Swiss Design Network Conference 2010:
Designers see the world not simply as it is, but rather as it could be. In this perspective, the world is a laboratory to explore the contingency of the existing and the thinking in options. Imaginations of the contra factual are a key source for the creation of alternative political, technological, social, or economic constellations of artefacts, interfaces, signs, actors, and spaces. At the same time, strategies of materialization are pivotal to shift the boundary between the fictional and the real and to finally bring possible new realities into being. The conference addresses the questions of how fictions are designed and how the multiplicity of possible new futures is negotiated and realized.
Design Fiction, Negotiating Futures October 28-30, 2010.
Intro by Andrew Otwell
Restorative feeling of getting together.
The architecture of participation.
Experience design is participation design.
Ethical and social implications of ubicomp
Has been reading far afield “Out of gas” “Dark age ahead” “Collapse
Growth and decline
Models of growth:
1. Health of economy is based on growth
2. Continuous growth: technological singularity: going off the charts
Decline: cyclical decline, populations, rise and fall of the nile
But sometime it’s not cyclical: the global production of oil.
Growth and terminal decline: global oil production. Industrial civilisation becomes very hard to maintain.
There is a contingency that designers probably ought to be thinking about.
An implication: things get intensely local
Power sources, reclamation, working and forging
Textiles dyes colorings
Methods practices and standards: knowledge: resident in the minds and things around us.
Deployment of finished items
Value: ie copper may be worth more locally as a metal to be worked, than as wiring in an inert grid.
A new suite of design gestures
Our near-instantaneous google+wikipedia
Flexibility and unquestioned connectivity (the social, fluid, soft meeting space)
digital visualization and rapid prototyping
Petrochemical or dependent derived material properties
Low material costs
The global community
Will become important
Sense of possibility and play
Reclamation of old industrialisation
Re-densification: new urban centres
Urban core may be untenable: bulding higher than 6 floors may be difficult
KH Kunstler: the long emergency
Has design lost its way.
Design is always ideological, influenced by specific world views, responds to cultural context, design is a product (of the society it originates from).
It’s also world shaping, future oriented, not yet, soon to be, one day, wouldn’t it be cool if. Imagination and production. Cannot claim autonomy from social change.
Utopia, Outopia: no place. Eutopia: good place
The desire to be somewhere different, not about this place not now, free of the problems of this world.
No problem to link utopianism with the act of designing.
Many see design as a key to changing the world. Corbusier.
Design is also linked to control and power.
Archigram: a move away from conservatism. Anti-utopianism, learning from the mistakes of their forefathers.
Inbetween the space of freedom and control: metamorphosis
Utopia of difference: terroristic meta-narratives (Tom Moylan)
Superstudio: allows for different uses and actions to define the architecture of the studio. A critique of the modernists.
Critical utopia: asks questions: asks towards change, towards critical design.
Problem with critical design: forgets to question the position that the designer has
Locative media: a lot of technology removes us from everyday life, we need to remember the dogshit and the chewing gum.
Malcolm: the avant garde is now 2 minutes.
Digital design: change in space and place: information acts within the production of space.
Book: The Whale and the Reactor (A search for limits in an age of high technology)
Social consequences of design from a historical perspective
Artefacts have political properties: invention, design or arrangement of artifact becomes a way of settling an issue in the affaris of a community. Some articles are inherently political (weaponry)
Political design can be found in architecture and urban planning
Robert Moses low overpasses: discouraged lower-class travel
Barron Haussmann’s thoroughfares: large roads and parks.
Concrete buildings and plazas at universities, to discourage demonstrations
Cyrus McCorrmick II’s molding machines
How design choices affect the relative distribution of power.
Fabio: Relationship between artefact and culture is complex. You can put the baby out into the world, but can’t take responsibility for all it’s actions.
Design and the parliament of things
Making the work of a social scientist applicable
Philosophy of science
The difference between an assemblage and an assembly
“To assemble is one thing; to represent to the eyes and ears of those assembled what is at stake is another” Bruno Latour, How to Make Things Public.
The different between objects and things
In design, things are objects: stable and neutral. Even users are objects.
Things: an assembly: to come together
A coming together precicely because we have differences.
