informing the design of the future urban landscape
Workshop :: 17th August :: DIS2010 :: Aarhus, Denmark
Workshop website :: http://informingurbanfutures.wordpress.com/about/
It is envisaged that the urban spaces of the future will be saturated
with both visible and hidden media that gather and transmit
information. How we as physical beings connect with, interpret and
shape the increase of data residing in our environment will be a
significant challenge. The forms in which this data will be presented,
and how we decide to conceptualise it, is as yet unknown. Will the
technologically enriched environment adapt to accommodate human/city
contact points, and, in response, how will we choose to interact with
and navigate through, this information landscape?
This workshop will identify emerging design themes by bringing
together practitioners and researchers from across disciplines.
Participants in the workshop will collaborate in a practical exercise
designed to reveal issues that will increasingly impact upon the
design of the products and services that will populate the urban
landscape in the near future. The outcome of this workshop will be the
identification of challenges that designers and technologists will
have to address as they shape the media-rich urban landscape. It is
hoped that this workshop would form the basis of a new collaborative
network with the aim of taking this technological design research
Participation and selection
As the aim of this workshop is to generate discussion and to
collaboratively identify design issues, we would like to encourage
attendance from a mix of people at different career stages, both
creative practitioners and academic researchers. As
interdisciplinarity is an important feature of this workshop,
participants from a range of backgrounds in the fields of technology
and creative design are welcome to attend.
Selection of participants will be made on the basis of individuals’
interest in the topic, as well as an overall balance of skills and
backgrounds in order that participants can gain from the collaborative
experience. If you would like to participate, please reply, including
some information about yourself, on the workshop website :: http://informingurbanfutures.wordpress.com/about/
by 4th June. You will be notified of your acceptance to participate
in the workshop by 25th June.
Background & Approach
Today’s urban experience is enhanced by technology that increasingly
enables simultaneous existence in both the virtual and real worlds.
Such technology offers a number of bridges between these worlds but in
so doing places an increased tension on the sense of place and
subsequently the identity of the individual. Identity has many
components that have to be woven in our everyday lives. It is
postulated that in order to cope with the demands of our society,
people must be capable of switching between identities actively and
quickly while stitching these different identities in place (Hall,
Humans have always been in constant engagement with their
surroundings, often without being consciously aware of the process or
nature of this interaction. By investigating the activities that
currently take place in this liminal space we may be able to identify
important themes and issues. Taking inspiration from ethnographic
design research methods, the workshop will take an experimental
approach to the recording of these human activities. By using the
everyday technologies that people have to hand, the participants in
the workshop will be provided with a new perspective on the
traditional techniques that designers have employed, such as the
creation of scrapbooks, mood boards and sketches. It is envisaged this
approach will widen opportunities for participation in the design
process. These can assist the technologists and designers of the
future as they work to shape physical and virtual environments in such
a way that they can be made sense of and manipulated.
The workshop will seek to address questions such as: What form will
the information landscape take? How will people adapt their behaviours
and indeed how will the nature of the urban landscape alter as
increased amounts of information is overlaid on the physical
environment? What new products and services will be available given
the increase of targeted information aimed at specific communities and
interest groups? Will this result in an increase in segmentation and
fragmentation associated with the urban experience leading to the
possibility of the creation of multiple experiences of the same
physical space. What will inform the visual aesthetic of the future
The workshop will seek to explore the ‘bleed points’ where the
physical and virtual worlds connect or indeed, disconnect. Examples
will be drawn from advertising and product design (art works).
Furthermore the workshop will focus on the small ideas that underpin
the ‘big questions’ that too often overwhelm researchers. Indeed,
it has been said that the ‘devil is in the detail’, subsequently
the workshop will invite participants to adopt an attitude of
curiosity as they seek to unpack the nature of peoples’ rituals,
habits and priorities, focusing, in particular, on the potential for
behaviour associated with existing technologies.
Michael Smyth & Ingi Helgason, Centre for Interaction Design,
Edinburgh Napier University Edinburgh, UK
As the background of the organisers is in the field of Interaction
Design, they have a research interest in how personal technologies are
used and appropriated to record and share thoughts, times and places.
Therefore, while this workshop uses technology in its delivery, it is
an important factor in this experience that the technologies should be
those that the participants carry with them (i.e. mundane) in their
For more information please contact Ingi Helgason :: [log in to unmask]
The DIS conference addresses design as an integrated activity spanning
technical, social, cognitive, organisational, and cultural factors.
Workshop website :: http://informingurbanfutures.wordpress.com/about/
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