11 June 2006

Pooptopia, a pet waste removal urban game

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Pooptopia, the Interaction-Ivrea graduation project of Aram Saroyan Armstrong, is a pet waste removal service/game that explores the interplay of service design and entertainment.

A few days ago Régine Debatty summarised Pooptopia on her own blog we-make-money-not-art as follows:

“Pooptopia pushes the boundaries of the rising service economy and joins a new breed of games that reclaim the urban environment for play, while struggling to become economically self-sustainable.”

“Pooptopia LBS is a pet waste removal service for city neighbourhoods. It utilises location-based technology to locate, monitor and respond to problem areas. The service incorporates stakeholder action into the solution by empowering dog owners, poo-haters and poo-hunters to easily mark the location of pet waste for pick-up by the Pooptopia service and municipal sanitation workers.”

“The goal of the Dark Treasure (Tesoro Scuro) game is to discover dog poo, make a picture of it and email it, with the location of the finding and your name or the name of your team. The claim will earn you points. You can earn double point if you also mark the exact location of your discovery on Pooptopia’s Tesoro Scuro Map. This “treasure map” is used to create nightly pick-up routes for the Pootectors, Pooptopia’s pet waste removal squad. Over time this data helps define zones as “Pooptopias” and “Puptopias”, which affects the cost of dog ownership and rewards responsible canine-loving communities: the poorer the rating, the higher the service fee.”

The project was supervised by Experientia partner Jan-Christoph Zoels in his capacity as senior associate professor at Interaction-Ivrea.

Visit thesis website

(This post is the second in a series of short features on the graduation projects by the final students of the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, now located in Milan. As of next week, the Institute will be entirely absorbed within the Domus Academy‘s ‘I-Design” programme.)

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