Playstools is a light-based street game conceived as a hybrid version of a physical game, Music Chairs. The intention behind this project was to merge elements of digital and analog games and explore the effects in public space. Playstools invites people to play with a set of stools by employing interactive light and sound. The game is designed for two teams of three people who move around a circular layout of six stools. To win, one team member has to remain seated at the end of six rounds. Music indicates the beginning and end of each round, while light travels across the stools to indicate player behaviour. Some light patterns indicate sitting on a stool, others eliminating members through a ‘light’ duel, or bringing back members according to colour hue. An extra level of complexity is added through the capacitive switches placed on the stool surfaces, requiring players to interact with them at certain moments.
The first prototype was developed for the Elephant & Castle Mini Maker Faire in London in 2014, and it was called Lumichairs. In 2016 it was selected as one of the ten finalists for Next Design Innovation, a public project developed by Regione Lombardia in partnership with the Department of Design at Politecnico di Milano. The prototype was showcased during the Milan Design Week 2016 at Zona Santambrogio, as well as HOMI Smart 2017 in Milan and Matera Design Weekend in 2016. Playstools was further developed into it’s final form in Athens in 2017 and showcased at the Athens Mini Maker Faire, the Athens Games Festival 2017 and Victoria Square Project. They have talked about it at Elle Decor Italia and the Milan Design Award channel.
Project lead: Artemis Papageorgiou
Designer: Gabriella Mastrangelo
Software & hardware development: Christos Boubalos
Project assistant: Mies Loogman
Project development 2016: Polifactory and Next Design Innovation Team
Software development 2016: Polifactory and Next Design Innovation Team
Photo credits of PLAYSTOOLS lighting up in red: Andrea Penisto for Elle Decor Italia.