From Realpolitics to Thingpolitics.
“Walking is controlled falling” Laurie Andersen.
Representative democracy: body-politic: unifying difference, stabilising and reducing difference.
From representation to re-presentation: all the constituent parts
Re-presenting design: invention and capitalism, speed and mobilisation.
Going from an assemblage of different parts to an assembly.
Speed and competition, focusing on the novel: ideas and materials and practices are being mobilised, getting rid of the obstacles that will slow it down.
This doesn’‘t help us ‘assemble’. A constant space of speed, not encouraged to slow down and think things through. We don’t have an assembly.
We can’t afford to keep ignoring each other.
“Your concerns are not relevant to our task at hand, you are not enabling my efficiency, etc.”
What is it going to take to design in this parliament of things?
We can start by slowing down.
“That’s where slowing down comes in – you can create new habits only by slowing down, because new habits also mean new feelings, new interests, new possibilities” – Isabelle Stengers
Matt: voting is a last resort, consensus is reached in different ways.
Anne: not interested in consensus, interested in convergence.
Malcolm: taking into account, not accounting the bottom line: Latour
Matt: strategies and tactics in moving towards slowness? A: get outside, get into the ground.
Public by design
Interested in the issue of privacy
Privacy / Publicness
How the library became a microcosm of the city: a number of services and interfaces to the city
What technologies are public goods? Electricity, wireless, etc.
Which technologies must be individually wrought? Laptops, mobiles.
“A public institution must bear the burden of public demands”
Anne: a public space or a commons? A convergence
Use of the internet problematic: an increasing use of “adult terminals” versus “children’s terminals”.
The library becomes a sort of pitstop: getting out of the rain or using the toilet.
Thomas Vander Wal
Clouds, space and black boxes
Information is found and created, but there is little distinction between the two.
Personal info cloud, local infocloud, global infocloud
A clearing house of filters from the flood of information that flows down.
Filtering based on trust and value: aggregation
A ‘firewall’ that filters what information we give to people
A ‘smart’ black box
Some people keep all different bits of their personal data stored underneath different usernames: so as to not keep all data aggregated in one place.
Using environmental issues. Using P2P software
Linking music download to criminal activity, but also tracking music downloads according to the amount of money owed to industry and artists.
Taking into account the notion of civic space: architecture.
Closed laptop, notebook…
The skin of objects
No definitions of interaction design!
Where is the material of interaction design?
Joy Mountfort: “We are designing the skin of objects” reacted strongly against this.
Industrial design: from Olivetti cash register to Apple G5.
Ben: models are the substance of interaction design. The act of creating constraints and systemic understandings.
The visualisation of complexity: making new materials from the mass of information.
Conceptual models affecting the physical models.
Liz: what are models? Fundamentals of interaction design are stories.
Open source media
Project Lightspeed: AT&T, Yahoo and Microsoft.
Big players: Apple, IPTV, Yahoo, Google
Bootstrappers: Open Media Network, DTV (Bittorrent & RSS), Open Source Radio
RSS provides metadata and triggers downloads
Matt Jones: Jerry Cornelius: an open source character: giving away plots and stories.
Panasonic gets personalisation.
Barcodes on skins.
Websites for cover creation.
Harajuku store for expensive personal covers.
Korea: metal depicting war scenes, cloth.
A spectrum of engagement, consume, buy, customise, accessorize, alter, make, design.
Find out how, make stuff, sell stuff. cyworld (half population of Korea?), habbo, myspace, neopets.
Peer production: flips traditional production economics.
physical peer production: toolmakers, manufacturer, designer, aggregator, printer, user.
Internet fabrication: electronic, materials
Home fabrication: 3d scanners, milling and printing, 2d printing and cutting
Local fabrication: access to machine shops, equipment
Is physical better than digital?
Is this sustainable?
How do we design for casual craft?
Malcolm: biggest criticism of digital ground is the longevity of the tools, the tools are not consistent or stable enough.
Mike: people don’t like to do something they do for a living in their spare time: this might be a reaction away digital work environments.
John: scrapbooking industry is huge in the States: manifesting a collection of pieces: in Target is a whole section for scrapbooking.
Slowness is the point of craft. The process is key.
