:: Session 2: P.U.S.H. Public Urban Space Hub

Fri, Oct 8 10:30-12:30 Topics: Urban Visions, Interbreeding Public Space and Social Media, Interactive Public Space. Digital media have led to the emergence of novel modes of interaction between digital and urban spaces. So far buildings can dynamically change their appearance by means of media facades. But they only send visual signals and have no ability to close the communication loop with their social environment. But the advent of social media the possibility to exchange with the people opens up. This has created so far unexplored potentials for design and effects with architectural and urban elements.
  • How could the people produce and distribute media content in large scale and massive amount by themselfs?
  • How and what should be communicated or what would a public space media etiquette be?
  • What means and visions are out there to fuse physical and digital urban spaces for public participation?
Session Chair: Martina Eberle – ETH Zürich, horao, Switzerland Speakers: Speakers – Abstracts and Biographies ::: Martina Eberle – Biography Bachelor of Arts, Industrial Design (Jewellery/Accessories), University of Arts & Design, Zurich. Additional courses in Graphic Design and Advertisement, School of Visual Arts, New York. Occupational activity in advertising, shows and exhibitions with Advico Young & Rubicam and Bellprat Associates among others; with the latter Creative Director for Generals Motors Europe with assignments throughout Europe and Asia. Project development for Expo.02, the Swiss National Exposition, for the “Direction Artistique” under Martin Heller, the artistic director of the entire venue. Executive MBA from Columbia University, New York and London Business School with a thesis dealing with business development and policy building towards the creation of additional carbon trading markets. Market analysis and strategy development at IBM Research in New York in the field of New Media. Project development, content management and creative direction for NOVA, a novel multi-media presence of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) at the main railway station Zurich. Co-founder of horao GmbH, an spin-off of ETH Zurich with the objective to develop and market three-dimensional bivalent LED-screens. Lecturer and coach at the Department of Design at the University of Arts & Design, Zurich. http://www.horao.biz/doc/m.eberle.pdf
::: Gregory Beck -Biography Architect and producer Gregory Beck leads a New York studio specializing in attraction design, brand environments and retail architecture. He is currently developing Here’s Boston, a new prototype ‘city discovery center’ that will recast how visitors navigate and find meaning in one of America’s oldest cities. Mr. Beck founded an annual symposium on architecture and media at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Now in its eleventh year, the forum gathers a multidisciplinary tribe of architects, content developers, media technologists and artists to investigate the potential of mediated buildings and places. Mr. Beck is the former director of architecture for Sony New Technologies, the group charged with creating attractions that fused Sony’s interests in feature films, music, computers, and video games. Mr. Beck designed Secrets of the Luxor Pyramid, the Ridefilm and IMAX theater attraction at Luxor Las Vegas produced by Academy Award-winning director and visual effects pioneer Douglas Trumbull. In 2001, he created The Empire State Experience, a $6.5M visitor film proposed for the Empire State Building in Manhattan. He has developed media- based attractions for a diverse range of clients including Swatch, the People Magazine Group, and Lockheed Martin. Mr. Beck holds a masters degree in Urban Design from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He co developed Urban Narratives, a design research initiative at MIT that explores the impact of emerging technologies on public places and the design of the city. http://execed.gsd.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/exec_ed/details.cgi?offering_id=101836
::: Thomas Grechenig – The Smart City Integration/Infrastructure Revolution:Locking the Door will never be the same again. The (very) smart active and interactive urban space&region: in the 90s the information providing screen with its inactive graphical entities became (inter-)active step by step by providing screen regions being klick- and touchable up until today’s stage of users’ experience of an “integrated interactive and connected information space” based on the infrastructure called internet. In a comparable way urban space will be “activated”: 1) a space for information projection and presentation 2) a space containing dense populations of sensitive, interactive and tangible objects, spots or system behaviours 3) a space integrating and connecting this interactive urban infrastructure into current