The Playground 2017, Australia, Melbourne, Ararat, Gwangju

The Playground: Participatory Media Architecture

The Playground features a co-designed sculpture, interactive projection mapping and public participation. This novel, ephemeral urban design project provides personalised experiences, it fosters social connections, and it connects people to their architectural environment. During installations in Australia and South Korea we invited audiences to collect hidden sculptural pieces and take photos of their architectural environment. Participants connected their found sculptural pieces to a central sculpture and uploaded their photos to an online platform; all uploaded photos were automatically projection mapped onto the central sculpture. Participants were socially and physically engaged through personalised design experiences.


Project artist/ concept/ design/ planning : PluginHUMAN

Project co-ordination : PluginHUMAN

Interaction design/ programming : PluginHUMAN

Project sponsor/ support : Asia Culture Centre (South Korea)


Facade type and geometry (structure) : Ararat Regional Art Gallery (Australia)

Kind of light creation : Exertion Games Lab (Australia)

Participatory architecture & urban interaction

Host organization : In 2016 PluginHUMAN began designing The Playground. This work operated as a playful way-finding tool and an activation that helped people to connect with The Asia Cultural Centre's multilayered architectural environment. The project expanded, running in two venues in Australia and in South Korea over 2017.

Issues addressed : We used participatory art and user-centred computer science methodologies to build an institution’s audience and deliver personalised design experiences. We deepened connections between audience members and an organisation’s physical architectural environment and we built social connections between participants.

Impact : During Australian and South Korean installations we more than doubled normal gallery attendances. Audiences reported that they were deeply invested in this installation and in their surrounding environment. The Playground encourages everyday people to play with art and architecture. We also introduced organisations to new ways to engage audiences, influencing future public engagement strategies.