Footsteps snapshot

‘Footsteps’ was a design concept created from the 2010 OzChi student design challenge. This was in response to a design brief that tasked us with enlivening an unused space, using novel or existing technologies, to address its existing problems.

Traffic islands were identified as such a space, and ‘Footsteps’ was proposed as a game that geographically paired islands, projecting the movements of people onto them to encourage play.

Together with Tamara Chahine, Cherry Chau, Ryo Yambe, and Cming Yick, ‘Footsteps’ reached the Finals and was presented in Brisbane in the proceedings of OzChi 2010.

Traffic Island Image


This paper introduces Footsteps, an urban game that pairs geographically separated traffic islands, and augments them with projections of human activity coming from corresponding islands. This concept was designed and prototyped for the OZCHI 2010 24-Hour Student Design Challenge, in which we were asked to enliven an unused space in our current location, using novel or existing technologies. We chose to address this challenge by presenting a game designed to encourage playful and social interaction in the city of Sydney. Given that this concept was prototyped and evaluated within 24 hours, we believe there is potential to improve the design through further exploration and user testing.

Chahine, T., Chau, C., Weng, H., Yambe, R., & Yick, C. (2010). Footsteps: an urban game to encourage social interaction in networked spaces. In Proceedings of the 22nd Conference of the Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group of Australia on Computer-Human Interaction (pp. 406–407). ACM.

Process Video:

Final Concept Video:


The process involved initial brainstorming, contextual research, observations and user research. Informing our initial sense of the problem domain, design choices and prototypes. This was followed up by secondary research and research into similar projects.

A full process blog, written during the 24hr challenge, can be read online.

Group Traffic Island Image