individual (digital) consumer behaviors as well as into emerging social (digital) interaction patterns. Viewed from the engineering perspective this will rather last 50 years instead of the 20 years for “vitalizing” the computer screen. Infrastructure example compound level: The (very) smart active and interactive building: a building seen from the viewpoint of information&media engineering is a (physical) structure used for a classified bundle of activities by corresponding groups of users. Users of a building share its resources and functionalities. Therefore any used building is a type of social media platform. On the other hand buildings are highly sophisticated entities containing all the collective experience and wisdom of design fields like architecture and constructional engineering. “Vitalizing” buildings (usually called “automating” buildings) is on its continuous way, e.g. 1) rooms get smart and self-organized, they become “operated systems” 2) objects in buildings get IDs/tags/IP-numbers, they become digitally connected, controlled and more and more “managed” 3) technology for supervision, control and access makes buildings more and more define- and programmable according to more complex patterns of use. Buildings will get more and more complex interactive systems in a rather constant stream of “innovation” in need of being integrated into traditional wisdom of interior design. New bundles of virtual/physical resource sharing will emerge. Groups of people will not only inhabit physical buildings, they will “inhabit” connected resource spaces like electricity in a power sharing region, local drinking water from joint tanks or a public vehicle fleets. We @DECO like to call that “distributed resource buildings”. Infrastructure example product level: The (very) smart lock&key: modern/future doors will be opened with e.g. NFC/ RFID tokens, Java cards or mobile phones. Login to computer systems will fuse with opening physical doors. Camera/surveillance technologies will be steered personally and applied privately. Mapped to residential environments this will result in a step wise evolution migrating today’s physical keys to virtual keys stored on cards or mobile phones allowing for new forms of access permission: e.g. access on Friday 8 – 12, over the air transfer of a key, instant denial of access, structuring and classifying use and access, building several structures of rights, etc. Dissolving the hard-wired relation and integrity between door, lock, key and access/no-access will change people’s perception of keys&locks. It will change it as dramatically as sms-communication merged the “ancient telegram” – originally a very rare extraordinary/emergency means of communication –into a broadly used everyday medium. – Locking the door will never be the same again! “The content of a medium is like the juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind”. The medium, the technology, the use space is the message not the content. McLuhan realized that technology creates new environments by changing cultural patterns. The gateway for media begins with the individual, because media are technologicalextensions of the physical body plus its mental driving. Mapping McLuhan’s observations about new media to the above infrastructure examples leads to the following finding. Medium urban space: will result in fusing the individual with urban space (both consumer and producer to a constantly growing extend). The individual IS the urbanspace. Medium lock&key: will make up a new social product which appears as a bundle of control/access/calendar/rights/tele-presence interaction-patterns merged with the access rights matrix within a single sign on mechanism occasionally enhanced with surveillance technology. All this will have been formerly known as “locking a door”. Medium smart building: …is an interesting intellectual enigma. It is neither really a new medium as traditional interior design will dominate the use. Nor will it be a new kind of digital social platform as the physical use-case will frame the more sophisticated interactive ones. But then it is as well both as e.g. three people in one room in a future office building might be much better pictured by performance metaphors like cockpit, studio or space capsule, and the same office building might not be more than 1) either the high performance interaction hub housing the latest, most expensive and effective technology or e.g. 2) the very opposite, the comfort zone, physical presence hub, technology free space for a strong, dedicated social/professional group which produces/consumes its social/economic/public products and performances with its (then customary) standard daily life ubiquitous technology set. – With all these new technologies to come, why not imagine a company whose only office building is a wellness&fitness studio or another enterprise whose only physical building is a future A- 380 full of gadgets.
