Urban Informatics » From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen (MIT Press 2011)

From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen:
Urban Informatics, Social Media, Ubiquitous Computing, and Mobile Technology to Support Citizen Engagement

Edited by

Marcus Foth, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Laura Forlano, Cornell University, USA
Christine Satchell, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Martin Gibbs, University of Melbourne, Australia

Web 2.0 tools, including blogs, wikis, and photo sharing and social networking sites, have made possible a more participatory Internet experience. Much of this technology is available for mobile phones, where it can be integrated with such device-specific features as sensors and GPS. From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen examines how this increasingly open, collaborative, and personalizable technology is shaping not just our social interactions but new kinds of civic engagement with cities, communities, and spaces. It offers analyses and studies from around the world that explore how the power of social technologies can be harnessed for social engagement in urban areas.

Chapters by leading researchers in the emerging field of urban informatics outline the theoretical context of their inquiries, describing a new view of the city as a hybrid that merges digital and physical worlds; examine technology-aided engagement involving issues of food, the environment, and sustainability; explore the creative use of location-based mobile technology in cities from Melbourne, Australia, to Dhaka, Bangladesh; study technological innovations for improving civic engagement; and discuss design research approaches for understanding the development of sentient real-time cities, including interaction portals and robots.

The MIT Press

Foth, M., Forlano, L., Satchell, C., & Gibbs, M. (Eds.) (2011). From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen: Urban Informatics, Social Media, Ubiquitous Computing, and Mobile Technology to Support Citizen Engagement. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

7 x 9 • 544 pp. • 108 illus. • ISBN 978-0-262-01651-3 • US$50.00 • cloth

About the Editors

Marcus Foth, Founder and Director of the Urban Informatics Research Lab, is Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow with the Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation at Queensland University of Technology. Laura Forlano is a Postdoctoral Associate at Cornell University. Christine Satchell is Senior Research Fellow at the Urban Informatics Research Lab. Martin Gibbs is a Lecturer in the Department of Information Systems at the University of Melbourne.

For more information visit the MIT Press website: http://mitpress.mit.edu/9780262016513 or QUT eprints >

Section 1: Theories of Engagement

Foreword
Phoebe Sengers, Cornell University, USA

1. The Ideas and Ideals in Urban Media Theory
Martijn de Waal, University of Groningen, NL

2. The Moral Economy of Social Media
Paul Dourish, University of California, Irvine, USA, & Christine Satchell, QUT, Australia

3. The Protocological Surround: Reconceptualising Radio and Architecture in the Wireless City
Gillian Fuller, & Ross Harley, University of NSW, Australia

4. Mobile Media and the Strategies of Urban Citizenship: Control, Responsibilisation, Politicisation
Kurt Iveson, University of Sydney, Australia

Section 2: Civic Engagement

Foreword
Yvonne Rogers, Open University, UK

5. Advancing Design for Sustainable Food Cultures
Jaz Hee-jeong Choi, QUT, & Eli Blevis, Indiana University, USA

6. Building Digital Participation Hives: Toward a Local Public Sphere
Fiorella de Cindio, & Cristian Peraboni, University of Milano, Italy

7. Between Experience, Affect, and Information: Experimental Urban Interfaces in the Climate Change Debate
Jonas Fritsch, & Martin Brynskov, Aarhus University, Denmark

8. More than Friends: Social and Mobile Media for Activist Organizations
Tad Hirsch, Intel People and Practices Research, USA

9. Gardening Online: A Tale of Suburban Informatics
Bjorn Nansen, Jon Pearce, & Wally Smith, University of Melbourne, Australia

10. The Rise of the Expert Amateur: Citizen Science and Micro-Volunteerism
Eric Paulos, Sunyoung Kim, & Stacey Kuznetsov, Carnegie Mellon University, USA

Section 3: Creative Engagement

Foreword
Gary Marsden, University of Cape Town, South Africa

11. Street Haunting: Sounding the Invisible City
Sarah Barns, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

12. Family Worlds: Technological Engagement for Families Negotiating Urban Traffic
Hilary Davis, Peter Francis, Bjorn Nansen, & Frank Vetere, University of Melbourne, Australia

13. Urban Media: New Complexities, New Possibilities — A Manifesto
Christopher Kirwan, & Sven Travis, Parsons — The New School for Design, USA

14. Bjørnetjeneste: Using the City as a Backdrop for Location-Based Interactive Narratives
Jeni Paay, & Jesper Kjeldskov, Aalborg University, Denmark

