Architecture Interaction design Publications Research

Challenges of Participation in Large-Scale Public Projects

Being able to travel the world and meet like-minded peers is one of the great benefits of working as a researcher. At the moment, I’m in Australia to present my work at two conferences, the Participatory Design Conference (PDC) in Sydney and the OZCHI Conference in Brisbane.

Today, I am presenting my research on the challenges of working with participation as a central driver in large-scale public projects. I take my offset in the ongoing Mediaspace project in Aarhus, which is the development of a new shared building for the municipal library and citizens service department. The field of participatory design has traditionally addressed the development of interactive systems on a relatively small scale, so the Mediaspace project holds a number of interesting findings for this research field. This concerns both the variety of stakeholders in the project, the new methods and technologies that have been developed in the project in order to involve and engage people in the development of the new library, and the ways in which new technologies transforms the role of the library in society.

I’ve made my work on this project available in three ways: you can download the preliminary version of the paper; you can download the manuscript for my presentation, or you can view the slideshow below.

Architecture Interaction design Visualisation

Media surfaces in everyday life

A couple of videos from Dentsu London and BERG that explore a variety of ways in which information could be embedded into our physical environment. I like the way in which the videos envision these systems as everyday phenomena rather than something spectacular, which is often the case in this type of presentation. After all, as these systems and displays become ubiquitous, they will inevitably become mundane occurences.

Media surfaces: Incidental Media.

Media surfaces: The Journey.

Architecture Interaction design Visualisation

Kinetic and augmented sculptures

A couple of intriguing sculptural projects that I have stumbled upon recently:

Kinetic Sculpture is designed by Art+Com for the BMW Museum and is intended as “… a metaphorical translation of the process of form-finding in art and design. 714 metal spheres, hanging from thin steel wires attached to individually-controlled stepper motors and covering the area of six square meters, animate a seven minute long mechatronic narrative. In the beginning, moving chaotically, then evolving to several competing forms that eventually resolve to the finished object, the kinetic sculpture creates an artistic visualisation of the process of form-finding in different variations.”

“Augmented Sculpture” by design agencies Grosse8 and Lichtfront. The installation is a 2,5m tall wooden sculpture augmented with projections in sync with an audio track.

Architecture Interaction design Research

Presentation: Experience in Interaction Design

Two weeks ago, I gave a talk on Experience in Interaction Design at an information and media studies research seminar. The talk sketches out the various ways in which the concept of experience is approached in interaction design. In particular, i emphasize the pragmatist perspective on experience that i build upon in my own work. This is followed by a discussion on the challenges and potentials of working with experiential aspects in real-life design projects, e.g. Aarhus by Light, Climate on the Wall and Warsaw MoMA.

I have been trying out alternatives to Powerpoint as a presentation tool, and I stumbled upon the magnificent and elegant Prezi. The embedded presentation above should give you the gist of things: Prezi basically gives you an infinite canvas on which you structure your content. You can then draw out paths on the canvas when building presentations and zoom through these when giving a talk. Do try out the full-screen option!

Architecture Visualisation

555 KUBIK – How it would be, if a house was dreaming

555 Kubik is a facade projection that dissolves the strict architecture of O. M. Ungers “Galerie der Gegenwart”. The resulting permeability of the facade “uncovers different interpretations of conception, geometry and aesthetics expressed through graphics and movement. A situation of reflexivity evolves – describing the constitution and spacious perception of this location by means of the building itself.”

555 Kubik is produced by and art directed Daniel Rossa.

Architecture Interaction design Visualisation

fLUX Binary Waves

fLUX, binary waves by Metalab is an installation based on measurements of infrastructural and communicational flows and their transposition into luminous, sonic and kinetic rules. This relation between the installation and the urban activity happens in real time and sets each person as an element of the installation, as a centre of the public realm.

From the project description:

The installation fLUX, binary waves is constituted by a network of 32 rotating and luminous panels of 3 meter-high and 60 centimetres wide, placed every 3 meters to form a kinetic wall. The panels rotate around their vertical axis, and have a black reflective surface on one side, the other being plain mat white. Their rotation is controlled by microprocessors, allowing to determine precisely the rotation speed and angle, while their networking allows to synchronise the movement of the 32 panels. The microprocessors are connected to infrared sensors, capturing the surrounding infrastructural flows, defining the frequency and amplitude of the rotation. According to this set up, each impulse is transmitted from one panel to the other, describing visual waves running from one side of the installation to the other, and then bouncing back while progressively loosing oscillation. All these principles relate the ‘micro-events’ happening in the area to a unified play of light, colours and sounds directly derived from the rhythm of the city flows.

As such, the installation proposes an urban sign having as subject the ‘urban’ and as message to be a catalyst of urbanity via the transcription of urban flows in a contemporary play of kinetics, lights and sound.