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Roland Graf’s Doctoral Thesis Receives “Award of Excellence”

Venn diagram showing Ludic Engineering as the intersection of Art, Play, Technology, and Innovation

Stamps Asso­ciate Pro­fes­sor Roland Graf’s recently com­pleted doc­toral the­sis From Pink to Pong: Trac­ing a Con­ver­gence of Art and Ludic Engi­neer­ing” has received the Award of Excel­lence” from the Fed­eral Min­istry of Edu­ca­tion, Sci­ence, and Research of Aus­tria.

Since 2008, the Award of Excel­lence” has rec­og­nized the 40 best doc­toral the­ses in Aus­tria of the aca­d­e­mic year. This year’s award cer­e­mony will take place in the Aula of Sci­ences in Vienna, Aus­tria, on Decem­ber 7, 2021.

In his dis­ser­ta­tion, Graf traces a con­ver­gence of artis­tic and ludic (i.e., play­ful) engi­neer­ing approaches at the inter­sec­tion of inter­ac­tive art and Human-Com­puter Inter­ac­tion (HCI) in light of Solar Pink Pong, a case study that focuses on play” as the inven­tive ele­ment. The work is dri­ven by the need to bridge con­flict­ing view­points of this con­ver­gence and bet­ter under­stand the oper­a­tional value of play” (i.e., play­ful thought and play­ful behav­ior) for invent­ing tech­nolo­gies for, and with, the lived body. As such, the dis­ser­ta­tion pro­vides a mul­ti­fac­eted answer to the ques­tions of what seri­ous” roles Ludic Engi­neer­ing can play and how it can be fur­ther conceptualized.