Parcours Feau'lies: NumerO - Canal Cleaning Frisbee

A canal cleaning game designed to educate the citizen in Paris to build a more close relationship with the canal in a playful way.

The project is initiated during the time I joined a week-long hackathon in Paris. The theme is education about the canal. We found that most people live in Paris think the river is not clean and it's just mainly for transportation. Actually we think our river has much more meaning to us. So we came up with an idea of "Water Playground" which people start to build more close relationship with their river through play. To build something to start the conversation with public, we decided to build a prototype addressing the problem of "Collect solid waste from canal in a playful way".

Throughout the week, we prototyped one of the water playground games - a canal cleaning frisbee accompanied with a mobile app mockup to let players input their result (i.e. how many and the type of trash they collected) to an open-source database and display on an online Map. Citizens can check the water quality such as pH, NO3 concentration, and turbidity of the canal in this map, which is added by other game players. The app also shows educational information about environmental issues related to water after the player complete the game.

May 2019

In collaboration of Lysiane Lagadic, Elodie Coquillat, Auriane Dumesnil, Djibril.

For the week-long Fleuve Aquathon in Paris.

canal frisbee poster.png

Screenshots of mobile app.


Before the hackathon week start, I got a chance to ride a bicycle along the canal. In the bike trip, I was shocked to see there are piles of solid waste found along the canal. And from my observation, I rarely see people doing any activities in the canal. It seems people are becoming disconnected to the canal. I wonder how do citizens in Paris connected to the canal. 

Our project is inspired by the first floating garden in the Saint-Martin canal​. The floating garden demonstrates how nature has a role to play and how we can use it by reintegrating it into cities. This resonates with the question in my mind since the bike trip, and I would love to further explore the relationship between citizens and the canal.

Pile of solid waste found along the canal.

The first vegetated raft in Saint-Martin Canal

The first vegetated raft in Saint-Martin Canal

Pile of solid waste found along the canal.


We took a bicycle trip along the canal to collect water samples, had chit chat with local people, asked them about what do they usually do in the canal to find out their relationship with the canal. The next day, we conducted water quality test and observed the water sample under microscope. We also brainstormed problems of the canal, and dis online research on the science of measuring the health of a freshwater body.

Bicycle route along the canal to collect water samples.

Collected water samples.

Observing water sample under microscope.

Bicycle route along the canal to collect water samples.


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Prototyping & Testing

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At the end, we brought our canal cleaning frisbee game station to exhibit along the Saint-Martin Canal. We invited passer-by to play the game and we collected feedback from them.

Here are some of our observations:

  • kids love the game, 1 boy plays for ~1 hour and still get engaged

  • But one possible problem is the kids not necessary has smartphone and scan the QR code to put data in the map

  • We found that when we play the frisbee, people will come to watch and want to try playing, but when we stand away from the playstation without demo, people will come to have a look and walk away. It is possible that our playstation design does not give enough hint to people that they can actually play with it.

  • One couple came by and said "- Is this installation permanent? It is meaningful!" after listening to our short presentation and play with it

Inviting passerby to play with the frisbee game.

Group photo of Aquathon organisers and participants. 

More detailed documentation of the project can be found here.