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From Cyberpunk to Calm Urban Computing: Exploring the Role of Technology in the Future Cityscape

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... In academic research concerning the city, the term is often used together with ubiquitous or urban computing (e.g. Kukka et al. 2014a). ...
... The stories were successfully used as design inspiration; however, it is unlikely they reflect the diversity of city inhabitants' perspectives. (Kukka et al. 2014a.) The largest set of user feedback consisted of quantitative use data collected automatically by the UBI displays. ...
... However, it was considered as an important part of the urban experience: one interviewee defined aptly that a mobile phone is "part of a navigating self-image" and "a cybernetic part of her" (F24 16 ). The main function of the phone in urban places was "social navigation", i.e. finding friends and other important people, and staying in touch with other people not physically present (Kukka et al. 2014a). ...
Thesis
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This thesis explores the sociocultural processes shaping the design, adoption and use of new urban technology in the city of Oulu in northern Finland. The exploration is conducted at experiential level focusing on people’s personal perspectives which allows uncovering underlying cultural meanings, social structures and historically formed practices and discourses. The unique case for the thesis is provided by the recent technological development in Oulu that has been shaped by agendas such as ubiquitous computing and smart cities. The thesis first investigates in-depth the design process of the new urban technology, and also compares the visions of the designers and decision-makers with the practices and perspectives of the city inhabitants. Then, the adoption process of public urban technologies is studied in detail by constructing a conceptual appropriation model. Finally, the effects of the northern location of Oulu on the design and use of the urban technology are scrutinized. The research is based on empirical, qualitative research materials comparing the experiences of young adult and elderly city inhabitants; in addition, quantitative use data of urban technologies is utilized to provide an overview on the use trends. The key findings indicate that the design and decisions concerning novel technologies and the outcome are shaped by complex sociomaterial practices based on experiences from previous similar projects, and on certain preconceptions about the city inhabitants and technology’s role in the cityscape. Different people have differing power positions in relation to the development of the urban public places, and technology implementation can marginalize some segments of city inhabitants. Further, the adoption of novel urban technologies is found to depend heavily on the norms of public places and people’s long-term experiences of technology use. Finally, climate, ICT use and sociocultural context are shown to be profoundly interconnected, and thus, urban computing design must reconsider the situatedness of technology. These findings call for further sociocultural studies on future smart cities. Link: http://urn.fi/urn:isbn:9789526207483
... The urban computing literature so far remains relatively silent about the emergence of "wild" practices. Nevertheless, one can find studies and associated deployments that have lasted even years [2,5,11,13,26]. This is crucial when examining wild practices; the emergence and identification of such necessitates a longitudinal deployment and study. ...
... In the Open UBI Oulu case, the research data on usage showed that the use of the WiFi network grew steadily, while the use of public displays remained low. Some promising exceptions to this limited use of public displays, however, have been reported in cases of certain services [11,9,20,26]. This indicates that these solutions have become intertwined with the everyday practices of at least some people. ...
... Some researchers have also reflected upon their urban computing projects, revealing several challenges. These projects are resource-intensive in terms of research, development, and maintenance [11,13,17]. Maintaining sustained adoption of the technology has not been easy [13] and successful handover of the technology to, and its sustained use by, the involved communities has been challenging [20]. ...
Conference Paper
Urban computing projects are complex endeavors that require the involvement of many stakeholders. A long-term goal of such projects can be seen as providing positive outcomes on local practices. This is, however, a huge challenge. Drawing on the trajectory of the UBI-Oulu project, we identified a variety of stakeholders and abstract forces that shaped the project and its outcomes. The trajectory was largely characterized as reactions to the contesting forces. Our contribution was a framework for making sense, and managing the complexity, of "in-the-wild" urban computing projects. The framework categorized the implicating factors according to their level of 1) contribution to project goals, 2) interdependence, and 3) foreseeability. The use of the framework could help to relieve the pain in the wild.
... The Diary study was carried out in a traditional ethnographic manner: it covered a wide range of themes that have been analyzed in separate articles from different theoretical perspectives [19,44,45]. The overall aim of this data collection was to gain a thorough yet broad outlook on the experiences, perceptions, attitudes and values related to ICT and everyday life, within this particular age group living in this particular city. ...
... The northern summer was thought to be so short that it is extremely important to enjoy it as much as you can, and spent as much time outside as possible. The phone's main function was to enable social navigation, i.e. finding friends [19]. On the other hand, the meaning of ICT was experienced to decrease overall. ...
Conference Paper
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We propose a novel way to approach the research and design of urban ICT, namely, climate sensitive urban computing. This approach considers the climatic patterns, weather conditions and people’s adaptations to them on the level of everyday practices. Our theoretical and methodological foundations lay in the fields of cultural anthropology, architecture, and HCI. First, we present a multidisciplinary discussion of prior works relating to technology, weather and climate conditions. Secondly, through two empirical, mostly qualitative data sets, we demonstrate the vast impact weather and climate have on young adults’ ICT use at our research site located in Northern Finland. Thirdly, based on the theoretical discussion and findings from the real-world studies, we argue that climate sensitive thinking should be part of the design of urban ICT, and outline some central design challenges.
... ž [39]. However, there is relatively little theory, and even fewer empirical findings, that can be used to study human-computer interaction in its geographical context [36,37]. Therefore, it is necessary to ground mobile human-computer interaction in well-formed concepts of geographical space and in the social attributes that spaces carry. ...
... The critique of mobile technologies is a prominent theoretical thread, most often arguing that mobile technologies privatize public spaces, allowing people to remove themselves from the public. Urban environments are particularly susceptible to the impact of mobile technology as they provide an opportunity for people to pass through multiple types of spaces quickly [37]. Additionally, they require norms to support the coexistence of strangers. ...
... These experimental studies provide an interesting mix of research contexts and purposes within which probes were used. Their analyses have yielded valuable results detailed in [29, 44, 45, 46]. This paper focuses on the novel method that produced these results. ...
... The returned scrapbooks were filled with essays, shorter notes, drawings, cartoons, sketches of floorplans and picture collages, and hundreds of pages of transcribed interviews. The " thickness " and broadness of the data have allowed us to look at young adults' ICT reality from many different perspectives [29, 44, 45, 46]. This richness can be contrasted with the fact that collecting the material took a long time. ...
Conference Paper
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We introduce evaluation probes for conducting emic, experiential evaluation of urban technologies “in the wild” without direct researcher presence. We commence with a thorough discussion and analysis of the original cultural probes, used by Gaver, Dunne and Pacenti to gain design inspiration, and their subsequent variations. We develop the concept of evaluation probes through careful reconceptualization and application of the cultural probes in three successive studies conducted in the wild. We recount and reflect on our use of evaluation probes and discuss their merits and limitations in experiential emic evaluation.