Thomas Grechenig – Biography Thomas Grechenig is an IT infrastructure planer and IT architect. He has been in charge of establishing some of the largest IT systems in Europe. He and his team have done “smart ” IT planning and design work worldwide. He is professor for software engineering and interactive informatics at the Vienna University of Technology. Within the field of media and interface design he and his team (DECO) do have the expertise to design new urban IT infrastructures in areas like mobile applications, urban informatics, building automation, tangible interfaces and smart mobile devices. His group experiments with piloting, engineering and implementing IT infrastructures in an early emerging stage. In previewing large scale realizations his team has very early access to potentials, pitfalls, and (d)ef(f)ects of new infrastructures (which become media). – Several experiences in prospective planning of “smart cities” have led him to an integrated view of future urban interaction and public digital space design and governance: 21st century IT will focus on wise integration and fusion.
::: Alex Haw – The Light of the People Our work at atmos is concerned with the spatialisation of data and information, and the integration of media into everyday life – as core content as much as evanescent entertainment. We operate across a range of scales, from the visceral body to the urban spectacle. Much of our work attempts to connect these scales and bring a tangible sense of the global to the local, and vice versa. Alex will present a series of projects exploring the capacity of people and the idiosyncrasies of their surroundings to generate information and inhabitable environments. Lumiskin uses camera tracking and particle generation to create sticky spaces, rapidly responsive immersions that follow movement and cast audience as actors. LightFall transforms subway commuters from passive sardines to active luminaries, illuminating the station at Cutty Sark, Londin, in response to their movements. LightHive offers a real-time x-ray map of activity across the Architectural Association, exploring the ‘ambiveillance’ of tracking and its productive role in producing a legible and luminous community. Sunlands complements the ubiquitous quantitative abstractions of the world with real-time qualitative data, illuminating Canary Wharf with the colour of all the world’s sunlight. The CLOUD offers a multimedia environment way up high over London – an observation platform for watching the physical and analogue collide, immersing viewers in the winds of the world and the gusts of real-time data. Alex Haw – Biography Alex Haw is an architect and artist operating at the intersection of design, research, art and the urban environment. He runs atmos, a collaborative experimental practice which produces a range of architecture and events including private houses, installations and larger public commissions. He studied at the Bartlett and Princeton on a Fulbright, worked for Grimshaws, Rogers and Diller+Scofidio, and ran design studios at the AA, Cambridge and TU Vienna. He lectures internationally, is contributing editor at WIRED UK and runs Latitudinal Cuisine.
::: Dietmar Offenhuber – Senseable City Laboratory The digital revolution has layered a vast system of sensors, phones, microcontrollers and cameras over our environment, enabling entirely new ways to monitor, understand, and imagine our cities. These systems have a value that go beyond their original purpose: The digital exhaust of cellular networks reveals social and economic patterns, miniaturized location tags highlight global flows of trash, and hybrid electric bicycles with environmental sensors address a city’s pollution and traffic problems. Taken together, the impact of digital networks on cities will be as significant as any past human undertaking. MIT’s SENSEable City Lab recognizes this momentous shift and is at the forefront of asking – if this is the future, what’s next? Practicing anticipatory research, the Lab works with cities and companies to predict what may be the greatest needs, questions and opportunities that we face as we evolve alongside technology. Then, in multidisciplinary teams, the Lab acts on these ideas, developing new research methods and technologies to advance a sustainable vision of the urban future. The Lab’s work has been shown at various venues worldwide, including, Graz Kunsthaus (2005), Venice Biennale of Architecture (2006), Barcelona Design Museum (2008), EXPO (2008), MoMA- The Museum of Modern Art, United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (2009), and Milan Triennale (2010). For more information about the lab, please refer to http://senseable.mit.edu. Dietmar Offenhuber – Biography Dietmar Offenhuber has a background in architecture, urban studies and digital media art and is interested in the spatial aspects of cognition, representation and behavior. He holds degrees from TU Vienna and the MIT Media Lab and worked as key researcher at Ars Electronica Futurelab and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Media.Art.Research. Currently he is a Research Fellow and PhD Candiate at the Senseable City Lab in the Urban Studies and Planning Departement at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His work has been shown, among other places, at ZKM Karlsruhe, Ars Electronica, the Sundance Film Festival, the Secession Vienna, the Seoul International Media Art Biennale and Arte Contemporaneo, Madrid.

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