The Notion of Game as Part of Urban Design Practices

By Socrates Stratis.

Published by The Design Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper investigates the notion of game as vehicle for a social dimension in urban design practices. This is examined in the education of urban design. The characteristics of the game to be investigated are its non linear processes and its coincidental outcomes, its ludic form, its communication and synergies between players. Concerning the education of urban design, the paper deals with two workshops which the author organized, (TU Graz and University of Cyprus, 2008). The students were invited to design synergy games that could encourage urbanity in urban voids. For the case of TU Graz the environment was Pyla, a mixed community (Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots), in the buffer zone between the north and south part of Cyprus. For the case of the University of Cyprus the environment was Nicosia. The form of the games designed varies from that of table games to that of participation urban games.
The notion of game is used: 1. for putting the designer within a social system of project players, 2. for accepting the informal and the coincidental as equal project players, 3. for revealing hidden relations between social processes and spatial practices.

Keywords: Notion of Game, Education, Urban Design Practices, Architecture, Transitional Space

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.297-326. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 4.799MB).

Dr. Socrates Stratis

Lecturer of Architecture, Department of Architecture, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Cyprus

Socrates Stratis is a lecturer of Architecture at the University of Cyprus. He was born in Nicosia, in 1964. He obtained his architectural degree (B.Arch and M.Arch) in Cornell University, USA, with a Fulbright scholarship, and his doctorate degree in Urbanism in University of Paris 8, France. He has been awarded with several prizes for high scholastic achievement. Some of them are: Clifftors Beckwith Brown Memorial’, ‘Student Medal of the American Institute of Architects’, ‘New York of Architects Certificate’. His research lies on establishing connections between teaching, research and practice in architecture and urbanism. Such hybrid structures of research/action could incorporate social and political issues in the sphere of architectural creativity. In this way there is an emphasis for architects to seek a new public role within a broader system of institutions dealing with contemporary urban environments. He uses as vehicles for such studies the notion of “publicness”, of “urbanity” and that of “local /translocal”. He organized an international conference, “Liminal Zones”, Nicosia 2008, with the University of East London and Goldsmith’s College. He is the editor of “Public-private relations viewed through the role of topography: the production of the built environment in Cyprus”, in Architectonika Themata Journal, Greece, 2007.


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