... We must also understand and address the design practices of urban technologies [56]. Further, we must understand where we are designing for, i.e., the built environment, in order to navigate the complex rules and roles different spaces impose on both the people in those spaces, and the technologies we add to them [32]. Finally, we must of course also understand the technology because without it, we would not have "smart" cities. ...
... [24]. New technologies can -and willalter the existing hierarchies and rules, and therefore their possible effects, both good and bad, should be considered carefully [10,32]. This discussion should point to an important if often overlooked fact: more often than not, the imagined user of urban computing systems is portrayed as "everybody" instead of "somebody". ...
Conference Paper
In this paper we present a multi-themed discussion on urban computing. We call for a more transdisciplinary approach to the field, and point out that urban computing systems are always necessarily an amalgamation of three interrelated components - space, people, and technology. Because of these three elements, we argue that computer scientists cannot expect to stand alone and create systems that would respect the complex and messy sociocultural context in which these technologies operate. It is only through a deeper understanding of the existing social, cultural, and political contexts that we can hope to build deployments that respect and enhance the experience of living a technologically mediated life, and this understanding can only be achieved by including researchers from the social sciences as well as architecture and urban design. We will conclude by presenting our vision for a more transdisciplinary approach to urban computing.
... Attempts to fill this vacuum often start by underlining very fundamental questions about the nature of public space and the role new technology plays in it (e.g. [19,31,32]). The role of the city and especially the role of public places have always been extremely diverse: it has been a market place, meeting place, and a place for play, art, performances, protests and communication. ...
... The boxplot in Figure 7 shows the 66 exhibitions arranged chronologically, along with descriptive usage statistics normalized by dividing the total number of app launches with the number of StreetGallery launches as suggested in [19]. This provides a fairer comparison between exhibitions as it takes into account the overall usage of the display network and the fact that some exhibitions were available for more days. ...
Conference Paper
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We present a mixed-methods study aimed at assessing artists' experiences of a digital art exhibition service, called StreetGallery, on a network of interactive displays situated in public urban locations. We ground our analysis using survey responses and in-depth interviews of artists who have exhibited their art in StreetGallery over the years. Findings from these studies indicate that the artists highly value StreetGallery's open and egalitarian access to art, and its contribution towards fusing novel digital technologies and art in public urban spaces. We conclude that platforms such as StreetGallery have the potential to challenge traditional paradigms of art gallery practices and public urban spaces as a stage for consumption and commerce.
... However, as they themselves found out during their research, technology is neutral neither to experts nor to non-experts. We see two reasons for this: firstly, meaning is socially constructed (Creswell, 2009), and secondly, even in the current technological transition towards increased online social interaction, the physical urban setting still represents a crucial medium for accruing experience (Kukka et al., 2014). This means that we cannot be sure that the "Public" would be activated by a web platform. ...
... Naturally, this is not to say that we must not look at the needs and requirements of the potential user of a public display system. We must aim to better understand where we are designing for, in order to navigate the rules and roles different spaces impose on both the people in those spaces, and the technologies we add to them [18]. ...
Conference Paper
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The future of pervasive public display networks is loaded with high expectations. Non-commercial displays are commonly envisaged as proliferating in numerous contexts and domains, where they offer various uses for a variety of everyday users. In this paper we discuss why this vision is perhaps over optimistic and the realities of deploying, designing and understanding such systems should not be taken for granted. Understanding the value of public display deployments in respect to location managers, and the real-world costs of longitudinal in-the-wild deployments are both commonly overlooked in much of the related literature. Within this paper we develop a discussion in reference to several real-life events by presenting examples from the past five years of running the open UBI Oulu initiative in Oulu, in northern Finland. The purpose of this research is to raise awareness about these aspects of in-the-wild display deployments and to be support the research community in creating sustainable public display deployments.
... How is it possible to integrate the people in city making in order to constitute participatory urbanism? Kukka et al. (2014a) discuss methods as fictional storytelling, use of mock-up devices, technology diaries, and interviews to engage a city's community for participating in future city making. We agree with Kukka et al. (2014) and emphasize the application of interviews and surveys to reach the residents. ...
Chapter
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As prototypical cities of the 21st century, “smart” and “ubiquitous” cities (u-cities) are planned and constructed all over the world. A paradigmatic example of a u-city built from scratch is Songdo in South Korea. U-cities are concerned with the application of the Internet of Things (IoT) in all spaces of the city—including households (with u-life services integrated in the apartments). A crucial aspect of newly built u cities is the urbanity as it is perceived by the citizens. Our two leading research questions are: Do Songdo’s citizens really accept the u-life services as parts of their households (as the centers of their private lives)? Do Songdo’s inhabitants recognize this new city as “urban?” The making of Songdo is highly dependent on political decisions and on the activities of the construction and the ICT companies, but not on the people living in Songdo. How is it possible to integrate the people, i.e. the actual and future inhabitants, into planning activities of further development of the u-city? We argue that participatory urbanism is in need of survey tools to collect the citizens’ opinions.
... Even though auditory icons and earcons surround us every day (audio-based notifications for email and SMS, alerts for meetings, ringtones of mobile phones…), they necessarily rely on the user either setting his/her desired notification sounds and thus knowing them [7], or using universally recognizable sounds. In busy urban settings the auditory landscape is rather saturated already: cars passing by, traffic lights giving off auditory information for accessibility reasons, people chatting, mobile phones ringing, and so forth [14]. In such settings an auditory cue needs to be very explicit and clear, and people should be able to intuitively identify its source and purpose. ...
Conference Paper
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We present a study on the use of audio-based cues to help overcome the well-known issue of display blindness, i.e. to help people become aware of situated interactive public displays. We used three different types of auditory cues based on suggestions from literature, namely spoken message, auditory icon, and random melody, and also included a no-audio condition as control. The study ran for 8 days on a university campus using an in-the-wild design, during which both qualitative and quantitative data were gathered. Results show that audio in general is good at attracting attention to the displays, and spoken message in particular also helps people understand that the display in question is interactive.
... no entanto, nestes domínios, as propostas mais fascinantes de viagem ao futuro continuam a ser, como nos séculos transatos, proporcionadas pela ficção e, decisivamente, pela ficção Científica, que, no que respeita a construção de novas realidades territoriais, tem no Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep de Phillip K. Dick (1968) o início da mudança, cuja "visibilidade" foi proporcionada, enfim, pelo Blade Runner, o filme de ridley scott (1982). a partir daqui os conhecimentos da cibernética vão potenciar a sf (science fiction), nas suas variantes cyberpunk e cyberfiction, em que por via da compressão tempo-espaço e do papel determinante das cidades, na atualidade e projetado nos futuros (Kitchin & Kneale, 2001;abbot, 2007;Collie, 2011;Kukka et al., 2014). ...
