Project research

Gamification to improve our world: Yu-kai Chou at TEDx Lausanne

  • Harnessing the world of play
  • Generic demographic – average gamer 35y/o and 50% men/women
  • Gamification – take elements of games into non-game contexts, takes you don’t want to do but have to
  • Games allow you to be more
  • Engaging/boring/exciting
  • Game elements need to motivate and drive

8 Core Drives – We do things based on these influences for extrinsic and intrinsic value

  • epic meaning and calling (part of something bigger than yourself)
  • development and accomplishment (makes you feel like you’re improving)
  • empowerment of creativity and feedback
  • ownership and possession (you want more)
  • social influence and relatedness (what you do based on what others do)
  • scarcity and impatience (wanting something you can’t have)
  • unpredictability and curiosity (you don’t know whats happening next)
  • loss and avoidance (don’t want bad things to happen)

I think the unpredictability and curiosity one is most relevant to our project. It relates to our aim of having people continue to be interested in our project and look at it.

Airport Research– The art/installations in airports and symbolic and used to represent a nation. The examples I have found have been used to fill empty spaces in airports and make an impression on people who wall through the space. Like airports, MRT stations are places that provide people with lots or instructions and directions, therefore these art installations are significant for counteracting the seriousness of the processing through these areas.

Detroit Airport

Bahrain Airport – turning the airport into a state-of-the-art engineering and cultural icon.

“Bahrain Airports Company will have the opportunity to allow the creative team to modify the abstract streaming video to reflect changes in the moment.”


Denver Airport



Narita Airport – 385-inch “concave organic EL Panorama Vision” display in the Terminal 1 departures lobby. The display is turned on for the first 30 minutes of every hour from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.


A sensor detects people who approach the text on the signage. The text then takes the shape of an animal or other animate object to create an original, virtual fantasy world. As its creators explained, “The embodied creations interrelate with each other. A bird approaches a tree, or plants sprout when the rain falls. It constantly recreates the landscape.”

The artwork was announced in 2011 and has toured six countries in Asia, South America and Europe. It has received high international acclaim, having received an award at an international contest and selected to be among the best four works by an online art magazine. It is also the first work of “interactive” digital art created for digital signage at a Japanese airport.

–> I think this example is most like what we are trying to create. Something that responds to peoples movement and takes up the dead space in a public transportation area.


Indianapolis Airport

The ceiling of the pedestrian bridge is covered with a field of interactive, computer-controlled dots that display different colors and exhibit a range of intelligent and playful behaviors. The dots can light up exactly over where the passengers stand, and are able to fix on and follow a passenger down the length of the walk. At other times, lines of dots may visually connect two passengers approaching each other over long distances. Designed by Electroland, completed 2008.


Other interactive installations

This light installation responds to your voice and movements.

This rain exhibit uses tracking by 3D-depth cameras, so the rain won’t fall on you as you walk inside.


Singapore MRT vs Airports

The airport location allows people to stop and appreciate the experience of installation as they are likely not rushing through the space.

Most MRT users appear to be in a rush and don’t have the luxury of utilising waiting time. Therefore our project will need to motivate people to continue to move through the space- at their own pace perhaps or we could dictate it. By having projections that move with the pedestrians this allows them to watch it while they walk, without distracting them too much.


Defining our concept

At our group meeting we discussed the three ideas we had form last class and chose to focus more specifically on utilising the corridor spaces in MRT stations.

Designing on the platforms came a close second as we would be able to tackle a ‘practical’ problem of people waiting in the wrong areas for the train/people getting onto busy carriages when other are not busy… but solutions have already been put in place to solve these issues like the lines of the floor and people working on the platforms telling commuters to move down the platform. Therefore could another solution be effective? And surely its common sense for people to get onto a busy carriage and move down or see its busy and choose another?


With the corridor spaces we are aiming to address a practical issue – moving people through the space effectively by separating the slow and fast walkers, as well as a more intangible issue of activating the dead space and making people look up from their phones, also making them more aware of their surroundings and perhaps bringing the outside inside in some way?


After the class feedback we realised our main challenge would be making people want to look at/interact with the installation more than once.

To keep people interested time after time we though about adding a dynamic element to the experience, that motifs/symbols/images would be projected on the wall that follow you as you walk through the space. This also encourages people to continue walking (perhaps also dictates pace?) and not to stop and interrupt others. It means that the projection will always be different also as it will change dependent on the number of people moving through the space.

Then we thought these motifs and symbols could be themed to a particular cultural event or public holiday being celebrated in Singapore in order to add variety and a frequency change of imagery. This would work to make people aware of events without being a blatant advertisement. Singapore prides itself on being multicultural so we thought this would be an excellent platform to showcase this, and celebrate and inform people of the various cultural festivities.


We are looking to improve the experience of MRT users. As we are still deciding on our specific idea we have separated our ideas into the various scenarios we could work around.

Platform – gameplay to fill waiting time – on windows/doors/floors/walls

Stairs – encourage use/gameplay – entice with cheaper fare and swipe halfway up

Corridors – immersive environment, activate space – make empty space enjoyable, keep busy people moving/they won’t stop


After visiting a few MRT stations during the week…

I’ve realised that the high frequency of trains means that people spend very little time actually waiting at the platform for a train. Therefore its possible that a game projected into this space wouldn’t be used very often.  Also there is an almost constant influx of people getting off the train -from both sides, and this could cause an interruption to the game or even anger people if the game doesn’t position players out of the way from alighting passengers.

I saw that the amount of stairs differs greatly at different stations and that when there aren’t so many some people appear willing to use them. However when there are lots (like Buena Vista) it is very unattractive and I’m not sure even I would tackle them for an incentive!

I observed people walking through stations on their phones, looking down, looking unhappy and pretty bored. People use this space as a method of getting from A to B and consider it nothing more than that.

I think we should attempt to improve this space, even if it is simply for the purpose of getting people to look up from their phones or make people smile. I think majority of people here are going to work/coming home from work/in a rush to get somewhere etc although I’m sure there are a few that would stop and interact with the wall if that option presented itself. Children/students/people not in a rush might have the ability to stop and appreciate the environment more which could also encourage others to join in.

Interactive Environments in Public Spaces

Stockholm Central Station – stepping on coloured circle stickers on the floor activates different musical note sounds.

Passengers paths are traced by LED projections at a Berlin station.



Sunderland Train Station in the UK – this wall mimics the actions of passengers walking around the platform.



The Song Board outside Kings Cross Station was able to be manipulated by visitors to create patterns and words.



Feline installation art exhibited in a Copenhagen station.



Ottawa LRT station sound & light show coming in summer 2017.

  • “$3-4million show billed as futuristic, interactive and a cornerstone of 2017 tourism”
  • “It will be the world’s first underground multimedia production”
  • “We want to show a more modern, technology image for our city and this is a perfect fit.”



Xiamen North Railway Station

  • 2,000 square meter multidimensional interactive art exhibition
  • themes will be featured in the exhibition include an Underwater World, a Funny Beach, an Amazing Forest, an Animal World and a Fantasy Sky
  • Visitors can enjoy a new, interactive photo-taking experience
  • They will be able to scan QR codes near the paintings to download software, which will make moving animals such as tigers and dolphins appear in users’ photos
  • Free WiFi is available for visitors