15. Mobile Interactions as Social Machines: Poor Urban Youth at Play in Bangladesh
Andrew Wong, & Richard Ling, Telenor Research & Innovation, Malaysia

Section 4: Technologies of Engagement

Foreword
Atau Tanaka, Newcastle University, UK

16. Sensing, Projecting and Interpreting Digital Identity through Bluetooth: From Anonymous Encounters to Social Engagement
Ava Fatah gen. Schieck 1, Freya Palmer 2, Alan Penn 1, & Eamonn O’Neill 2
1 University College London, UK, 2 University of Bath, UK

17. The Policy and Export of Ubiquitous Place: Investigating South Korean U‐Cities
Germaine Halegoua, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

18. Engaging Citizens and Community with the UBI-Hotspots
Timo Ojala, Hannu Kukka, Tommi Heikkinen, Tomas Lindén, Marko Jurmu, Simo Hosio, & Fabio Kruger, University of Oulu, Finland

19. Crowdsensing in the Web: Analyzing the Citizen Experience in the Urban Space
Francisco C. Pereira, Andrea Vaccari, Fabien Giardin, Carnaven Chiu, & Carlo Ratti, Senseable City Lab, MIT, USA

20. Empowering Urban Communities through Social Commonalities
Laurianne Sitbon, Peter Bruza, Renato Iannella, & Sarath Indrakanti, National ICT Australia

Section 5: Design Engagement

Foreword
Mark Blythe, University of York, UK

21. A Streetscape Portal
Michael Arnold, University of Melbourne, Australia

22. Nonanthropocentrism and the Nonhuman in Design: Possibilities for Designing New Forms of Engagement with and through Technology
Carl DiSalvo, & Jonathan Lukens, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

23. Building the Open Source City: Changing Work Environments for Collaboration and Innovation
Laura Forlano, Cornell University, USA

24. Dramatic Character Development Personas to Tailor Apartment Designs for Different Residential Lifestyles
Marcus Foth, Christine Satchell, Mark Bilandzic, Greg Hearn, & Danielle Shelton, QUT, Australia

Epilogue

Judith Donath, MIT, USA

Posted via email from Expanded Memory

Social Cities of Tomorrow » International conference 17 February 2012, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Using digital media technologies for collective urban issues

Our everyday lives are increasingly shaped by digital media technologies, from smart cards and intelligent GPS systems to social media and smartphones. How can we use digital media technologies to make our cities more social, rather than just more hi-tech?

This international conference brings together key thinkers and doers working in the fields of new media and urbanism. Keynote speakers such as Usman Haque, Natalie Jeremijenko will speak about the promises and challenges in this newly emerging and highly interdisciplinary field of urban design. The keynotes will be accompanied by presentations of ‘best practices’ from various disciplines, such as architecture, art, design, and policy.

Posted via email from Expanded Memory

MIT TechTV – Changing research

mit_changing_research

Some more pecha kucha presentations on “Changing research”
from the Forum on Future Cities.

Posted via email from Expanded Memory

Conference Review: Media Architecture Biennale 2010

Meso: Siemens Stern des Südens. www.meso.net

Meso: Siemens Stern des Südens

Conferences in the field of architecture or design sometimes tend to be a bit pretentious. Often, they contain a series of more or less enthusiastic project presentations and rather civilized (if at all) Q&A sessions mixed with a fair bit of self-presentation.

Well, usually.
The Media Architecture Biennale 2010 taking place last week in Vienna was however different to this general notion. Starting with the line-up the organizers Gernot Tscherteu, Martin Tomitsch and Oliver Schürer of the Media Architecture Institute managed to put together, the series of speakers and workshops covered quite a broad range of topics related to the growing field of Media Architecture. The program was structured along diverse conference panels with lectures and follow-up discussions, as well as a series of parallel workshops allowing for focused presentation and conversation. The conference was casual/relaxed in the best sense – good networking opportunities in a friendly atmosphere.

Certainly one of the main and recurring aspects that continuously came into discussion was the question of “content” in a range of facettes and semantic meanings. Obviously, the problem of content creation and civic relevance of media in urban environments was already a centerpiece of earlier discussions in the field (see Media Facades Festival Berlin 2008 ). However, many presenters highlighted the lack of strategies for creating and designing mediated architectural space that is engaging and contextualizing.