Article
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In this text we seek to reconstitute the most relevant material from a presentation given at an IGOT conference. The exposition was comprised of a wide range of images, which is not possible to transpose into writing. The reflection presented in this paper is structured in four points, following the introduction which affirms the “materiality” of the future, enabling us to project the city consistent with its past. The nature of the city has a past, a present and a future. The first point draws attention to the importance of fiction, namely science fiction for territorial planning of the future, attributing particular relevance to cyber fiction. The second point, “The future of today's cities”, addresses several research paths of which departing from the present identify the city of the future across different latitudes and socio-spatial contexts. In the “The future dreamt by the poor, expelled” attention is given to the dreams of the future that the most disinherited, fleeing the present, carry with them and seek to territorially deploy, whenever they have the possibility. Examples are presented of southern Portugal, perceived for centuries as the promised land. Following this, a note is made on the city and utopia, an inseparable duet since the beginning of any urban civilization, which continues to remain alive in our time in diverse political, social and geographical contexts. This leads to a particular mention of the illegal origins of urbanization that occurred in southern Europe in the second half of the twentieth century. It further reveals the importance of the digital revolution, not only in building the city of the future, but for the rebirth of utopias. To conclude, we draw attention to the permanence of the key role of urbanization and cities in solving a number of problems that will be confronted by humanity and each individual: “The city air makes men free.” a planet of cities can help humans in the path toward prosperity and happiness.
... Besides these technical advancements, HCI literature has also focused on the impact of computing over physical spaces and the way people engage themselves with those [93,99]. On the one hand, many Urban HCI approaches investigate interactive possibilities in urban public spaces, which actively involve the city dwellers with the computational technology-based urban framework [53,84]. For example, urban transportation, media facades, augmented information, virtual reality, location-based social network, and internet of things (IoT) explore different forms of engagement between public space and urban dwellers [37,45,48,54,56,105,122]. ...
Conference Paper
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This paper joins the growing body of critical HCI work that studies the digitization of the Global South and reports the elements of 'secularization' in it. Based on a year-long ethnography on the contemporary transformations in religious practices in Dhaka, Bangladesh, this paper presents how the emerging "digital" cattle marketplaces subdue various forms of traditional manifestations of urban religiosity during Eid-ul-Adha, the second-largest Islamic festival in the city. This paper further depicts how such secularization contributes to diminishing rural-urban linkages, affecting electoral politics, and reducing the tolerance to religious celebrations in a city. Drawing from a rich body of work in critical urban studies, postcolonial computing, and sociology of religions, we explain how such oft-overlooked embedding of secularization in computing affects the religious fabrics in the urban regions of the Global South, and discuss its implication for HCI scholarship in diversity, inclusion, and development.
... Such multipurpose technology in a public urban space might enable and support communication between the municipality and residents. Previous studies also indicated that people are interested in this type of content and service [24,25,18,36,37]. In practice, however, people mostly did not appropriate the technology to meet their communication needs but instead they appropriated the technology for entertainment, time killing, socializing, and babysitting [51]. ...
Article
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People have always used tools and technologies creatively. Technology appropriation concerns on how users adopt technologies for personal purposes. In this paper, we review the appropriation literature and explicate four varieties of this concept. Then we explore these varieties in the empirical setting of a citywide network of multipurpose interactive public displays. This network was designed to support communication among a multitude of people for a variety of purposes. We show how people used this technology in ways not captured in original design. The analysis retrospectively examines cases of appropriation of different themes. We particularly concentrate on surprising " unfaithful " appropriation and discuss unanticipated users, usages, circumstances, and design for the unanticipated. Our contribution is the scrutiny of the varieties of the appropriation concept, showing these varieties in the setting of public displays in an urban space.
... RE is widely used in research domains such as human-computer interactions and computing (Hughes et al. 1994;Millen 2000), health sciences (Kristiansen 2011;Mullaney et al. 2012) and education (Kluwin et al. 2004). There have also been studies using RE in international volunteering (Baines & Cunningham 2013), lesbian sexual culture (Wilson 2009), and urban computing (Kukka et al. 2014) Furthermore, researchers such as Agafonoff (2006) and Goffin et al. (2012) argue for the validity of RE in commercial market research. All these research studies suggest that a number of research issues can be answered using RE without the constraint of too little time being spent in the field. ...
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Purpose This paper explains how rapid ethnography (RE) is used to understand the business decision-making process of micro-entrepreneurs. The objective of this paper is to highlight the applicability of RE in entrepreneurship research and outline practical strategies that can be used by future RE researchers. Design/methodology/approach This paper is written as a reflection using the author’s experience in using RE. Findings This paper highlights that RE can be used as a research technique in entrepreneurship research. The study shows how to incorporate technological advances into a RE without violating the underlying ethnographic principles. The paper also explains how preparation, planning, technology-assisted techniques, non-traditional socialisation processes, and multiple and parallel data collection strategies enhance the effectiveness of RE. The paper outlines practical strategies for researchers such as collaborations, using field guides, clear schedules and time gaps in the data collection. Originality/value Although RE is widely used in research related to human-computer interactions, medicine, education, marketing, RE in entrepreneurship research seems to be limited. Thus, this paper explores this gap and contributes to the scholarly field of entrepreneurship research by highlighting the methodological potential of RE. In addition, the paper contributes empirically to the qualitative research domain by explaining practical steps in using RE.
... The Open UBI-Oulu log data revealed that the use of the open WiFi network grew steadily, but use of the public display network remained low or even decreased over time [31] [54]. However, some promising exceptions to this trend were reported [57] [31], which indicated that there were some existing practices around UBI-Oulu displays as well. In the UBI-Oulu context, Suopajärvi, Ylipulli and Kinnunen [59] have studied the ICT practices of young adults and the elderly and their perceptions of public UBI displays through interviews and diary studies. ...
Article
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Human-computer interaction (HCI) research has recently become more interested in studying practices. Looking beyond the novelty of technology, practice studies try to understand how technology becomes integrated into everyday life and how it shapes everyday practices in the longer time span. The contribution of this article is to demonstrate how ubiquitous computing practices develop. The article also sheds light on children’s and their families’ smart device practices in private and public settings. This paper responds to the recent call for practice studies in HCI and tries to understand technology-mediated practices of children and their families in their everyday lives. We first focused on children’s practices with a multipurpose public display through an ethnographic field study, and then broadened our focus to the children’s and families’ smart device practices through a diary study. We showed that children’s practices with a public display were surprisingly similar to their other information and communication technology (ICT) practices at home and elsewhere. In both settings, displays were used for entertainment and time-killing, as well as for babysitting and social interaction. This study indicates that technology-mediated practices do not spring up from the ground fully formed. There are several factors contributing to the practices’ emergence: the artefact itself and its affordances, the nature of the space, and the mind-set of the users. This finding has many implications for research and design, indicating that when developing technology, we should pay attention to a variety of factors that might be contributing to the emergence of practice around that technology – factors not yet fully explored by current research.
