The Art of Play Masterclasses: Stimulate the Senses

The Art of Play:

A day with masterclasses for creative professionals interested in a playful perspective.
Stimulate the Senses
Date + Time:
1 April 10:00 – 20:00
De Verkeerstoren, Amsterdam (NL)
Design, discuss and explore concepts focused on playful, sensory and interactive experiences using sound, wearables or immersive space. Join our extraordinary experts in the masterclasses and play & collaborate with other professionals in a cross-disciplinary setting.
The Art of Play (TAoP) is a one day event with short talks and several Masterclasses. Creative professionals get together for inspiration, collaboration and brainstorming and (re)connect with playfulness. We bring in experts from the Netherlands and abroad to inspire participants from a variety of perspectives.


Sense of Sound

by Dieter Vandoren of iii Initiative (NL) and Nikki Pugh (UK).

In this masterclass we’ll explore how simple rules can create complex emergent behaviors and relate this to sound: constructing complex audible textures from inventive sound-making devices constructed from basic materials.

Work with us to become part of noisy, augmented, mutating swarms and explore the area around De Verkeerstoren. We’ll use a series of prototypes and rulesets to play with different interactions between the senses, the swarms and our surroundings in order to investigate the overlap between bodies, algorithms and public space.

What will have evolved by the end of the day? Only one way to find out…

Please come prepared to spend some time outside and it would also be great if you could bring with you something disposable that can be incorporated into the prototypes. (Bangy things, rattley things, tappy things, bleepy things or things for making other things out of.)


Nikki_Pugh_3Nikki Pugh is an artist working at the intersection of people, place, playfulness and technology investigating how we interact with our surroundings.

Threads from pervasive gaming interweave with walking-based processes, physical computing and sculptural forms in an enquiry-led practice that harnesses experimentation in order to invite curiosity and conversations.

Current projects include: working with Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery to develop playful navigation and prototyping; building a colony of landscape-reactive creatures as an alternative way of sensing urban environments; and devising a mechanical cabinet as way of visualising GPS data broadcast by a person travelling by bike.
DieterVandoren_taop16Dieter Vandoren (°1981, Belgium) is an artist, performer and developer. His work draws from diverse backgrounds in music, IT and experimental architecture and revolves around the creation and play of spatial, immersive audiovisual instruments with a strong focus on the embodied aspects of performance.

He holds a master degree in ArtScience (Royal Academy of Art The Hague) and a bachelor in Digital Communication (University of Applied Sciences Utrecht).

Dieter is a founding member of the iii collective. He is a guest tutor and researcher at the Hyperbody and ID­StudioLab groups at the Delft University of Technology (departments of architecture and industrial design, respectively). He is an associate in A/V rental and production company Squat Deluxe Rotterdam.

His works have been featured at Ars Electronica (AT), Club Transmediale (DE), NIME (UK), Electrochoc (FR), TodaysArt (NL), STEIM (NL), STRP (NL), Glow (NL), NIMk (NL) and more.

Dieter currently resides in Rotterdam, NL.


Immersive Space

How can you design an immersive experience for a physical space? How can TASTE, TOUCH and SMELL enrich the sensory experience within this space?
Your brain is filled with thousands of memories. Each memory is a temporary collage created out all your senses. Temperature, humidity, light, smell, flavour, airflow, clothing, perspective,all play their part.

In this masterclass we will explore how to design an immersive experience with taste, touch and smell as the primary elements.

We will experiment and play and together we will try to answer some of these questions:

  • Can taste / smell / touch shape, or even change your perception of the space?
  • Can you navigate a space by your sense of taste alone?
  • How can you make taste / touch / smell work to give a experience of a specific emotion or memory ?

We will ask all participants in the masterclass to bring 1 – 3 objects: a taste, a smell and a touch. Chose something that links to a memory that you will be willing to share with others. This can be both negative or positive.”