Anne: when you work in a sweatshop you don’t knit for relaxation.
Liz: … as long as it’s pink. Modern idea of design is strongly opposed to the Victorian ‘crafted’ fussy environments.
Jyri Engström & Ulla-maaria Mutanen
Social objects, invisible tail and free product codes.
A map of relationships, with nodes as individuals.
But look at interactions from an ethnographic pov, we see interaction through social objects.
Michael Tomasello: children learn about intentional affordances based on understanding the intentional relations to other people.
Online these things are links, photos, etc.
Developing novel kinds of interactions through objects.
Photos, bookmarks, blogs, products.
Tim O’Reilly: Amazon also introduced their own proprietary identifier: the ASIN: works for objects that don’t have ISBN. A basic necessity for anything to become a social object online.
UPC, EPC, ISBN, ASIN for artefacts of mass production.
What might be a last.fm for physical things?
History, present, makers, materials. Making those relations visible: indicating social value.
Using RFID as a personal tool.
• Recommendation-based markets
• Free thing identifiers
• Available wireless access
• Simple terminal devices
Forms of address: how we talk to computers, and how we should.
URLs and point and click are bad.
Desktop search and recent items: help a lot
Global URLs: they are portable, excellent.
They let you see ideas within their structure, not other ideas.
Doug Engelbart: online system
Delicious encodes a certain type of behaviour with more persistence and history.
Recent call lists on mobile phone
Using the Ning database is more like a conversation than Spotlight, it makes assumptions around structured data.
Patterns of behaviour: ‘the things I’ve done in the last 30 seconds can be referenced as an object”.
Bookmarking a conversation.
“I’m only a first time user once”
Mike: Predictive shell.
Tokyo Blues: The city as seen through one material
Blue tarpaulen: used in many different ways across different cities.
Most extensive use of blue tarps in Japan: anything that is passing into or out of existence.
Blue tarps with a modular system: model number is higher with durability
Most popular model number 3000, conforms to the tatami mat size.
Aerial photo: everything is being built, or rebuilt, historical renovation.
Used as shelter for homeless, mat for picnics, covers for temporary objects, street vendors, covering floors, spreading tarps to indicate zones: becomes an indoor space: taking off shoes to enter an ‘indoor zone’. Concealing / covering. Stack of things.
Screen based button.
Working with manufacturing engineers
What we can get away with in domestic manufacture.
Phones: manufacture, style/form: self reinforcement
Manufacture: iterating this relationship towards cheaper, assume this is better.
Manufacture: Worskshops : craft, local, milling, rfp
Style: malice, opportunism, dissassembly, individual, cults, play, luxury
Metal: Lens 117, casting metal in wax.
Casting phones in metal.
Artists or designers using RFID technology.
RFID was initially frightening.
Some consumer focused uses
RFID sushi: underneath each plate is a tag, conveyer belt. RFID reader scans a stack of plates.
For tracking cows.
In toys: a doll that gets sick, each accessory is a tag, in the toy is a reader.
Zapped: a machine that lets you know about readers in the space. Gave a cockroach with RFIDs to every participant: release in the nearest walmart to taint the database.
How artists and designers are using it
A1 lounge: re-materialisation, prada store.
Digital wardrobe: making sure she uses things that people don’t see more than once.
RFID habitat: tables in two parts of the world, shows presence
RFID bootleg objects: mp3 player based on a vinyl turntable, using the old covers as interface to mp3s.
Deal me in: cards for poker: blackjack mat that plugs into the computer: seeing and printing pictures using playing cards, a traditional interface.
With hidden numbers: traditional fashion objects, by passing these objects through a reader you can play music and play samples
Junkie helper: medicine linked to a chatroom: where people in a chatroom can see your action.
Go-dance: projecting videos in nightclubs, but can DJ using embodied interactions, with RFIDs connected to clothing
Peripheral needs: Velcro is used to turn appliances in the home on and off. The paper tags can be used to keep track of what’s going on in the home.
The living room: Telling stories with rfid
Dance Dance revolution incorporating fitness into gaming.
The ‘Pay per play’ model
Arcades are designed to be really fun.