... Whereas the common thinking in the 1990's was to consider 'cyberspace' and the material world as separate from each other [16,29], today 'virtual' and 'material' spaces are recognized as inextricably linked (see e.g. [14,17,37]). ...
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In this paper we explore immersive street-level integration of social media content into collaborative virtual 3D city environments on two levels: i) public, where the virtual environment is populated with relevant social media content (e.g. Twitter and Facebook feeds of shops, non-governmetal organizations, the City organization); and ii) personal, where the virtual user, through his/her avatar, is able to access his/her personal social media feeds while immersed in the virtual city. We conducted a qualitative anticipated user experience study with 14 participants in four focus groups, who were asked to create designs of how they imagined social networking services could be integrated into virtual city environments. Further, participants were asked to comment on two visual concepts created by researchers. Results show that people appreciate the concept of having virtual cities populated with up-to-date content from social media services, but linking their own social media accounts is a more complex issue.
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Among the many city ideologies of late, and fueled by a growing emphasis on engineering systems solutions to achieve sustainable urban development, the smart city and its satellite concepts seem to be gaining prominence in both the academic discourse and the policy agenda. However, there is still no agreed definition of what constitutes a smart city, let alone how it can be achieved ... >
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We propose a novel way to approach the research and design of urban ICT, namely, climate sensitive urban computing. This approach considers the climatic patterns, weather conditions and people's adaptations to them on the level of everyday practices. Our theoretical and methodological foundations lay in the fields of cultural anthropology, architecture, and HCI. First, we present a multidisciplinary discussion of prior works relating to technology, weather and climate conditions. Secondly, through two empirical, mostly qualitative data sets, we demonstrate the vast impact weather and climate have on young adults' ICT use at our research site located in Northern Finland. Thirdly, based on the theoretical discussion and findings from the real-world studies, we argue that climate sensitive thinking should be part of the design of urban ICT, and outline some central design challenges.
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In many cities around the world, surveillance by a pervasive net of CCTV cameras is a common phenomenon in an attempt to uphold safety and security across the urban environment. Video footage is being recorded and stored, sometimes live feeds are being watched in control rooms hidden from public access and view. In this study, we were inspired by Steve Mann's original work on sousveillance (surveillance from below) to examine how a network of camera equipped urban screens could allow the residents of Oulu in Finland to collaborate on the safekeeping of their city. An agile, rapid prototyping process led to the design, implementation and 'in the wild' deployment of the UbiOpticon screen application. Live video streams captured by web cams integrated at the top of 12 distributed urban screens were broadcast and displayed in a matrix arrangement on all screens. The matrix also included live video streams of two roaming mobile phone cameras. In our field study we explored the reactions of passers-by and users of this screen application that seeks to inverse Bentham's original panopticon by allowing the watched to be watchers at the same time. In addition to the original goal of participatory sousveillance, the system's live video feature sparked fun and novel user-led apprlopriations.
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A bacia hidrográfica do rio Lis é uma região emblemática em termos de produção de suínos, com repercussões diretas no meio hídrico, e um exemplo relevante do persistente insucesso das políticas de esgotos e de descontaminação dos rios, num contexto em que o aumento de visibilidade pública do problema e da intensidade do protesto cívico não se refletiu em soluções concretas. Este foi o ponto de partida para um estudo (Ferreira 2012) em que assumimos que os fatores sociais e políticos são absolutamente determinantes para explicar o insucesso das políticas de saneamento, repercutindo-se sobre uma gama alargada de outros fatores.
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We present the iterative design and evolution of a web-based screen management middleware developed for a network of interactive multipurpose public displays deployed in a city center since 2009. The middleware provides three principal user interface abstractions to content producers, application developers and display owners: the classical passive digital signage, a portal of interactive applications and a finite state machine based interaction model description. With these abstractions passive and interactive content can be spatiotemporally multiplexed onto the screen according to the given interaction model. We reflect on the evolution of the application development process and the real world usage of the middleware. We conclude with a discussion on our impressions on the web as an application development platform and the presented screen management middleware for interactive multipurpose public displays.
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Este livro ilustra o modo como o Grupo de Investigação Ambiente, Território e Sociedade do Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa contribui para novas agendas de investigação sobre dinâmicas de mudança sustentáveis em domínios como a alimentação, a energia, a água, as alterações climáticas, o ordenamento do território, os processos de governança, a participação pública e a segurança urbana. Esta pluralidade temática valorizadora da interdisciplinaridade visa enriquecer o debate teórico mas também a qualidade das políticas públicas, a divulgação científica e o diálogo com os cidadãos.
Chapter
Large digital screens are becoming prevalent across today’s cities dispersing into everyday urban spaces, such as public squares and cultural precincts. Examples, such as Federation Square, demonstrate the opportunities for using digital screens to create a sense of place and to add long-term social, cultural and economic value for citizens, who live and work in those precincts. However, the challenge of implementing digital screens in new urban developments is to ensure they respond appropriately to the physical and socio-cultural environment in which they are placed. Considering the increasing rate at which digital screens are being embedded into public spaces, it is surprising that the programs running on these screens still seem to be stuck in the cinematic model. The availability of advanced networking and interaction technologies offer opportunities for information access that goes beyond free-to-air television and advertising. This chapter revisits the history and current state of digital screens in urban life and discusses a series of research studies that involve digital screens as interface between citizens and the city. Instead of focusing on technological concerns, the chapter presents a holistic analysis of these studies, with the aim to move towards a more comprehensive understanding of the socio-cultural potential of this new media platform, how the digital content is linked with the spatial quality of the physical space, as well as the place and role of digital screens within the smart city movement.
Conference Paper
We discuss an experimental pilot study collecting and sharing media to explore active citizen engagement with older adults in the city. Our purpose was to inquire into the potential role of audio-visual media collection and presentation to inform urban planning. We encouraged collective documentation of the associations older people have with place and reflected on shared experiences within the context of mobile and civic technologies. We report on different phases of the study, contributing insights on the potential role of digital media to raise awareness and sensitivities to alternative perspectives providing expression of people's values. We speculate on potential opportunities for media architecture to present and re-mix media and make place-based contentions palpable.
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Culture is, in many ways, implicated in and shapes technology design and use. Inspired by Stuart Hall’s conception of encoding/decoding, we maintain that technological artefacts reflect the cultural values of their creators, while users, in their encounters with the technological artefacts, may decode those artefacts in various ways that are shaped by the users’ cultural values. In this article, we apply this lens to study a decade-long urban computing project that took place in the wild. We focus on the project’s development team and on how their cultural values shape technology design. We also acknowledge that such an urban computing project involves many other stakeholder groups that affect the course of events. In our analysis, we examine how these stakeholders shaped and interpreted the technology in question. Although the development project had a seemingly generic “for all” ethos, the various stakeholders pulled the focus in different directions. The trajectory of the project can be characterized as reacting to these competing influences—sometimes achieving fit, while other times resulting in conflicts. The contribution of this paper is a structured analysis and reflections on cultural issues in community technology design in the wild, with a focus on the role of the developers’ cultural values and other stakeholders’ technology-related requirements and interpretations. This study has implications for subsequent studies in the wild by framing them as fluid settings of a great variety of stakeholders with a multiplicity of values, requirements, and interpretations.
