Vaajakallio, Kirsikka Design games as a tool
a mindset and a structure


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Design research and practice have taken an interest in inviting users and other stakeholders to contribute in the design processes. Accordingly, creativity is not aimed only towards designing new products and services but increasingly towards organising creative collaboration among different actors. In this discourse, design games have become a popular concept. Regardless of the widespread use of the term there has been no clear definition of it. This descriptive work studies the borderline between co-design and game-like activities; play, games and performance are explored to assess their possible implications for organising co-design among researchers, designers, users and other stakeholders in diverse design contexts. Several case studies were conducted in close relationship with companies following empathic design principles. The research provides a play framework, a conceptual model to discuss, design and analyse design games, and the set of design games as practical examples of interpreting and applying that model. This book is useful for all who are interested in organising co-design in productive and playful ways.

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