Eric Rodenbeck, Michal Migurski, Stamen
Vito Acconci: our work has to sound exciting over the phone
Dumb: easy explanations: eg. Flickr
Meet the audience more than halfway
Dumb is difficult
Map of the market: martin wattenburg
Wordcount.org, babyname voyager, visualising the way we use language
Acconci studio: website based on tags: can build dynamic presentations on the fly.
Cabspotting: live taxi visualisation
Molly: data fetishism: what types of things can be done with this as a tool?
Thomas: difficulty with time on the web, nothing that deals with it well: everything stuck on a calendar.
David Gelertner: lifestreams
How can we make this more ugly: graphic ugliness is equated with truth, if anything is to be taken seriously.
Malcolm: too much visualisation as wallpaper
With re-unification, an entire class of everyday markers was wiped out.
Seeking nirvana in design for the tiny
Four mobile truths
The mobile world is in a mess: earliest days of the PC.
Intense and competing constraints.
How to design for a form factor that is so limited.
Implementation is so limited by standards. Onerous restrictions and suffering with dealing with carriers. Onerous business models.
But it’s a tremendous opportunity, billions of potential users.
To assuage anxieties over all this: constraints can lead to a level of purity. A mobile app is a bit like a haiku.
A zen approach to the design and implementation of these things.
Refinement towards a very specific set of constraints.
Ideas put forward around the possibilites of dystopian futures.
Structure and architecture loom large in our minds (even though our titles are not that enymore)
Information structures are starting to play out in the spaces we inhabit: in the construction of the community.
In the process of game design: commodification of play, play creates interfaces in a richer interface than the traditional process of interface design. (through play finding the boundaries of the self and the other).
Use of symbolic systems and projection of language onto the world.
Game vs play: game is projecting a model into play. Language formalises meaning, games formalise play.
Hopskotch has no real ingredients, apart from a method of making marks and a space (plus an agreement to play the game)
This agreement is where the power is.
Consensual modelling capabilities: emergent social properties.
People have a growing literacy of what is possible.
Chess: a sculpture of behaviour of the pieces.
Aware of the tools to make this kind of models.
Goal directed learning: role-playing is more like improvisation: the roles involved are not defined in silos, but interwoven. Multiplications of capabilities. Certain tasks can only be achieved through a sequence of collaborative actions. Cumulative actions.
The techniques of role-play have made it into the workplace.
Neverendingness: a distributed conversation about the building of ‘what can happen’. Submitting ideas into a collaborative space.
The hopskotch that we are playing, is a directed but temporary structure.
The smooth space that we are standing on, that we demarcate with some markings.
Building models that have a linkable state.
The game we are playing is re-projectable onto different circumstances. (in case of dire future possibilities).
Games gone native: in specific environments.
Temporary autonomous games (tag). Chalk on sidewalk, but chalk is washed away. Temporary collaborative structures of meaning: playing out actions in that space, the product is meaningful. Focus taxonomy onto a specific process, that has traction, but can then discard the rule-set, once we have a product.
In betweening (Aldo van Eyck). Became uncomfortable with the top-down projections of authority (high modernism). Built 700 playgrounds in Amsterdam.
Projecting the possibility of play onto the environment. Filled all of the gaps in Amsterdam with play. A sandbox here, a pole there, etc.
A divergence from the monolithic flows of high modernism.
Collaborative making of urban experience.
‘We are all here now’, feeling. Take different roles in the game that is more empowering towards our ability to make things in the city.
Beaurau of spatial organisational.
Before we can activate a city (with a platform) we need to begin to compose our personal, fragmented understandings, how things can be represented, things that we can broadcast to each other.
These things can be connected to the city, a living model of the city. Building the hopscotch squares from one to the other.
The game model has the flexibility to support the kind of collaborative activity that will support these things.
Matt: how to manage the politicization of artefacts. What are the political consequences of these ideologies, structures, games. A game about the making of the game.
Adam: John Zorn’s cobra: improvisational combat jazz. Disruptor.
Mike: open ended, play-based perspective: changing and following rules is very complex, and leads down paths that are very damaging. But by sticking to one set of rules might end with a better result.
Collaborative idealism is a constant flow of articulation and re-articulation. Laminar flow and turbulence. Turn up the flow of collaboration we also get ‘stop and go’ effects.
