Positive Play

Designing Ludic Tools for Health





Human-Centred Design


This book results from an initiative by the European university consortium EUGLOH - European University Alliance for Global Health - between the University of Porto, Portugal (U.P.), and the University of the Arctic, Norway (UiT). To support the activity consisting of a three-day masterclass and workshop at UiT, designated as “Tromsø Idea Camp 2024 - Developing ideas through co-creation using human-centred design,” which had as its motto: . “Identify the needs and expectations of Vardesenteret’s patients before, during, and after treatment, considering their and volunteers’ points of view and creating projectual answers that foster empathy and communication”, a handbook was created, which later formed the basis of this book. It has three sections dedicated to Person-Centred Design in the Context of Health and Well-being. The first section— ”Reported Experience”, — Relates to the doctoral project “Ludic Activities in Health Context: An Anorexia Nervosa Case in the Hospital Environment,” which systematizes Ludic methods and tools created in and for a clinical context to support the treatment and monitoring of Anorexia Nervosa. Part of the project stems from collaborative work with São João Central Hospital, Portugal, in a group dedicated to treating eating disorders. The second section - “Documented Experience” — Explores the concept of Positive Play, coined by Giesteira, B., Cardoso, P., and Peçaibes, V. in various papers and book chapters from 2021 onwards. It presents a group of methods and tools created by the authors in recent years, such as the SEED Toolkit - “SomaEsthetics for Enabling Designers” (Giesteira, B. 2023) and the ANgame Collab (Cardoso, P., Peçaibes, V., Giesteira, B. 2022). The first tool aims to work on the concept of Somaesthetics, promoting empathy and contributing to identifying feelings and sensations interdependent on body activities and movements. The second tool aims to mediate playful sessions of Participatory Design, especially in the ‘user research’ phase. Other tools and methods were selected because, based on the aforementioned authors’ experience, they are most suitable for applied research in Health Technology Design. The third section - “Lived Experience” — Records the three days of the workshop dedicated to the themes: “Emotional Design and Somaesthetics”; “Human-Centered and Participatory Design”; “Ideation, Lateral Thinking, and Prototype.” In addition to the aforementioned themes, the different phases of development of the participants' projects from the various universities of the EUGLOH university consortium are recorded, which, in a Participatory Design approach, involved the collaboration of volunteers and oncology patients from Vardesenteret. This section shares the tools used to support each phase of product or service design and the final results of the low-fidelity prototypes.


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Author Biographies

Prof. Bruno Giesteira, University of Porto

Professor with Habilitation at the University of Porto, Faculty of Fine Arts, Design Department, pursuing studies in Human-Centred Design, Cognitive and Somaesthetic dimensions, when mediated by computational interactive artefacts, namely in Health and Wellbeing scopes.
He has extensive experience managing HCI's research teams and has been widely published.
Examples are participating in various international health and wellbeing projects in developed and developing countries.
Member of the Academic Committee of EUGLOH - European University Alliance for Global Health, is the Director of the Communication Design Bachelor at Fine Arts Faculty and Postgraduate courses in Interaction Design and Games (a partnership with Engineering Faculty and the Park of Science and Technology of the University of Porto) and Design Technologies for Health (a partnership with Medicine, Engineering Faculties and the Institute Fraunhofer-AICOS).

Prof. Gerd Berge, Arctic University of Norway

Associate professor at Tumor Biology Research Group at the University of Tromsø. Her research interests are understanding the biology of cancer and developing new treatment options for cancer, with the intention of increasing survival and quality of life in cancer patients. Through teaching innovation and entrepreneurship, she has developed a human-centric mindset, in which it is important to uncover the needs of patients/students' learning processes.

Doctor Viviane Peçaibes, ID+ Research Institute

Researcher, Designer, Master in Strategic Design, and PhD in Design at the University of Porto. She has experience in Product Design, Service Design, Emotional Design, UX, Game Design, and Design for Health and Wellbeing through developing projects focusing on health, innovation, technology and creativity. Her work has been recognized with awards, she was also fnalist at the IF Student Award 2015 – Germany and received an honorable mention in Citizen Design category of the 7ª Iberoamerican Design Biennale 2020.


Bruno Giesteira, Joana Silva, Teresa Sarmento, Paulo Abreu, Teresa Restivo. “Carnival Play: eHealth Solution to Evaluate, Rehabilitate, and Monitor Dexterity and Manual Strength”. In: Handbook of Research on Solving Modern Healthcare Challenges with Gamification (pp. 206-242). IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-7998-7472-0.ch012

Pedro Cardoso, Viviane Peçaibes, Bruno Giesteira, Liliana Castro. “Positive Play: Games for Human Potential and the Yet Unexplored Case of Anorexia Nervosa”. In: Handbook of Research on Solving Modern Healthcare Challenges With Gamification (pp. 154-185). IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-7998-7472-0.ch010

Viviane Peçaibes, Pedro Cardoso, Bruno Giesteira, “Speculative Design for Development of Serious Games: A Case Study in the Context of Anorexia Nervosa”. In: Brooks A., Brooks E., Sylla C. (eds) Interactivity, Game Creation, Design, Learning, and Innovation. ArtsIT 2018, DLI 2018. Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, vol 265. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-06134-0_19

Bruno Giesteira & Eduardo Pereira. ”HCI4D Guidelines for Interactive Content”. In: Emerging Trends, Techniques, and Tools for Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Management (pp. 49-77). IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-5225-5011-2.ch003

Bruno Giesteira, Viviane Peçaibes, Guilherme Vila Maior, et al. "The Social Role of Digital Design in Inclusion and Diversity: A Reflection-in-Action Approach in the Context of the Skills for a Next Generation Project". In: Proceedings of 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies, EDULEARN 2023

Bruno Giesteira, Andreia de Sousa. “Designing a multimodal application for people with brain injuries to manage their daily routine: A user-centred approach”. In: Proceedings of HCI International 2023

Ana Ferreira, Alena Hanchar, Vitória Menezes, Bruno Giesteira, Andreia Sousa, Micaela Fonseca. “VR for rehabilitation: the therapist interaction and experience”. In: Proceedings of HCI International. 24th international conference on Human-Computer Interaction, 2022

Isabella Barbosa, Pedro Cardoso, Bruno Giesteira. “Strategies of Intentional Friction in the User Interface of Digital Games”. In: Martins, N., Brandão, D. (eds) Advances in Design and Digital Communication III. DIGICOM 2022. Springer Series in Design and Innovation, vol 27. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-20364-0_5




How to Cite

Giesteira, B., Berge, G. ., & Peçaibes, V. (2024). Positive Play: Designing Ludic Tools for Health. Septentrio Reports, (1). https://doi.org/10.7557/7.7582