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This study focuses on innovative ways to digitally instrument the servicescape in bricks-and-mortar retailing. In the present digital era, technological developments allow for augmenting the shopping experience and capturing moments-of-truth along the shopper's path-to-purchase. This article provides an encompassing inventory of retail technologies resulting from a systematic screening of three secondary data sources, over 2008-2016: (1) the academic marketing literature, (2) retailing related scientific ICT publications, and (3) business practices (e.g., publications from retail labs and R&D departments). An affinity diagram approach allows for clustering the retail technologies from an HCI perspective. Additionally, a categorization of the technologies takes place in terms of the type of shopping value that they offer, and the stage in the path-to-purchase they prevail. This in-depth analysis results in a comprehensive inventory of retail technologies that allows for verifying the suitability of these technologies for targeted in-store shopper marketing objectives (cf. the resulting online faceted-search repository at . www.retail-tech.org). The findings indicate that the majority of the inventoried technologies provide cost savings, convenience and utilitarian value, whereas few offer hedonic or symbolic benefits. Moreover, at present the earlier stages of the path-to-purchase appear to be the most instrumented. The article concludes with a research agenda.
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Participatory design is not one approach but a proliferating family of design practices that hosts many design agendas and comes with a varied set of toolboxes. In this chapter we will give examples of toolboxes with the ambition to show that there is a richness of tools and techniques available that may be combined, adapted and extended to form the basis for yet new PD practices. It is shown how the making of things, the telling of stories and the enactment of possible futures together provide the basis for forming a temporary community in which the new can be envisioned. The introduction frames tools and techniques within participatory design and describes participatory design as various practices of participation. The following sections give examples of how designers and non-designers participate in PD practices through activities focusing on telling, making and enacting. The final section reflects on present and future challenges. We present a wide selection of tools and techniques for PD, describing how they ´support participants in making, telling and enacting aspects of future design. The aim is to stimulate further proliferation of formats and procedures that may bring PD to new design challenges and to new designer/user communities. Our claim is not that tools and techniques have to be applied rigorously. Instead we suggest that sensitivity to the coherence of making, telling and enacting provides sufficient grounding for designers (and non-designers) to make the tools and techniques relevant for whatever participatory action they are involved in. This includes being aware of what is accomplished as particular tools and techniques become part of specific participatory design practices. Finding out how these in combination can create formats and procedures that can create engagement, a common image of the vision or PD development task, and last but not least, create ownership for the results
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The living lab methodology in technology design emphasizes user involvement throughout the innovation process. This article discusses the execution of this methodology in building a future ubiquitous city in northern Finland. We analyse how the sociomaterial practices of ICT design are constructed in thematic interviews with the designers. Three practices determining the realisation of the ubiquitous city were identified: Funding resources framing user involvement; keeping up the high-tech image of the city; and pursuit of scientific innovation. Then, following feminist technology studies, we discuss how power relations are negotiated, and how the user of new technology is constructed in the design process. In this particular living lab, users were configured as unidentified testers and consumers of the implemented technology rather than innovative co-creators. By reflecting on our position as female anthropologists we also illuminate the situatedness of scientific knowledge.
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We present a multipronged comparative study of citizens’ self-proclaimed information needs and actual information seeking behavior in smart urban spaces. We first conducted several user studies to identify the types of information services that citizens believed to be useful in urban setting utilizing methods ranging from contextual inquiry with lo-fi prototypes to “card sorting” exercise with a separate set of participants, and finally to implementing selected services. We then made a sizeable constructive intervention into the urban space by deploying in a city center 12 large, interactive public displays called “hotspots” to offer a wide range of previously identified information services. We collected comprehensive qualitative and quantitative data on the usage of the hotspots and their services by the general public during 13 months. Our study reveals discrepancies between a priori and a posteriori information seeking strategies extracted from the self-proclaimed information needs and the actual usage of the hotspots.
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Extended research on interactive public displays deployed in a city center reveals differences between the public's stated information needs and their actual information behavior and highlights effects that an artificial environment cannot duplicate.
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Whose dreams are ‘the stuff the future is made of’? The dreams of CEOs? Technologists? Business people? Or the dreams of everyday people? In this paper I will talk about a journey toward a future being made from the dreams of everyday people. I will describe how we are learning to catalyse, capture and collect their dreams and aspirations. I’ll do so by showing examples of ‘tools’ we give people so they can express themselves visually and verbally. Then I will tell how we are beginning to work with people, using their dreams and aspirations to inform as well as inspire the design development process.
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The development and proliferation of mobile social networks have the potential to transform ways that people come together and interact in public space. These services allow new kinds of information to flow into public spaces and, as such, can rearrange social and spatial practices. Dodgeball is used as a case study of mobile social networks. Based on a year-long qualitative field study, this article explores how Dodgeball was used to facilitate social congregation in public spaces and begins to expand our understanding of traditional notions of space and social interaction. Drawing on the concept of parochial space, this article examines how ideas of mobile communication and public space are negotiated in the everyday practice and use of mobile social networks.
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As humans we live and interact across a wildly diverse set of physical spaces. We each formulate our own personal meaning of place using a myriad of observable cues such as public-private, large-small, daytime-nighttime, loud-quiet, and crowded-empty. Not surprisingly, it is the people with which we share such spaces that dominate our perception of place. Sometimes these people are friends, family and colleagues. More often, and particularly in public urban spaces we inhabit, the individuals who affect us are ones that we repeatedly observe and yet do not directly interact with - our Familiar Strangers. This paper explores our often ignored yet real relationships with Familiar Strangers. We describe several experiments and studies that led to designs for both a personal, body-worn, wireless device and a mobile phone based application that extend the Familiar Stranger relationship while respecting the delicate, yet important, constraints of our feelings and affinities with strangers in pubic places.
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Urban Atmospheres captures a unique, synergistic moment - expanding urban populations, rapid adoption of Bluetooth mobile devices, tiny ad hoc sensor networks, and the widespread influence of wireless technologies across our growing urban landscapes. The United Nations recently reported that 48 percent of the world's population current live in urban areas and that this number is expected to exceed the 50 percent mark world wide by 2007 [1]. In developed nations the number of urban dwellers is even more dramatic - expected to exceed 75%. Current studies project Bluetooth-enabled devices to reach 5.4 billion units by 2005 - five times the number of mobile phones or Internet connections [2]. Mobile phone penetration already exceeds 80% of the population in places like the European Union (EU) and parts of Asia [3]. WiFi hardware is being deployed at the astonishing rate of one every 4 seconds globally [4]. We argue that now is the time to initiate inspirational research into the very essence of these newly emerging technological urban spaces. We desire to move towards an improved understanding of the emotional experience of urban life. This paper describes Urban Probes - a lightweight, provocative, intervention methodology designed to rapidly deconstruct urban situations, reveal new opportunities for technology in urban spaces, and guide future long term research in urban computing. We also describe a completed Urban Probe exploring urban trash.
