Play Design as a Relational Strategy to Intensify Affective Encounters in the Art Museum

Karin Ryding, Jonas Fritsch

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


This paper presents an exploration of play design as a relational strategy to intensify affective encounters during an art museum visit. Theoretically, the paper presents a foundation emphasising the relational aspects of designing playful museum experiences. Based on a detailed and contextual analysis of a mobile web app entitled 'Never let me go', designed to be used in art museums, we show how the app and infrastructure catalysed affective encounters and put the relations between the players, the architecture and the exhibited artworks into motion. In our analysis, we highlight four ways through which the players' experiences were intensified. Finally, we discuss the potential and concerns arising from working with relational play strategies in the design of affectively engaging museum experiences, emphasising emergence, intimacy, ambiguity and trust as key elements.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS '20) : More than Human centred Design
Number of pages12
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Publication date6 Jul 2020
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-6974-9
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2020
EventDesigning Interactive Systems 2020: More than Human Centred Design - Eindhoven, Netherlands
Duration: 6 Jul 202020 Jul 2020


ConferenceDesigning Interactive Systems 2020
Internet address


  • Play Design
  • Affective Encounters
  • Relational Strategies
  • Museum Experience
  • Mobile Web App
  • Art Interaction
  • Emergent Play
  • Intimacy in Design
  • Ambiguity in User Experience
  • Trust in Playful Interactions


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