and facilitate encounters and exchange between voluntary refugee workers and newly-arrived people in their early stage of orientation. The PS2 “kids app” could be adapted to the specific needs and desires of refugees and as medium for issue-specific district tours (learning at places of origin). Further it gives impulses for social interactions and intercultural dialogue between citizens and migrants.

[1] McLoughlin, C. Lee, M. (2008): Future learning landscapes: Transforming pedagogy through social software. Innovate4 (5).
Participation, informal learning, collaborative learning, social knowledge, integrate new art, smart technologies, social software.