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Proceedings of the 3rd Conference on Media Architecture Biennale (2016)
Joel Fredericks, Luke Hespanhol & Martin Tomitsch
The 21st century city is faced with a myriad of social, political and environmental complexities. The increasing global urbanisation puts pressure on the various spheres of government as well as on citizens to continuously redefine and manage public assets and spaces – often built for social contexts that no longer exist. While top-down approaches have arguably failed to engage and motivate communities in meaningful ways, bottom-up initiatives have also proved difficult in promoting lasting impact on official policies. The democratisation of digital technologies provides new opportunities for citizens to organise themselves around local issues. These complexities galvanise communities around a civic debate about the present and future identity of the places they live in. Yet, it is still fairly challenging to balance community expectations, on one hand, with transparency regarding the complex decision-making processes inherent to public administration, on the other. In this paper, we present common approaches to placemaking. We then discuss new forms of digital placemaking and illustrate their application through four interventions we ran to investigate digital technology adoption for community engagement initiatives. Based on those scenarios, we investigate: (1) the shifting role of digital technologies as tools employed by individual groups to create placemaking initiatives, and (2) media interventions that inform and bring decision makers at the top, and citizens at the bottom together into more collaborative and focused city making efforts.
Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design (2007)
Paay, J., Dave, B., & Howard, S.
As built environments become increasingly hybrid physical, social, and digital spaces, the intersecting issues of spatial context, sociality, and pervasive digital technologies need to be understood when designing for interactions in these hybrid spaces. Architectural and interaction designers need a mechanism that provides them with an understanding of the `sociality- places-bits' nexus. Using a specific urban setting as an analytical case study, we present a methodology to capture this nexus in a form that designers of hybrid spaces can effectively apply as a tool to augment digitally sociality in a built environment.
New Media & Society (2011)
Eric Gordon & Edith Manosevitch
The goal of this article is two-fold: to introduce the concept of augmented deliberation and to demonstrate its implementation in a pilot project.We look specifically at a project called Hub2. This community engagement project employed the online virtual world Second Life to augment community deliberation in the planning of a neighborhood park in Boston, Massachusetts. The local community was invited to gather in a physical space and a virtual space simultaneously, and a physical moderator and virtual designer orchestrated deliberation.This project demonstrates the design values central to augmented deliberation: (1) it is a multimedia group communication process which balances the specific affordances of digital technologies with the established qualities of face-to-face group deliberation; (2) it emphasizes the power of experience; and (3) it promotes sustainability and reproducibility through digital tracking. Augmented deliberation, when properly designed, provides a powerful mechanism to enable productive and meaningful public deliberation. The article concludes with directions for further research.
new media & society (2017)
Wyatt, D., Mcquire, S., & Butt, D.
Australia is currently rolling out one of the most expensive and ambitious infrastructure projects in the nation’s history. The National Broadband Network is promoted as a catalyst for far-reaching changes in Australia’s economy, governmental service provision, society and culture. However, it is evident that desired dividends, such as greater social engagement, enhanced cultural awareness and increased civic and political participation, do not flow automatically from mere technical connection to the network. This article argues that public institutions play a vital role in redistributing technological capacity to enable emerging forms of social and cultural participation. In particular, we examine public libraries as significant but often overlooked sites in the evolving dynamic between digital technology, new cultural practices and social relations. Drawing on interviews and fieldwork across the public library network of the state of Queensland, we attend to the strategies and approaches libraries are adopting in response to a digital culture.
New media & society (2015)
Almeida, Delicado, Alves, & Carvalho
At the dawn of modernity, in the 18th century, space became a critical category in defining generational attributes and locations. However, borders that previously tightly isolated adults and children are nowadays continuously challenged and modified by a constant and ubiquitous use of new information and communication technologies, namely the Internet, blurring notions of ‘private’ and ‘public’, ‘outdoors’ and ‘indoors’, ‘real’ and ‘virtual’. Giving voice to children, this article explores qualitative empirical data from a research project carried out in Portugal. It focuses on children as subjects and actors of these processes, especially in the way they combine ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ space and place in a geography of their own.
New media & society (1999)
This paper is based on an empirical study of users of an internet café in South east England. It picks out some of the key distinctions between internet use within domestic spaces and as a technology accessed in a public economy of consumption. The research findings are contextualized and tested against existing work on public internet access. The material derived from interviews with customers is used to explore the ways in which the internet is differently perceived, used and gendered in the public spaces of an internet café. The paper argues that public use of the internet is not just a transitional phenomenon which precedes home internet adoption. The research revealed that the internet café provided a distinct and dedicated use space which was intimately bound up in the domestic and work routines of its users.
