Author Archives: Rune Veerasawmy

Start blogging (again)

Since I created this blog almost two years ago there have been awful quiet, which I hopefully will do something about in the coming months.

During the last half year, my PhD project has raised some really interesting research questions that I would like to blog about. I guess this blogging is primarily for my own sake of having a place to write about my initial thoughts and reflections on technology-supported spectator experiences, the design activities I carry out, and about my research activities in general. However, if you ever have any comments on my posts or project please feel free to leave a comment or write me a mail.

OzCHI x 2

Have had a wonderful time at OzCHI ’10 in Brisbane, Australia meeting people and presenting two papers:

Designing Technology for Active Spectator Experiences at Sporting Events

This paper explores the active spectator experience at sporting events, by presenting and reflecting upon a design experiment carried out at a number of football events. The initial hypothesis of the design process, leading to the design experiment has been that the spectator experience is not merely an experience of receiving and consuming entertainment. It is also heavily reliant on the active participation of the spectator in creating the atmosphere of the entire event. The BannerBattle experiment provides interactive technology in sport arenas with a form of interaction based on existing behaviour in the context. The work presented also argues for a need to overcome the inclination to designing technological systems that imitate or compete with the experience of watching the television broadcast of the game. Experiments such as the presented BannerBattle are cornerstones in our exploratory research-through-design approach to designing technologies for social experiences.

Ludvigsen, M. & Veerasawmy, R. (2010). Designing Technology for Active Spectator Experiences at Sporting Events. Paper presented at OzCHI 2010, Brisbane, Australien, p. 96-103.

Participatory Design at the Museum – inquiring into children’s everyday engagement in cultural heritage

We address the challenge of creating intersections between children’s everyday engagement and museum exhibitions. Specifically, we propose an approach to participatory design inquiry where children’s everyday engagement is taken as the point of departure. We base our discussion on a design workshop “Gaming the Museum” where a primary school class was invited to participate in exploring future exhibition spaces for a museum, based on their everyday use of computer games and online communities. We reflect on the results of the workshop, and broadly discuss the everyday engagement of children as point of departure for designing interactive museum exhibitions.

Dindler, C., Iversen, O. S., Smith, R. C., & Veerasawmy, R. (2010). Participatory Design at the Museum – inquiring into children’s everyday engagement in cultural heritage. Paper presented at OzCHI, Brisbane, Australien, p. 72-79.

PDC2010 in Sydney

After having been enjoying OzCHI in Brisbane me and my colleagues went on a weekend-long road trip driving along the Gold Coast from Brisbane to Sydney in order to participate at PDC2010. At PDC2010 I participated in the Doctoral Consortium with a presentation title Participatory design – emancipating the authentic spectator experience at sporting events. I really enjoined discussing PD issues with fellow PhD’s and listening to interesting presentations at the conference.

BannerBattle – technology-supported spectator experiences

Last spring I was involved in a design project called iSport at Interactive Spaces with focus on technology-supported spectator experiences. The aim of the project was to explore how to design interactive technology for spectator experiences throughout a series of design experiments. This post is a brief overview of the design experiment, called BannerBattle.

Today, most technological systems at sporting events are aiming at augmenting the sports activity at the pitch. The aim of this experiment was to explore  how interactive technologies can support spectator’s experiences when designing for the social experiences emerging among the spectators at the stands.

The technological setup of the experiment consisted of two sets of a large banner displays (6m x 80cm), a camcorder, a microphone and a media server, as shown above. Each setup (banner display, camcorder, microphone, and media server) was located in front of each fan group. The camcorder and microphone was monitoring and tracking the spectators activities (sound and motion) at the stands. The spectators activity was converted to a filtered video output displayed at both banner displays. The filter applied on each video stream saturated the teams colors so it was clear which video belongs to which spectators. The more physical activity the camcorders tracked at the stands and the more loud the spectators cheered/song, the more area of the banner display would each fan group capture from the rival spectators real-a-state. In this way spectators supporting each team could see a filtered video stream of themselves and battle each other in being the most physical active and loud spectators in the arena. And the most dominating and active spectators in the arena would have the most arena of the banner display available for their own video stream, as shown below where AGF (the blue colored team) is the most dominating.

We did two design experiments with the BannerBattle. The second time we did some small changed to the interface and some changes in how the activity in the stands was ranked in the battle between the spectators.

Video from both experiments:

Cover of book - Consuming sport: Fans, sport and culture

Literature review of spectator experiences

I’m currently exploring literature on the topic of spectator experiences. Mainly experiences in the domain of sporting experiences unfolding in at sporing events in sports arenas. I will regularly review the books and papers that I read here on my blog so you can contribute with your comment on my reading. Also if you have some references to literature that might have my interest please don’t hesitate to drop me a comment.

Here is my current and preliminary stack of materials that is just waiting to be read:

Abercrombie, N., and Longhurst, B. (1998). Audiences: A sociological theory of performance and imagination. London, United Kingdom: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Anderson, B. (1983). Imagined communities. London, United Kingdom: Verso.

Crawford, G. (2004). Consuming sport: Fans, sport and culture. New York, NY, USA: Routledge.

Jones, I. (2008). Special issue of the journal of sports & tourism – sport fans and spectators as sport tourists. Journal of Sport & Tourism, 13(3), 164.

Jay, M. (2006). Songs of experience: Modern american and european variations on a universal theme. Los Angeles, California, USA: University of California Press.

Rinehart, R. E. (1998). Players all: Performances in contemporary sport. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.

Turner, V. W., & Bruner, E. M. (Eds.). (1986). The anthropology of experience. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

Danish Human-Computer Interaction Research Symposium 2009

I have just participated in the 9th Danish HCI Research Symposium 2009 in Aarhus, Denmark. Where I presented my short paper “Designing technology for spectator experience – beyond the passive spectator”.

In this paper I will argue that if we are to design technology for engaging spectator experiences at sporting events in sports arenas, we need to focus beyond the spectators fascination of the sport. We also need to embrace the social elements of the spectator experience and the sporting event itself in order to design meaningful technology for engaging spectator experiences. Today, most technological systems at sporting events aim at augmenting the activities in the game on large displays. But, as I will argue, if we are to design technology for engaging spectator experiences at sporting events, we must acknowledge the spectators as active participants and present technology-mediated opportunities that allow spectators to share and express their collective and social experience of the sport and sporting event. My argument will be based on a series of ethnographically inspired field studies, conducted at football and handball games, as well as on a participatory design workshop with sports fans.

The paper and the full proceedings should hopefully very soon be available at

About this blog

I’m a newly started PhD student at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. In the next four years I’m going to carry out a series of design projects to investigate and explorer my PhD projects main research questions. Hopefully this blog will be my faithfull partner through this project and be the place where I will share my thoughts and results with whom it might be of interest.

I invite verybody who would like to participate in shaping this blog to contributes with comments, critiques or inspirational thoughts on the topic of design.