Intelligent Play Environments (IPE)

The Intelligent Play Environments project (I-PE) was a project (2010 - 2014)funded by FES (Ministry of Economic Affairs) which aims to create playful solutions that stimulate primary school students to be more physically active. The main goal of the project is to explore whether and how children can be activated to social and physical play by embedding gaming concepts into physical concepts. The overall project objective is addressed in two research activities:

1 Develop intelligent play environments providing a playful persuasion experience - How to design playful persuasive experiences that lead to social and physical activities?

2 Develop an intelligent decentralized platform activity - How can intelligent technologies contribute to an adaptive and flexible playful solution?

The TU Delft worked on the development of an interactive app to assess and evaluate the playful experiences.

The project examined how to design and evaluate interactive play experiences. Diverse designs were created, varying the age of user group (younger and older children) and supporting different forms of play (social, physical and fantasy play). The design process included interaction with diverse stakeholders, such as children, companies, PE teachers and educational experts.

The outcome includes interactive prototypes, such as the GlowSteps (an iteractive tile-based play platform for social and physical play), Wobble (an iteractive environment consistsing of multiple interactive objects in the shape of balls on a flexible stem to support fantsay play of young children) and Lucio (donut shaped interactive objects to support physical and social play in a PE class environment intended for younger and older children). Furthermore, the generated design knowledge is presented in a card-based design tool, called the lenses of play. The tool present different perspectives to be taken into account when developing playful solutions, such as dsesigning for open-ended interaction, for different forms of play, for different stages of play and for emergent behaviour.


Kompan,  Almende, Sportcomplex Eindhoven Noord (SEN), PatchingZone and the Stichting Sports and Technology, TU Delft (Industrial Design)


Creative Industries Scientific Program (CRISP) creative industries

Related Publications

Rijnbout, P, Graaf, M. Bekker, T. and Schouten B. (2016) The Introduction of IMO, an intergrated model for designing for open-ended play, Entertainment Computing.

Valk, L. de, Bekker, T. and Eggen, B. (2015) Designing for social interaction in open-ended play environments, International Journal of Design, 9 (1), 107-120.

Valk, L. de, Bekker, T. and Eggen, B. (2014) Drawing up the rules: Encouraging children's rule creation in interactive open-ended play, International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 2(4), 120-129

Bekker, T, Valk, L. de, Eggen, B. (2014) A toolkit for designing playful interactions: the four lenses of play, In Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Smart Environments (JAISE), 6 (3), 263-276.

de Valk, L., Rijnbout, P., de Graaf, M., Bekker, T., Schouten, B., & Eggen, B. (2013). GlowSteps–A Decentralized Interactive Play Environment for Open-Ended Play. In Advances in Computer Entertainment (pp. 528-531). Springer International Publishing

Rijnbout, P., de Valk, L., Vermeeren, A., Bekker, T., de Graaf, M., Schouten, B., & Eggen, B. (2013). About Experience and Emergence-A Framework for Decentralized Interactive Play Environments. In Intelligent Technologies for Interactive Entertainment (pp. 104-113). Springer International Publishing. 

van Hoeve, B., de Valk, L., & Bekker, T. (2013). Toinggg: How Changes in Children’s Activity Level Influence Creativity in Open-Ended Play. In Advances in Computer Entertainment (pp. 642-645). Springer International Publishing

Van Beukering, A, de Valk, L and Bekker, T. (2014) Wobble: Supporting Social Play through an Open-ended Play Environment, IN : van Leeuwen, J.P., Stappers, P.J., Lamers, M.H., Thissen, M.J.M.R. (Eds.) Creating the Difference: Proceedings of the Chi Sparks 2014 Conference, April 3, 2014, The Hague, The Netherlands

Valk, L. de,Bekker, T. and Eggen, B. 2013. Leaving room for improvisation: towards a design approach for open-ended play. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC '13). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 92-101