Game: flex: so many rulecards have been played that it’s impossible.
Notes on two related projects:
1. Time that land forgot
- A project in collaboration with Even Westvang
- Made in 10 days at the Icelandic locative media workshop, summer 2004
- Had the intention of making photo archives and gps trails more useful/expressive
- Looked at patterns in my photography: 5 months, 8000 photos, visualised them by date / time of day. Fantastic resource for me: late night parties, early morning flights, holidays and the effect of midnight sun is visible.
- Looking now to make it useful as part of more pragmatic interface, to try other approaches less about the abstracted visualisation
- info, details, research and source code
- time visualisation
2. Marking in urban public space
I’ve also been mapping stickering, stencilling and flyposting: walking around with the camera+gps and photographing examples of marking (not painted graffiti).
This research looks at the marking of public space by investigating the physical annotation of the city: stickering, stencilling, tagging and flyposting. It attempts to find patterns in this marking practice, looking at visibility, techniques, process, location, content and audience. It proposes ways in which this marking could be a layer between the physical city and digital spatial annotation.
Some attributes of sticker design
- Visibility: contrast, monochromatic, patterns, bold shapes, repetition
- Patina: history, time, decay, degredation, relevance, filtering, social effects
- Physicality: residue of physical objects: interesting because these could easily contain digital info
- Adaptation and layout: layout is usually respectful, innovative use of dtp and photocopiers, adaptive use of sticker patina to make new messages on top of old
Layers of information build on top of each other, as with graffiti, stickers show their age through fading and patina, flyposters become unstuck, torn and covered in fresh material. Viewed from a distance the patina is evident, new work tends to respect old, and even commercial flyposting respects existing graffiti work.
Techniques vary from strapping zip-ties through cardboard and around lampposts for large posters, to simple hand-written notes stapled to trees, and short-run printed stickers. One of the most fascinating and interactive techniques is the poster offering strips of tear-off information. These are widely used, even in remote areas.
Initial findings show that stickers don’t relate to local space, that they are less about specific locations than about finding popular locations, “cool neighbourhoods” or just ensuring repeat exposure. This is opposite to my expectations, and perhaps sheds some light on current success/failure of spatial annotation projects.
I am particularly interested in the urban environment as an interface to information and an interaction layer for functionality, using our spatial and navigational senses to access local and situated information.
There is concern that in a dense spatially annotated city we might have an overload of information, what about filtering and fore-grounding of relevant, important information? Given that current technologies have very short ranges (10-30mm), we might be able to use our existing spatial skills to navigate overlapping information. We could shift some of the burden of information retrieval from information architecture to physical space.
I finished by showing this animation by Kriss Salmanis, a young Latvian artist. Amazing re-mediation of urban space through stencilling, animation and photography. (“Un ar reizi naks tas bridis” roughly translates as “And in time the moment will come”.
Graffiti Archaeology, Cassidy Curtis
Street Memes, collaborative project
Spatial annotation projects list
Nokia RFID kit for 5140
Spotcodes, High Energy Magic
?Mystery Meat navigation?, Vincent Flanders
RDF as barcodes, Chris Heathcote
Implementation: spatial literature
The highlight of the event was a trip to Limbazi, for the opening of Piens the “milk” project, looking at the personal stories around the mapping of milk routes through the EU. It was really good to see GPS being used as a storytelling tool, a way of opening up personal stories in the documentary process.
A big thankyou to the RIXC lot, and everyone involved.
My intention was to avoid the screen for the duration of the workshop, to concentrate on simple interactions between sensors and outputs entirely independent of a desktop computer. But I ended up staring at microprocessor programming languages like PBasic and JAL while making lots of LEDs blink.
A lot of it brought back memories of school; circuit diagrams, resistance calculations, it was great to refresh the memory. We spent a lot of time translating circuit diagrams onto breadboards, and programming both PIC and Basic Stamp microprocessors.
Erich is now setting up a Physcomp lab at Atelier Nord to support art/design projects in Oslo, maybe alongside some regular meetings (entitled Atelier Nerd :). There are many projects that I would like to pursue, this should be a great resource.
There’s a really good writeup of the installations and artwork at Grandtextauto.
