(10/2008) This blog will be documenting the process and findings from the PhD research undertaken by Klaus Birk at the University of the Arts London, Research Unit for Information Environments, under the supervision of Prof. Teal Triggs. Here is a short description of the subject and aims:

Built Information: Visual Communication
in Digitally Augmented Public Space

Research Objective
Development of cross-disciplinary design methods to create information spaces
going beyond the «surface as electronic screen»-paradigm.

Subject Area
Organisation and design of spatial structures are typical subjects in architectural disciplines. However, with the advent of digital technology such as real-time feedback networks or mediated façades, the communicative potentials of architecture need to be recapitulated not only as an additional surface layer, but a new level of defining and creating space.

In recent years, design related literature in the field has mainly been documenting interactive or mediated architecture by descriptions of built outcomes.
However, what is missing is a discussion of possible transdisciplinary methodologies and practices to approach communication design problems in such augmented spaces.

Aims and Objectives
This PhD will focus on the new communicative paradigms emerging from mediated architectural space. The aim is to identify a theoretical framework and methodology reflecting the hybrid nature of virtual/real information spaces. This will serve as a base for developing suitable communicative design concepts in such environments.

Key questions
How do we «read» mediated public environments? What are possible methodical consequences for design practice in such spaces.

Writings by Robert Venturi, W.J. Mitchell and Manuel Castells will be initially framing a theoretical context.

Klaus Birk

Klaus received a Diploma in Communication Design/Digital Media from the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design, Kiel, Germany and holds an M.A. in Typo-/Graphic Studies from the London College of Communication. He has been working as a designer and art director in Germany and the UK. As an assistant professor he was teaching information design and design theory at Zurich University of the Arts (ZhdK).
Currently he is working as a design director for intuity media lab Stuttgart, where he is focusing on ambient interface concepts and corporate interaction design. Additionally, he is an associate lecturer for graphic and media design at several Universities in Germany.

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