During a panel named “P.U.S.H. – Public Urban Space Hub”, Gregory Beck from AIA for example made a point for what he called “experience architecture”. He highlighted that media architecture is communication, not just mere illumination. It is about storytelling, not hardware. And different to many urban screen and billboard applications, media architecture needs to be integrated into physical existence of architectural structures.
Thomas Grechenig from TU Vienna focused on infrastructural aspects of smart cities. “People not only inhabit physical buildings, but live in  connected resource spaces”.Think of smart grids, concepts of power sharing and energy awareness, as well as shared mobility networks etc. This opens up a range of opportunities for ambient interactive environments in urban space, in which the individual is McLuhan’s medium as both a producer and consumer. Of course, this interconnectedness triggers questions of privacy and surveillance. But any new space needs to redefine these privacy borders.

Alex Haw, AtmosStudio, in this sense likes to refer to the term “Ambiveillance”, which he has explored artistically in LightHive, an interactive installation mapping real-time activities across the AA and its potential for productive community building. In their projects, Atmos focus on an artistic staging of interactive experiences: “If spaces resist instant comprehension, they stay more interesting in a permanent context”. For him, many public installations stay too blunt and shallow. Atmos is involved in “The Cloud” project, the London 2012 Media Zone and “pixel accumulation”, mapping many aspects of the site of the olympic games, such as weather, traffic, demographic info etc.

Dietmar Offenhuber of MIT’s Senseable City Lab presented the Labs vision of how the digital networks and infrastructures of our cities have value that goes beyond their original purpose. In anticipatory research projects, the Lab uses cellular networks to reveal social and economic patterns ( CurrentCity ), miniaturized location tags to highlight global flows of trash ( TrashTrack ),autonomous self-organizing light objects to create freeform objects ( FlyFire ) and hybrid electric bicycles with environmental sensors to address a city’s pollution and traffic problems ( Copenhagen Wheel ). For Offenhuber, the city is a civic body – and institutions should adopt and invest in digital infrastructure and smart tech as means for community services and communication.

The second panel on friday (M.U.S.E. – Media urbanism, smart & green city, environmental sustainability) Norbert Streitz shed some light on what he called “smart hybrid urban environments”. For him, many projects in the field of digital urban environments lack human representation or participation. He suggested a re-conceptualization of the idea of sustainability, that might shift from media as spectacle to media as collective system to control macro scale responsive environments. Small, bottom-up projects instead of top-down approaches will develop user-adoption of an urban digital environment that is moving from mobile devices to becoming the interface itself. The question stays however how much feedback we want.

Terreform One: Smart DOTS + Soft MOBS: NY 2028 Environmental Mobility

Terreform One: Smart DOTS + Soft MOBS: NY 2028 Environmental Mobility

Maria Aiolova of Terreform One showed scenarios of how the metropolis of the future could be built on symbiotic strategies and how design, computer science, structural engineering and biology can from new processes to define urban ecology and mobility of the future.
Zumtobel’s Bernd Clauß presented the company’s current solutions in integrative lighting technology, being able to be incorporated seamlessly into a complete building’s architectural facades while using less energy than a hairdryer.

StandardVision: City of Dreams, Macau

StandardVision: City of Dreams, Macau

The reactive architectural light installations of Adrian Veliescue of StandardVision, such as the City Of Dreams (Macau), the first installation using multiple buildings as a canvas, were impressive in scale and technology. However, they seemed a bit de-placed in a session on sustainability and smarter green cities.

Personally, I was quite curious on the CO.CO.ON session ( Construction, Content, Social Online Interaction). Hosted by Stefan Hofmann of Lichtwerke, which included engineering and artistic design methods and media usability / users as some of its main topics.

AEC Facade Terminal from Dan Wilcox on Vimeo.

Stefan Mittlböck-Jungwirth-Föhringer presented some of his work at the Ars Electronica Future Lab, specifically on external and internal signage and information systems ( Unit M for WIFISAP Source Code ) as well as simulation tooling and interfacing with media architecture, e.g. the new Ars Electronica Center Media Facade. Interfacing simplicity: people can manipulate the “pulse” of the facade with their own heartbeat, or simply use their ipod/iphone’s music / camera to interact with the architectural visualizations. “People find out how it works by themselves.”

Public interactive landscape ‘Dune 4.2′ from Daan Roosegaarde on Vimeo.

