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Information Experience Design (MA)

Raphaël SMITH

I am a visual designer and design researcher based in London, UK. As a visual designer I work primarily across digital media and have a strong focus on creating immersive visuals and incorporating subtle narrative elements using 3D, typography, and bold colours. My research focuses on adult play and exploring methods of enabling the emergence of playful experiences and behaviours. I think it is important not to take things too seriously, apart from play that is.


FdA Graphic Design – UAL Camberwell

2017 – 2018

BA Graphic Design – UAL Camberwell

2018 – 2020

MA Information Experience Design – RCA

2021 – 2023

The role of play in our culture is growing in influence and visibility. Although it remains strongly associated with childhood, we are gaining a deeper understanding of the benefits of adult play. This increased ludification is reflected in many areas such as the booming video game industry, the popularity of escape rooms, the rise of playful workspaces, and the gamification of digital products and services, just to name a few. Video and board games now appeal to a wider and older demographic of people in their twenties, thirties, and forties (Patterson et al., 2019). Despite its growing popularity, play has yet to be fully embraced as a part of the adult identity, leaving adults at risk of feeling embarrassed (Deterding, 2017).

This project explores the individual meaning of adult playfulness through ludic objects and ritual play. Play is seldom studied in its meaning for the player but rather as a means to achieve health, developmental, and productivity goals. Understanding the individual reasons for ludic engagement would advance the understanding of play as a means to actively improve one’s own well-being and experienced quality of life (van Leeuwen, Lieselotte, 2008). It is in this spirit that my cultural probe sets out to question participants about their personal relationship with play and assess whether or not their physical, practical, and emotional play-needs are being met.

Play Kit
Research Play Kit
Contents of the play kit