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One challenge for ubiquitous computing is providing appropriate tools for professional designers, thus leading to stronger user-valued applications. Unlike many previous tool-builders' attempts to support a specific technology, we take a designer-centered stance, asking the question: how do professional designers externalize ideas for off-the-desktop computing and how do these inform next generation design tools? We report on interviews with designers from various domains, including experience, interaction, industrial, and space designers. The study broadly reveals perceived challenges of moving into a non-traditional design medium, emphasizes the practice of storytelling for relating the context of interaction, and through two case studies, traces the use of various external representations during the design progression of ubicomp applications. Using paperprototyped "walkthroughs" centered on two common design representations (storyboards and physical simulations), we formed a deeper understanding of issues influencing tool development. We offer guidelines for builders of future ubicomp tools, especially early-stage conceptual tools for professional designers to prototype applications across multiple sensors, displays, and physical environments.
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Toolkits and other tools have dramatically reduced the time and technical expertise needed to design and implement graphical user interfaces (GUIs) allowing high-quality, iterative, user-centered design to become a common practice. Unfortunately the generation of functioning prototypes for physical interactive devices as not had similar support -- it still requires substantial time and effort by individuals with highly specialized skills and tools. This creates a divide between a designers' ability to explore form and interactivity of product designs and the ability to iterate on the basis of high fidelity interactive experiences with a functioning prototype. To help overcome this difficulty we have developed the Calder hardware toolkit. Calder is a development environment for rapidly exploring and prototyping functional physical interactive devices. Calder provides a set of reusable small input and output components, and integration into existing interface prototyping environments. These components communicate with a computer using wired and wireless connections. Calder is a tool targeted toward product and interaction designers to aid them in their early design process. In this paper we describe the process of gaining an understanding of the needs and workflow habits of our target users to generate a collection of requirements for such a toolkit. We describe technical challenges imposed by these needs, and the specifics of design and implementation of the toolkit to meet these challenges.
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Many collaborative and communicative environments use notions of "space" and spatial organisation to facilitate and structure interaction. We argue that a focus on spatial models is misplaced. Drawing on understandings from architecture and urban design, as well as from our own research findings, we highlight the critical distinction between "space" and "place". While designers use spatial models to support inter- action, we show how it is actually a notion of "place" which frames interactive behaviour. This leads us to re-evaluate spatial systems, and discuss how "place", rather than "space", can support CSCW design.
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In this paper [MacIntyre et al 2004]. we describe The Designer's Augmented Reality Toolkit (DART). DART is built on top of Macromedia Director, a widely used multimedia development environment. We summarize the most significant problems faced by designers working with AR in the real world, and discuss how DART addresses them. Most of DART is implemented in an interpreted scripting language, and can be modified by designers to suit their needs. Our work focuses on supporting early design activities, especially a rapid transition from storyboards to working experience, so that the experiential part of a design can be tested early and often. DART allows designers to specify complex relationships between the physical and virtual worlds, and supports 3D animatic actors (informal, sketch-based content) in addition to more polished content. Designers can capture and replay synchronized video and sensor data, allowing them to work off-site and to test specific parts of their experience more effectively.
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This paper documents the demonstration showcasing the ScreenSpot resource discovery framework and the Mobile- Vue social media sharing application. The key points of the demonstration include: requesting multidimensional re- source availability information from a smart space and visualizing this information to the user on a personal de- vice, leasing the selected resource for a distributed applica- tion launch and utilizing the leased resource to deploy an application for personal media viewing, manipulating and sharing. This application then allows users a 3D sensor- based interaction between their mobile phone and a large public display.
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In this paper [MacIntyre et al 2004], we describe The Designer's Augmented Reality Toolkit (DART). DART is built on top of Macromedia Director, a widely used multimedia development environment. We summarize the most significant problems faced by designers working with AR in the real world, and discuss how DART addresses them. Most of DART is implemented in an interpreted scripting language, and can be modified by designers to suit their needs. Our work focuses on supporting early design activities, especially a rapid transition from storyboards to working experience, so that the experiential part of a design can be tested early and often. DART allows designers to specify complex relationships between the physical and virtual worlds, and supports 3D animatic actors (informal, sketch-based content) in addition to more polished content. Designers can capture and replay synchronized video and sensor data, allowing them to work off-site and to test specific parts of their experience more effectively.
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Our physical bodies play a central role in shaping human experience in the world, understanding of the world, and interactions in the world. This paper draws on theories of embodiment — from psychology, sociology, and philosophy — synthesizing five themes we believe are particularly salient for interaction design: thinking through doing, performance, visibility, risk, and thick practice. We intro- duce aspects of human embodied engagement in the world with the goal of inspiring new interaction design ap- proaches and evaluations that better integrate the physical and computational worlds. Author Keywords Embodiment, bodies, embodied interaction, ubiquitous computing, phenomenology, interaction design
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A conceptual framework describes three aspects of designing and analyzing pervasive systems in an urban environment. A systematic approach to designing the urban environment as an integrated system of architecture and pervasive technologies requires drawing on knowledge, theory, and methods from the disciplines of architecture and computer science. Key to this interdisciplinary integration is the concept of space, by which we mean not only physical location or volume but also the social protocols, conventions, and values attached to a particular space
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Much urban computing research focuses on cities as generic settings and containers of action. However, cities can also be viewed as products of historically and culturally situated practices and flows. When we view urban areas in this context, rather than as collections of people and buildings, infrastructure and practice are closely entwined. The emergence of urban computing as a topic within pervasive computing research is fascinating and important. Cities are complex social ecosystems, and this complexity makes them a rich site for understanding how pervasive computing technologies can be put to use and brought to life
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Entertaining, concise, and relentlessly probing, City of Bits is a comprehensive introduction to a new type of city, a largely invisible but increasingly important system of virtual spaces interconnected by the emerging information superhighway. William Mitchell makes extensive use of concrete, practical examples and illustrations in a technically well-grounded yet accessible examination of architecture and urbanism in the context of the digital telecommunications revolution, the ongoing miniaturization of electronics, the commodification of bits, and the growing domination of software over materialized form. In seven chapters - Pulling Glass, Electronic Agoras, Cyborg Citizens, Recombinant Architecture, Soft Cities, Bit Biz, and Getting to the Good Bits - Mitchell argues that the crucial issue before us is not one of putting in place the digital plumbing of telecommunications links and associated electronic appliances, nor even of producing content for electronic delivery, but rather one of creating electronically mediated environments for the kinds of lives that we want to lead.