Daan Roosegaarde, interactive artist, creates interactive sculptures adressing the dynamic relations between architecture, people and e-culture. In his presentation, he eloquently stressed the term “techno poetry” as a concept to use (social) technology as a tool to engage with people. They need to be able to plug into the concept of an installation. For Roosegaarde, such engagement can only happen if installations are both mirror AND display, reactive AND communicative. An interesting side note on two reasons why for example his “dune 4.2” project in Rotterdam worked as a piece:
1. There was a maintenance contract. 2. It was built on the participation of civilians.

Adaptive fa[CA]de from marilena on Vimeo.

Marilena Skavara of Microhappy used her recent “Adaptive Fa[ca]de” to talk about how context awareness and concepts of mimicking can be applied to create sustainable aesthetics. Based on cellular automata and parametric processes, she suggested these concepts as a form of relational contextualization and abstraction of surfaces, being an ambient and responsive regulator between outside and inside.

In terms of social relevance, identification and adaption of mediated architectural structures, for me the Indemann project by Mark Maurer and ag4 represented an interesting focal point of the continuous discussion about media architecture, relevance and content. As an intentional landmark and object of identification for not only a community, but a whole multinational region, the Indemann shows that Media Architecture can be more than lighting technology, or ornament, or sensation. It is about communication, including the immediate environment, but also aspects of regional culture and identification.
During the closing panel discussion, Kas Oosterhuis questioned if media architecture could/should be regarded as a soundtrack. Personally, I doubt this, as “soundtrack” implies a somehow passive and consumerist attitude in perceiving urban media. I am convinced that media architecture needs to be inclusive, not sensational in the first place. We need to work on sets of tools, systems and techniques to understand and operate architecture and media as a compound entity. So Oosterhuis’ suggestion of staging diverse aspects of users, use and content as the subject of the next Media Architecture Biennale seems more than welcome to me.

Some more interesting links, topics, workshops:

Content Development Strategies for Media Facades
Sebastian Oschatz – Meso

Face to Face. The Rhetoric Functions of Media Architecture
Vera Bühlmann – ETH Zurich
Susanne Seitinger – MIT Fluid Interface Group
Michael Shamiyeh – DOM Researchlab Kunstuniversität Linz
Jens Geelhaar – Bauhaus University Weimar

The event’s official press review can be downloaded here

Media Architecture Biennale 2010, Vienna

Transformation of urban, public space by media architecture.

“Media Architecture Biennale 2010 comprises an exhibition, a conference and workshops, which are closely coordinated. Some of the projects on exhibit are discussed in the context of the conference. Topics of the conference are illustrated by objects on exhibition. Events are planned so that they offer the best possible framework for the discussion of current topics, for getting to know each other and for the development of project ideas.
It is planed to hold the event bi-annually in Vienna in the future.”

Posted via email from Expanded Memory

Helping Hands

While searching for a flexible yet powerful way to collect, document and organize all the bibliographic content I will be stumbling over during future research, I came across a few nifty tools.

DEVONthink

DEVONthink

The first is DEVONthink, a really clever piece of software “designed to manage and keep in order all those disparate pieces of information so important to your work or studies.”

DEVONthink stores your documents, scanned papers, email messages, notes, bookmarks, etc. in one place. Access live web pages seamlessly from within DEVONthink to review, extract further information.

Create RTF documents, edit them in full screen, and cross-reference. Clip data from other applications using drag-and-drop, Services, or the Dock menu.

Search, classify and show relationships between your documents — automatically and language-independent, with the help of Artificial Intelligence.

Share your knowledge using the built-in web server on the local network, over the Internet, and via iPhone.

Especially the drag-/drop functionality and the neat integration of all sorts of data-formats make this application really easy and fun to use. The built-in fulltext search and the suggestion of contextual search results make devonthink the weapon of choice for organizing and referencing your literature-reviews, as well as preparing paper-outlines. Here is a well-described use example of DevonThink as a research system.

Zotero. A Firefox extension.

Zotero. A Firefox extension.

Another quite useful tool in terms of keeping proper bibliographic references as you go is Zotero. I have just started using this little Firefox extension, but it seems to work really well recognizing bibliographic information on library websites or online book stores. Great features such as tagging and note-taking for your references, as well as good integration with other word processing through export functionalities (bibtex,  biblX, …) and plug-ins. One could even use this FF add-on alone to store other research material like pdfs, images, text-documents etc., simply by attaching them to related bibliographic entries. Very clever.