Exploring the space of narrative, images and personal geography. For three months I recorded every walk, drive, train journey and flight I took, while photographing spaces and places from daily life.
The project is the first step towards a visual language for spatially located imagery, looking at ways in which personal travelogues can become useful as communication and artefacts of personal memory.
Nine boards, four images each, sit above maps that provide spatial context. Each image is captioned with location information and a key linking it to a point on the map below. The images show spatial transition from one country to another, and a change of season.
The maps are GPS tracks, visualised as simple lines. The scale of the map is decided by the extents of the image locations. This effectively shows a transition from London to Oslo, over the period of a few months. The maps give an interesting sense of transition, scale and movement are emphasised.
About the exhibition
AFAR is an exhibition where 25 international artists have been asked to produce work in accordance with the word ‘afar’. The initial intention was to establish a connection between diverse artistic and creative forms that the invited originate from: architecture, dance, street art, design, audio, photography, VJ’ing, video art, fashion design, painting and creative writing.
The exhibition was in Rĺhuset, Copenhagen, Denmark, from 8 – 23 July 2004.
Outside In is a forum for involving new voices, media and practices in a discourse about the use and design of public space. It took place from 14 – 15 June 2004.
Roda Sten is amazing, below a suspension bridge, with huge concrete creations. Really windy, but calm inside the lecture space. Here are my notes and a few pictures.
Session 2: Hacking the streets (I missed the 1st workshop)
- Putting memories in spaces: spaces arent the same after having been disrupted. after ‘reclaim the streets’ or a ‘circle line party’ you can’t see the space in the same way.
- Distinction between public and private. What is it?
- Public space doesn’t exist anymore.
- Ken’s new city hall is half private half public (private investment was involved in the building, so protests cannot happen outside)
- Do we need institutions in order to do events, is that the only way to do it legally?
- What’s stopping people from doing these things is not necessarily capitalism, but the fear of looking like a pillock: self-regulation is a big factor. Can spark things to let down inhibitions or shackles. Uses example of the scooter, became a kids toy and then it wasn’t cool anymore.
- What’s the connection between anarchism and these spontaneous events. Emergent order is interesting, so much control over actions, and the ways people move through the city. How does this relate to anarchy? Is this anarchy?
- The city is a workshop: not just walls to tag
- Shadows of urban furniture: really good
- Visual kidknapping: Lavazza woman gets cut out of the frame
- Big poster with bleeding eyes
- Uses a high pressure water jet to clean the city, but also write at the same time.
- Digs at the notion of authorship, a site where people find work on the streets
- The work is anonymous, but there is the projection of authorial control behind it, its individual and definitely authored
- Would be interesting to explore more about Graffiti authorship: how do public artists want to be recognised?
- Managing the mystique around the work and the author.
- Difference between author/instigator
- Visual kidknapping
3D bombing: Akim
- Polystyrene models, matched to fit specific city spaces
- City of names: what if the writers are the ones who build the houses?
Session 3: Network experience
- Wants to deconstruct network context
- Context: physical and social situation in which computation sits
- How does the network affect the output and experience
- Companies are claiming ownership of space because of signal
- WiFihog: saps out all wifi bandwidth
- LAN party versus Flash Mob
- Simpletext: collaborative sms image searching on large screens
- re-mapping and changing the context of interfaces: what about
- Simpletext project: assigns an image search to inputted text
- Steven Levy quote on hackers
- Altering space by altering the body
- character of a space
- remnants of things, people, individuals
strength: strengthening signals to drown out free competion
shifting consequences: changing the input/output relationship.
messages, and displays via jitter/max on a large screen.
- put magnets on wrists and fingers and bodies to reveal the proximity of electronic devices: unexpected connections to other people and lampposts. Nice.
Data Climates: Pedro Sepúlveda Sandoval
- Living in a scanscape city
- electronic space, synthetic city
- Congestion charge as walled city, in electronic space
- London: highest density of cctv in the world
- will we decide to travel to areas based on the quality of electronic space
- A new architectural language for electronic space
- Houses without windows, just cameras. Can start to control life inside. Can also choose to use the weather channel as windows
- Pay a fee for personal surveillance: ask them to watch you all the way to the supermarket.