Book
Ubiquitous computing (or ubicomp) is the label for a “third wave” of computing technologies. Following the eras of the mainframe computer and the desktop PC, it is characterized by small and powerful computing devices that are worn, carried, or embedded in the world around us. The ubicomp research agenda originated at Xerox PARC in the late 1980s; these days, some form of that vision is a reality for the millions of users of Internet-enabled phones, GPS devices, wireless networks, and “smart” domestic appliances. This book explores the vision that has driven the ubiquitous computing research p ... More Ubiquitous computing (or ubicomp) is the label for a “third wave” of computing technologies. Following the eras of the mainframe computer and the desktop PC, it is characterized by small and powerful computing devices that are worn, carried, or embedded in the world around us. The ubicomp research agenda originated at Xerox PARC in the late 1980s; these days, some form of that vision is a reality for the millions of users of Internet-enabled phones, GPS devices, wireless networks, and “smart” domestic appliances. This book explores the vision that has driven the ubiquitous computing research program and the contemporary practices which have emerged—both the motivating mythology and the everyday messiness of lived experience. Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the authors’ collaboration, it takes seriously the need to understand ubicomp not only technically but also culturally, socially, politically, and economically. The authors map the terrain of contemporary ubiquitous computing, in the research community and in daily life; explore dominant narratives in ubicomp around such topics as infrastructure, mobility, privacy, and domesticity; and suggest directions for future investigation, particularly with respect to methodology and conceptual foundations.
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Specialized elements of hardware and software, connected by wires, radio waves and infrared, will be so ubiquitous that no one will notice their presence.
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There are now as many cell phones as there are people on the planet. In two decades the device has gone from a luxury, single-purpose technology to an essential multipurpose object engrained in everyday routines of life and work. When examined closely, moreover, the patterns of use of cell phones are found to vary considerably according to place and culture. Answering a mobile on the Metro Manila, for example, is perfectly acceptable practice, yet would be considered rude in Tokyo. The ubiquity of the mobile phone, along with this pattern of diverse use, makes it an ideal subject for introducing students to themes and arguments in the history and sociology of technology. Since the 1990s, a burgeoning community of scholars, including sociologists, geographers, and historians, has tracked this phenomenon. The result is a large secondary literature of high-quality studies, much of which is too detailed or difficult for students. Nicola Green and Leslie Haddon, two UK-based sociologists, have written in Mobile Communications a short, clear primer that is ideal for guiding beginners through ways of analyzing the cell phone. Each chapter is introduced and its contents summarized again at the end. Boxes describe case studies and pose reflective questions, ready-made for seminar discussions. The assumed knowledge is basic, yet the themes and topics are sophisticated and engaging. While the book holds to no single sociological framework, several major approaches—social construction of technology, actor-network theory, domestication accounts, and the newer work on cultures of mobilities—are outlined. These are referred to later, as topics such as the relationships among technological systems, privacy, the changing experience of time, and the support of strong and weak social ties are surveyed. Other, more specialized approaches are dipped into where useful. For example, Erving Goffman is used in a neat discussion of “civil inattention,” in the authors’ analysis of the proper public behavior issue. The sociology is complemented by a short synthetic history of the mobile phone. Students will benefit from this combination of sociological inquiry and historical context. The overall aim is to make this familiar object strange again (p. 145). The authors draw attention to broad generalities about the effects of the cell phone, balancing these with a picture of local diversity. For example, like other information technologies, cell phones can strengthen existing social networks but do not (or at least very rarely) instigate entirely new sets of social relations. At a European level, this has led to the mobile phone being promoted as a symbol and tool of social integration. A quick summary of Daniel Miller’s anthropological studies of the Jamaican practice of “link up” (p. 95) provides a balancing exemplar of novel use to this general theme of continuity and extension. While Mobile Communications is avowedly a student textbook, relying extensively on previously published work (not least work by the two authors), there are some novelties. I found the chapter on the camera phone, for example, with comparisons offered between Finnish, Italian, British, and Korean practices, particularly thought-provoking. There are good, direct quotations from users that illustrate the “mundane creativity” involved in exploring a new technical feature: the British woman who discovered that she could check makeup by photographing her face, or the exasperated Korean discussing the social pressure to “decorate” online photographs on the popular Cyworld site. The authors also note where they have found gaps in the literature. They bemoan, for example, the fact that early consumption went largely unstudied by contemporary scholars (p. 31), and later, in the camera phone chapter, they remind us again that the process of first learning how a technology might be used is often missed and is always interesting. Dr. Jon Agar is senior lecturer in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at University College London.
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In this paper we introduce a participatory design technique for early, formative concept evaluations to elicit in-depth user feedback and suggestions, revealing attitudes and motivations of users. The technique is motivated by the link between memories, experiences and dreams, and is based on the assumption that users can make better judgments about novel design concepts if they link them to their past experiences. The technique involves user sessions consisting of two main phases, one focusing on recollecting past experiences in related contexts, and one focusing on envisioning future experiences that can be enabled by the use of the concept. In both phases, designer-user dialogue is established through storytelling. Storytelling is used by the designer to set the stage and to present the concept and by the user to communicate his past and anticipated future experiences. The technique results in joint stories about novel concepts. In this paper we explain the technique in detail. We discuss its theoretical background and relation to other user research methods. We share the insights that we gathered through first pilots. The paper concludes with a discussion about the use of this technique in the design process and future research.
Chapter
In her book, Philosophy in a New Key, Susanne Langer remarks that certain ideas burst upon the intellectual landscape with a tremendous force. They resolve so many fundamental problems at once that they seem also to promise that they will resolve all fundamental problems, clarify all obscure issues. Everyone snaps them up as the open sesame of some new positive science, the conceptual center-point around which a comprehensive system of analysis can be built. The sudden vogue of such a grande ideé, crowding out almost everything else for a while, is due, she says, "to the fact that all sensitive and active minds turn at once to exploiting it. We try it in every connection, for every purpose, experiment with possible stretches of its strict meaning, with generalizetions and derivatives." After we have become familiar with the new idea, however, after it has become part of our general stock of theoretical concepts, our expectations are brought more into balance with its actual uses, and its excessive popularity is ended. A few zealots persist in the old key-to-the-universe view of it; but less driven thinkers settle down after a while to the problems the idea has really generated. They try to apply it and extend it where it applies and where it is capable of extension; and they desist where it does not apply or cannot be extended. It becomes, if it was, in truth, a seminal idea in the first place, a permanent and enduring part of our intellectual armory. But it no longer has the grandiose, all-promising scope, the infinite versatility of apparent application, it once had.
