Update: “new website”:http://www.futurefarmers.com/survey/outskirts.html
I have made a selection of research images over at Flickr, and more of the text and research will be online soon.
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.
h3. Some pictures
!/images/creativecrossings01.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Graham Harwood and Michelle Kasprzak)!
!/images/creativecrossings02.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Jo Walsh and Gabe Sawhney)!
!/images/creativecrossings03.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Rachel Baker and Tapio Makela on the 19 bus)!
!/images/creativecrossings04.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Tapio Makela on the 19 bus)!
!/images/creativecrossings05.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Finnish Ambassador’s residence, Battersea)!
!/images/creativecrossings06.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Finnish Ambassador’s residence, Battersea)!
!/images/creativecrossings07.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Finnish Ambassador’s residence, Battersea)!
!/images/creativecrossings08.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Finnish Ambassador’s residence, Battersea)!
!/images/creativecrossings09.jpg(Creative Crossings workshop: Finnish Ambassador’s residence, Battersea)!
It’s possible to use the “GPS Map 60c”:http://www.garmin.com/products/gpsmap60c/ in an old “Marimekko bag”:http://www.marimekko.fi in a mobile phone pocket just small enough that the aerial sticks out. In this way it can be placed in windows of buses or cars without it sliding around, and I can walk around without looking like a geek or getting mugged.
!/images/urbangps03.gif(Rendered trail of three months walking in Oslo)!
In short, GPS doesn’t work well in dense urban environments like most European cities. This is from the perspective of a pedestrian confined to the pavements (sidewalks) and public transport. From a few experiences whilst being driven around, it seems to work well in a car, probably because of the clear sky area available in the middle of the road. Inclement weather and green trees also seem to be problematic.
In these last few months, attempting to record a good quality database of tracks to geo-locate my photographs, I must have looked really odd. Face in device, stopping on street corners, stopping in the middle of street crossings and scrambling to grab the front seat of the bus. Discovering that GPS doesn’t just passively work is a great disappointment and my dataset is clouded with gaps and anomalies.
h3. Some other observations
* Fast turns when using public transport or car result in wild deviations: re-aquiring satellites is the problem
* Need a road that aligns with at least 4 satellites to get an acceptable track, anything else and the errors can accumulate
* Glass buildings can result in ‘reflections’ of position, eg jumping to other locations due to reflected signals
* I sit on the outside or front of buses: to get a wider expanse of sky area: I am constantly aware of sky cover
* The relative position of satellites is beginning to have an effect on the side of the street that I walk on
* Walking in the middle of the street: had a couple of near misses with cars – the moving map is just too engaging
* I would like an explanation of the lost track calculations: this device seems to use the last-known bearing and velocity to guess new tracks when the signal fails. This is very unreliable and problematic as it fills the map with phantom trails
* The track can be more useful over time than the (base) map: it shows my personal space and personal routes, I know where I have been and can use it to retrace routes or places. Popular routes build up in blackness and thickness. Home area becomes an abstract scatter plot of routes, but it’s very familiar
* Stored waypoints are really useful for getting large, general bearings on location: zooming out and seeing a relationship to two known landmarks can be really useful in an unknown area
!/images/urbangps04.gif(Rendered trail of two weeks walking and public transport in London)!
!/images/urbangps01.jpg(GPS receiver resting on the top deck of the number 4 bus, London)!
!/images/urbangps02.jpg(GPS receiver in the window of a train, Oslo)!
Pink = highly recommended!
Information Appliances and Beyond
Eric Bergman ed. One of the best interaction design books to date. With case-studies on various design problems from Palm OS usability to Nokia contextual design issues. Just enough detail and anecdotes to get a good sense of design process.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com
The Humane Interface
Jef Raskin. An absolutely essential book for anyone developing an interactive product. Raskin explains some excellent ideas for usable interfaces that are better suited to large file systems and the internet.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com
Designing Visual Interfaces
Dust or Magic: Secrets of Successful Multimedia Design
Reinventing the Wheel
Jessica Helfand. Plotting the history and design of information wheels, those interactive tools that can tell you the cooking time of an egg to the blast radius of a nuclear bomb.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com
The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design
Designing the User Interface
Bringing Design to Software
Plans and Situated Actions
The Inmates Are Running the Asylum
Alan Cooper. Really good ideas to solve common interface design issues. Cooper shows that the biggest problem in interaction design is that it is controlled by the developers and programmers, and advocates the need for interaction designers at every level of software production.
amazon.co.uk / amazon.com
Apple Human Interface Guidelines: The Apple Desktop Interface
David’s reference to 18 points as the minimum size equates to 18 pixels if you are coming from a web background.
On some iTV projects I have pushed the type down to 16 pixels, but be very careful about colours and contrast, and enquire about the production path to air: if the work is going to be transferred via DV tape, squeezed through an old composite link, or online-edited with high compression, then you might want to leave type as large as possible.
In some cases ? such as using white text on a red background ? you can add a very subtle black shadow to the type, which will help stop colour bleed and crawling effects. Even if you dislike drop-shadow effects, it will still look flat and lovely on a broadcast monitor.
Safe areas need to be taken with a pinch of salt. The default safe areas in most editing and compositing software date from years ago before the widespread use of modern, widescreen televisions.
Try extending the safe area for non-essential text in interactive projects, and consult broadcaster guidelines for their widescreen policies: many channels now broadcast in 14:9 to terrestrial boxes, and offer options to satellite and cable viewers.
The largest problem is that widescreen viewers often crop the top and bottom of the image by setting their TV to crop 4:3 to 16:9. Some cable/satellite companies remove the left and right of the image to crop 16:9 to 4:3 for non-widescreen viewers, leaving us only a tiny, safe rectangle in the centre of the image to work with.
There are also excellent documents on picture standards from the BBC.
But this is one thing I don’t understand: according to the BBC: “Additional [20 or 26 horizontal] pixels are not taken into account when calculating the aspect ratio, but without them images transferred between systems will not be the correct shape.” Can anyone confirm that this is the case for PAL images?
City of Collective Memory
Breathing Cities: Visualizing Urban Movement
Metapolis Dictionary of Advanced Architecture
Rebuilding the Reichstag
Towards a New Architecture
Architecture and Disjunction
The Logic of Architecture
Mobile: The Art of Portable Architecture
City of Bits
The Poetics of Space
Fragments of Utopia
Architects in Cyberspace
Mess TV runs every night from around 2am until 12 noon the next day. Television is an effective way of communicating in Norway where the population is distributed evenly across a wide geographical area. The show is used by a variety of communities and individuals needing to connect.
I completely rebranded the show with a visual design that reflected the branding guidelines of TV Norge, refined the SMS and MMS interaction scenarios, and advised on linear broadcast and interactive content.
* The show has a standard layout, similar to other SMS television shows, but with a high attention to detail and clean, compact layout
* clean background colours foregrounds the messy user-generated content
* simple use of fonts and colours to lessen the visual overload of multiple messages
* clear divisions between different areas of content
* MMS pictures can be submitted and displayed as part of competitions or themes
We conducted specific audience analysis on themes and content that generated most interest, and adapted the interface to audience demands.
h3. Future developments
* Location based services, personalisation and competitions
* MMS video diaries: ability for the audience to submit diaries of community projects or daily life, and to allow for some editorial control over editing and presentation, perhaps through an online interface