1157553_10151593438222199_392768655_nSarah Piyannah Cederstrand is educated as a set designer on the DanishDesignSchool in 2002. Since then she has worked with design for theatre and museums in Denmark and Sweden. She is artistic director of the company Tidsrum and does interactive or immersive theatre, site specific, puppettheatre, installations and design experiences for historical museums.

Sarah is interested in set design as a way to charge spaces, to tell stories or communicate emotions with space. She is designing for living bodies in space, which means to design for all 5 senses.

More info via:

ALexander Gijzendorffer by Floorvankoert_270314_1ALexander Geijzendorffer is educated as an industrial design engineer and spent some years at the interfaculty of artscience before starting up the Cateringa & Kompanen-collective in Rotterdam. Combining his multiple backgrounds and the low global need for more plastic rubbish, he developed a healthy interest in building temporary installations and food.

Within the Cateringa & Kompanen-collective they focus on combinations of food, art and the interaction between people. This ends up in a large variety of perfomances, workshops, events and other interactive food-experiences. Maybe no one knows what makes great art, but everybody seems to know what is “proper” food. The moment that food, smell or touch come into consideration as part of an art piece, things start to get blurry and thus, according to the Kompanen, interesting.

Expressive Wearables

by Vloeistof (NL) and Mechbird (FR).
The body as interface. Learn the importance of dynamics and movement from dance collective Vloeistof and explore the connection with wearables and playful design with game designer Mechbird.
The systemic approach to shape interaction is what puts collective Vloeistof and game designer Mechbird together. Playful tasks will inspire you to move your body in new ways. Explore rule-based systems and design your game!


vloeistof_dolf_catrijn_logo kopieVloeistof challenges the audience’s perceptions of space by using the body as a medium. The performances focus mainly on human behavior in an urban modern setting, bringing out absurd, funny, and poetic elements. Also vital to the performances are the audience’s reactions and interactions. The pieces are lived through and experienced rather than merely watched from the sidelines. As a spectator you become directly involved in the piece, and your collective experiences contribute to its overall content.

Vloeistof was founded in 2000 by choreographers Anja Reinhardt and Yuri Bongers. Yearly they show 80 performances and interventions at festivals, theaters and in public space.

Vloeistof is based in the Netherlands, but performs internationally.

Follow Vloeistof via:

Tatiana VilelaTatiana “MechBird” Vilela is a multi-award winning playful experience designer. Her creations, freed from the doxa, are characterised by a both aesthetic and systemic approach. These disturbing perceptual experiences often involve dedicated controllers and rendering devices, fully created for these works. They are exhibited and playable at different events from Johannesburg to Copenhagen.

Cultivating an experimental approach, she first drew public and press interest with Adsono, a cooperative game for two players, based on luminous buttons strapped on the body. More info about these games are available at www.mechbird.fr

Follow Tatiana and her work via:

The Art of Play: 1 April
 The day will begin with a plenary session of short talks by the masterclasses hosts. The hosts will share a brief overview of their work and their inspiration. After lunch* we will break in to groups and the participants will be able to join a masterclass of choice.
The masterclass sessions will be hosted by experts from the Netherlands and abroad who are coming from a variety of backgrounds (dance / performing arts, sound design, playful design, food design etc). During the sessions, participants will learn more about the different disciplines for the specific sessions and will work on playful arts concepts or prototypes together with the other participants.
Concepting and prototyping will be wrapped up before dinner. Together with the hosts and masterclass participants we will have dinner* at De Ruimte. After dinner participants will present concepts or what they’ve worked on to each other in a plenary session. Audience is welcome.
*Lunch and dinner are included in the ticket.

Tentative schedule

09:45 Doors Open
10:00 Welcome & Introduction
10:15 – 12:15 – Short Talks by masterclass hosts (plenary)
12:15 – 13:15
Masterclasses (simultaneously)
13:15 – 18:00
  • Sense of Sound
  • Immersive Space
  • Expressive Wearables
18:00 – 19:00
19:00 – 20:00

Meet our Masterclass Hosts!

TAOP 2016 masterclass hosts


Poster designed by Het Eiland