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This paper explores the interdependence between urban design and the social construction of place. Following the recent contribution to the discussion of sense of place, authenticity and character by Jivén & Larkham (Journal of Urban Design, vol. 8, 200330. Jivén , G and Larkham , PJ . 2003 . Sense of place, authenticity and character: a commentary . Journal of Urban Design , 8 : 67 – 81 . [Taylor & Francis Online]View all references, pp. 67–81), it is suggested that architects, planners and urban designers should be attentive to the theoretical underpinnings that are relevant to place-making. The emphasis here is on the relationships between the pace of life and the capacity of urban settings to facilitate the routine encounters and shared experiences that underpin the intersubjectivity that, in turn, leads to the social construction of place. These issues are placed in the context of the ‘fast world’ of globalization and of grass-roots reaction to its consequences, as illustrated by the Slow City movement.
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This article explores the relationship between pavement cafés, street life and urban public social life. It argues that the licensing of public entertainment and the enforcement of liquor licences and rigid opening times have helped to undermine public social life in English cities. Attitudes which first gained ascendancy in the 1890s have remained dominant and, broadly speaking, unchanged. Nevertheless, there has been a recent and fairly rapid growth in wine bars, cafés and bistros in London and some other English cities. The paper explores whether these help to stimulate public social life. Reference is made to research in Holland and Denmark, and also recent experience in London and Manchester. The paper concludes that city policy makers should, in the short term at least, act to stimulate café culture. Some anti‐social and behavioural problems might well require an element of control, and not all urban areas are suited to café culture. Yet in a technological age, café culture represents one of the few remaining opportunities for public sociability. Where it creates a nuisance, it could and should be controlled but this is not the same thing as exercising an all‐persuasive moral control which has its roots in Victorian England.
Article
Ubiquitous computing seeks to embed computers into our everyday lives in such ways as to render them invisible and allow them to be taken for granted, while social and cultural theories of everyday life have always been interested in rendering the invisible visible and exposing the mundane. Despite these related concerns, social and cultural studies have been almost entirely absent in discussions of the design of ubiquitous technologies. This essay seeks to introduce researchers in both fields to each other, and begin to explore the ways in which collaboration might proceed. By exploring mobile and ubiquitous technologies currently being used to augment our experiences of the city, this paper investigates notions of sociality, spatialization and temporalization as central to our experiences of everyday life, and therefore of interest to the design of ubiquitous computing.
Article
Following decades of both planned and market‐driven decentralization of cities and city‐regions, urban policy makers are now extolling the virtues of the compact city. The model which is held up as a good example is that of the traditional European city which is relatively dense and fine‐grained. The model that is no longer considered sustainable (economically and socially as well as environmentally) is the sprawl, strip or edge city, more often than not planned around the automobile. One question is the extent to which this European model of the good city transfers to the UK context. The author would argue that a number of engrained attitudes to city planning (and indeed city life) persist which together might undermine attempts to stimulate more active and culturally confident cities. Nevertheless, if we are to have more active and better cities, we need to know how best to manage, develop and design them. This paper argues that the city is a phenomenon of structured complexity. Good cities tend to be a balance of a reasonably ordered and legible city form, and places of many and varied comings and goings, meetings and transactions. What might appear to some as disorder is very often simply the everyday rhythm of city life. In the absence of such activity, cities can lose their urbanity and eventually become suburban in character. The large part of this paper contains an exposition of the principles of good city form, activity, street life and urban culture. That is to say, urbanity itself. By reference to a number of cities, the intention is to show that it is perfectly possible to plan for and design the active city.
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This article examines the benefits that accrue from the utilization and personalization of places outside the workplace and the home. It is argued that participation in these third places provides people with a large measure of their sense of wholeness and distinctiveness. Third places are characterized in terms of sociability and nondiscursive symbolism. The benefits of third place involvement are discussed with reference to diversity and novelty, emotional expressiveness, color, and perspective.
Conference Paper
Field research methods are useful in the many aspects of Human-Computer Interaction research, including gathering user requirements, understanding and developing user models, and new product evaluation and iterative design. Due to increasingly short product realization cycles, there has been growing interestth in more time efficient methods, including rapid prototyping methods and various usability inspection techniques. This paper will introduce "rapid ethnography," which is a collection of field methods intended to provide a reasonable understanding of users and their activities given significant time pressures and limited time in the field.. The core elements include limiting or constraining the research focus and scope, using key informants, capturing rich field data by using multiple observers and interactive observation techniques, and collaborative qualitative data analysis. A short case study illustrating the important characteristics of rapid ethnography will also be presented.
Conference Paper
Location-enhanced applications use the location of people, places, and things to augment or streamline interaction. Location-enhanced applications are just starting to emerge in several different domains, and many people believe that this type of application will experience tremendous growth in the near future. However, it currently requires a high level of technical expertise to build location-enhanced applications, making it hard to iterate on designs. To address this problem we introduce Topiary, a tool for rapidly prototyping location-enhanced applications. Topiary lets designers create a map that models the location of people, places, and things; use this active map to demonstrate scenarios depicting location contexts; use these scenarios in creating storyboards that describe interaction sequences; and then run these storyboards on mobile devices, with a wizard updating the location of people and things on a separate device. We performed an informal evaluation with seven researchers and interface designers and found that they reacted positively to the concept.
Article
The right to the city is not merely a right of access to what already exists, but a right to change it. We need to be sure we can live with our own creations. But the right to remake ourselves by creating a qualitatively different kind of urban sociality is one of the most precious of all human rights. We have been made and re-made without knowing exactly why, how, and to what end. How then, can we better exercise this right to the city? But whose rights and whose city? Could we not construct a socially just city? But what is social justice? Is justice simply whatever the ruling class wants it to be? We live in a society in which the inalienable rights to private property and the profit rate trump any other conception of inalienable rights. Our society is dominated by the accumulation of capital through market exchange. To live under capitalism is to accept or submit to that bundle of rights necessary for endless capital accumulation. Free markets are not necessarily fair. Worse still, markets require scarcity to function. The inalienable rights of private property and the profit rate lead to worlds of inequality, alienation and injustice. The endless accumulation of capital and the conception of rights embedded threin must be opposed and a different right to the city must be asserted politically. Derivative rights (like the right to be treated with dignity) should become fundamental and fundamental rights (of private property and the profit rate) should become derivative. But new rights can also be defined: like the right to the city which is not merely a right of access to what the property speculators and state planners define, but an active right to make the city different, to shape it more in accord with our heart's desire, and to re-make ourselves thereby in a different image.
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Only recently have researchers focused on the integration of computing, sensing, and actuation technologies in everyday urban settings and lifestyles. Pervasive computing has largely been applied either in relatively homogeneous unpopulated areas--for example, sensor networks in forests--or in small-scale well-defined built environments, such as smart houses. Urban settings pose many research and deployment challenges: ownership issues are complex as are the dynamics and density of system participation. Despite the complexities, urban computing is, in a limited sense, already a mass phenomenon. Roughly half the world's population lives in urban environments, and connectivity is extensive through short- and long-range communication networks. This special issue looks at urban uses of familiar mobile technologies but focuses mainly on how to produce fully integrated designs specifically for urban settings and how to overcome the deployment challenges.