URBAN DESIGN International (2011)
Bob Giddings, James Charlton & Margaret Horne
The article concentrates on emerging relationships between physical characteristics of urban open spaces and their uses. It draws on a combination of behaviour mapping and geographic information system (GIS) techniques - as applied to urban squares and parks in two European cities, Edinburgh (UK) and Ljubljana (Slovenia) - to reveal common patterns of behaviour that appear to be correlated with particular layouts and details. It shows actual dimensions of effective environments for one use or more of them and shows how design guidance can be arrived at, based on the particulars of the case study sites and cities. In addition, the value of this article is in exploring GIS, a tool that is currently irreplaceable in spatial analysis and planning processes for urban areas, as a detailed analytical and visualisation tool that helps to describe inner structure of places revealed by behaviour patterns.
New media & society (2010)
The current deployment of large screens in city centre public spaces requires a substantial rethinking of our understanding of the relationship of media to urban space. Drawing on a case study of the Public Space Broadcasting project launched in the UK in 2003, this article argues that large screens have the potential to play a significant role in promoting public interaction. However, the realization of this potential requires a far-reaching investigation of the role of media in the construction of complex public spaces and diverse public cultures.
Martins. Juliana, Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, London, UK
This paper examines the relationship between space and the digital industries through everyday work practices in Shoreditch, London. Drawing on interviews with digital workers, the paper examines how work unfolds in multiple settings and how the built environment supports these work patterns. Digital work extends from the office or the residence (the base) to multiple settings (ancillary spaces) in what can be defined as an extended workplace. The study identifies micro and macro scale characteristics of the built environment that are relevant (spatial characteristics of semi-public and public spaces, access and control, location, and attributes of the neighbourhood) expanding the understanding of why and how place matters for these industries. A typology of ancillary spaces and some reflections on policy implications are advanced.
New media & society (2018)
McGuire, M. L.
In this article, I challenge a focus in digital anthropology on the integration of media into everyday life. Korean queer men’s experience on geosocial applications suggests that integration is not a neutral methodology but is rather a locally negotiated concern, a management of the connection between spaces. I use the example of the sauna to illustrate that the urban structure of Seoul is frequently orientated around semi-public rooms or bang that are imagined as insulated from the rest of society. The rise of geosocial cruising applications, with their tendency to connect and unite arenas that should be kept apart, have resulted in anxiety over the exposure of men to an uncontrollable totality of social relations.
Urban Studies (2013)
In summer 2011, Israel was swept by unprecedented political protest as multiple encampments occupied streets and mass rallies were held weekly in Tel Aviv and other cities. The article focuses on the spatial politics of this protest, analysing the particular strategies it used to activise urban public space. The protest initially reflected a specific urban context and limited agenda—namely, the lack of affordable housing in Tel Aviv. However, as it materialised and expanded in public space, it also became more inclusive, incorporating more marginalised publics and places, addressing long-standing socio-spatial inequalities between Israel’s ‘centre’ and ‘periphery’, and advancing a message of ‘social justice’—with the noted exception of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. The analysis of the Israeli protest foregrounds some dynamics that it shares with other ‘global’ protests in 2011, from Tahrir Square to Occupy Wall Street, pointing to the spatial politics of centrality, multiplicity and ‘media-space’, a mutually enforcing relationship between physical public space and mainstream and social media.
New media & society (2005)
Cellphones provide a unique opportunity to examine how new media both reflect and affect the social world. This study suggests that people map their understanding of common social rules and dilemmas onto new technologies. Over time, these interactions create and reflect a new social landscape. Based upon a year-long observational field study and in-depth interviews, this article examines cellphone usage from two main perspectives: how social norms of interaction in public spaces change and remain the same; and how cellphones become markers for social relations and reflect tacit pre-existing power relations. Informed by Goffman's concept of cross talk and Hopper's caller hegemony, the article analyzes the modifications, innovations and violations of cellphone usage on tacit codes of social interactions.
New media & society (2014)
This article interrogates the emerging modes of civic engagement connected to the mobile camera-phone, and the ways in which they require us to rethink what it is to bear witness to brutality in the age of fundamentally camera-mediated mass self-publication. I argue that the camera-phone permits entirely new performative rituals of bearing witness, such as dissenting bodies en masse recording their own repression and, via wireless global communication networks, effectively mobilizing this footage as graphic testimony in a bid to produce feelings of political solidarity. Critically, the performance of what I elect to call ‘citizen camera-witnessing’, as exemplified by contemporary street opposition movements including those in Burma, Iran, Egypt, Libya and Syria, derives its potency from the ways it reactivates the idea of martyrdom: that is, from its distinct claim to truth in the name of afflicted people who put their bodies on the line to record the injustice of oppression.
New media & society (2015)
Liao, T., & Humphreys, L.
As augmented reality (AR) is becoming technologically possible and publicly available through mobile smartphone and tablet devices, there has been relatively little empirical research studying how people are utilizing mobile AR technologies and forming social practices around mobile AR. This study looks at how mobile AR can potentially mediate the everyday practices of urban life. Through qualitative interviews with users of Layar, a mobile AR browser, we found several emerging uses. First, users are creating content on Layar in ways that communicate about and through place, which shapes their relationship and interpretations of places around them. Second, we found a growing segment of users creating augmented content that historicizes and challenges the meanings of place, while inserting their own narratives of place. Studying emerging uses of AR deepens our understanding of how emerging media may complicate practices, experiences, and relationships in the spatial landscape.