- The city of Yokohama was brought down by the coming of age party for 40,000 teenagers: the networks were overloaded with messages, because the teenagers didn’t want to talk face to face.
- Palm trees as cell towers (seen in south africa)
- Looked at a community in Hackney that were campaigning to not have a cell phone tower.
- Designed a house for them that would shield them from the signals, but they would have to give up cell phone connectivity. Designed it so that windows would open and close based on calls being made, or would give them 10 minute windows in which to make calls every 2 hours.
- Digital shelter: stand inside the line
- These presentations all use the strategy of showing ‘hypothetical products’ that are really non-products. They are doing this, rather than providing platforms or design methodologies, or distributing resources and infrastructures for people to design their own systems. I understand the need for designers as visionaries, but this could be made more valuable and useful.
- specialists in electronic space could be similar to lighting design specialists in the ‘70s. Will grow into a general field of understanding.
- Platforms and inftrastructure for technology is beyond architects, but understanding of the use and consequences is really important.
- Skateboarding as adaptive design: difference between skate parks and the street, skate parks become designed over time to mimic certain aspects of streets, but also according to innate, human skaters needs. A combination of factors go into making a good skateboarding space: free, alcohol, quality, location.
- New to NY: wanted to work outside gallery space, was inspired by collage of city streets. Not from a graffiti background, being a female, can do certain things outside the norms of graffiti.
- Changes billboards during the day, looks official.
- Open democratic visual space
- a visual direct democracy…
- Cuba used to have street art as a means of free expression, but outlawed by dictatorship
- Makes lightboxes with imagined cities, and mounts on the reverse side of construction site walls, with peepholes ‘peer here’
- Interesting mix of opportunism and ‘designed intervention’
- Sometimes driven purely by visual interest.
- Mike Davis: Public is phantom
- Bedouin as a model of sustainable nomadic communities
- Homeless use waste air from air conditioning (airvac exhaust ports) to stay warm and dry
- Homeless have receded to the peripheral vision of the public. Want to see and be seen.
- Seeing is important for living nomadically in the city.
- Started to map the heat and the power of the exhaust fans in the city. Found a high one at MIT plasma lab.
- Re-routed smell from from a bakery to an art gallery, to subvert a ‘high art’ re-appropriation of space
Workshop ‘Loop City’
- Dietmar Offenhuber & Sara Hodges
- Showed Rybczynski’s film New Book using 9 frames: a good way of mapping space in the city. Starts off and the viewer is not sure if each frame is occurring synchronously, or in the same space, but a bus passes between all of the frames and the spatial link is made immediately. There is also a point where a plane flies overhead and all the actors look up: showing time synchronicity too.
Looking at the city
- as a set of repeated actions
- as a playground: situationists
- as a balance of social as well as physical architectures
Barcodes for spatial markup and control
- Requires a small application running on a Series 60 phone to scan barcodes with the built in camera
- Each barcode can currently store 42 bits of data using technology modified from iris tracking and wavelet technologies (as far as I understood)
- Potential for more data by increasing the number of rings, but current setup is a compromise for low quality cameraphone cameras
- The mobile phone application can determine position of phone relative to barcode by the elliptical distortion of the circle, could perhaps be used for quite accurate tracking with multiple spots
- The phone application communicates via bluetooth or gprs, using the barcodes as triggers for interactions
- It’s coded ‘close to the hardware’ to use the video input to do barcode calculation in realtime: Java/Symbian apps don’t have an API to realtime video input
- In use commercially via Bango
Reverend Rat demoed his 10 Watt bluetooth receiver, 10 times more powerful than a 35 mile 802.11b receiver, and 100 times more powerful than a Bluetooth dongle.
Not particularly interesting in itself, but using it from a high vantage point he might be able to map out usage patterns in urban areas, or track the flow of people and devices.
Some of our ambitions were:
- Investigate transformative use of space and place
- Address gaps in infrastructure: access to standards, material frameworks and technology
- Instigate a triangular network: tried and trusted network practice
- Pursue research and practice, less engineering
- Explore relationships between media, gaming, locative, mobile, visual media
The discussion is continuing, and the next informal meeting of participants is happening at ISEA 2004.