New media & society (2010)
Sutko, D. M., & de Souza e Silva, A.
Location-aware mobile media allow users to see their locations on a map on their mobile phone screens. These applications either disclose the physical positions of known friends, or represent the locations of groups of unknown people. We call these interfaces eponymous and anonymous, respectively. This article presents our classification of eponymous and anonymous location-aware interfaces by investigating how these applications may require us to rethink our understanding of urban sociability, particularly how we coordinate and communicate in public spaces. We argue that common assumptions made about location-aware mobile media, namely their ability to increase one’s spatial awareness and to encourage one to meet more people in public spaces, might be fallacious due to pre-existing practices of sociability in the city. We explore these issues in the light of three bodies of theory: Goffman’s presentation of self in everyday life, Simmel’s ideas on sociability, and Lehtonen and Mäenpää’s concept of street sociability.
New media & society (2010)
The development and proliferation of mobile social networks have the potential to transform ways that people come together and interact in public space.These services allow new kinds of information to flow into public spaces and, as such, can rearrange social and spatial practices. Dodgeball is used as a case study of mobile social networks. Based on a year-long qualitative field study, this article explores how Dodgeball was used to facilitate social congregation in public spaces and begins to expand our understanding of traditional notions of space and social interaction. Drawing on the concept of parochial space, this article examines how ideas of mobile communication and public space are negotiated in the everyday practice and use of mobile social networks.
New media & society (2014)
Rodríguez-Amat, J. R.
Crowdmapping and geolocated protests form complex multilayered systems of communicated spaces and places that can only be partially grasped by the available literature. This article responds to these limitations by presenting a model for the analysis of the composition of space and place in networked geolocated activities. The model identifies the several forms of expression, opens four modes of analysis (representations, textures, structures, and connections), and allows the consideration of the communication devices involved, while highlighting the forms of power behind the social and cultural practices of protests and crowdmapping. The model is applied to the case of Voces25s, a protest action against the Spanish government’s austerity measures in September 2012, which relied heavily on interactive, networked maps. Furthermore, the raised sensitivity for space and place as forms of social (in)justice opens a fertile empirical research agenda in the area of the governance of communicative spaces.
Environment and Planning D: Society and Space (2014)
This paper develops an analytical framework to place the rise of open source urbanism in context, and develops the concept of the ‘right to infrastructure’ as expressive of new ecologies of urban relations that have come into being. It describes, first, a genealogy for open source technology, focusing in particular on how open source urban hardware projects may challenge urban theory. It moves then to describe in detail various dimensions and implications of an open source infrastructural project in Madrid. In all, the paper analyses three challenges that the development of open source urban infrastructures is posing to the institutions of urban governance and property: the evolving shape and composition of urban ecologies; the technical and design challenges brought about by open source urban projects; and the social organisation of the ‘right to infrastructure’ as a political, active voice in urban governance. In the last instance, the right to infrastructure, I shall argue, signals the rise of the ‘prototype’ as an emerging figure for contemporary sociotechnical designs in and for social theory.
New media & society (2014)
Schwartz, R., & Halegoua, G. R.
As a growing number of social media platforms now include location information from their users, researchers are confronted with new online representations of individuals, social networks, and the places they inhabit. To better understand these representations and their implications, we introduce the concept of the “spatial self”: a theoretical framework encapsulating the process of online self-presentation based on the display of offline physical activities. Building on previous studies in social science, humanities, and computer and information science, we analyze the ways offline experiences are harnessed and performed online. We first provide an encompassing interdisciplinary survey of research that investigates the relationships between location, information technology, and identity performance. Then, we identify and characterize the spatial self as well as examine its occurrences through three case studies of popular social media sites: Instagram, Facebook, and Foursquare. Finally, we offer possible research directions and methodological considerations for the analysis of geocoded social media data.
New media & society (2012)
Power, M. J., Neville, P., Devereux, E., Haynes, A., & Barnes, C.
We examine how an Irish stigmatised neighbourhood is represented by Google Street View. In spite of Google’s claims that Street View allows for ‘a virtual reflection of the real world to enable armchair exploration’ (McClendon, 2010). We show how it is directly implicated in the politics of representations. We focus on the manner in which Street View has contributed to the stigmatisation of a marginalised neighbourhood. Methodologically, we adopt a rhetorical/structuralist analysis of the images of Moyross present on Street View. While Google has said the omissions were ‘for operational reasons’, we argue that a wider social and ideological context may have influenced Google’s decision to exclude Moyross. We examine the opportunities available for contesting such representations, which have significance for the immediate and long-term future of the estate, given the necessity to attract businesses into Moyross as part of the ongoing economic aspect of the regeneration of this area.