Augmenting Design Research: Investigating Public Space With Mobile Sensor Data


Session Title:

  • City, Public Space and Mobile Technologies

Presentation Title:

  • Augmenting Design Research: Investigating Public Space With Mobile Sensor Data




  • Session: City, Public Space and Mobile Technologies

    This report is part of the research project called “Public Space 2.0”. Here, we provide a more clear-cut view for artists and researchers working in the realm of public space on “what is out there”. In presenting mapping techniques informed by technological solutions, we intend to introduce the personal perspective – really a 2.0 approach – to urban studies.

    Does urban public space still serve the purpose of housing civic activities of today? The “disassembling of existing logics”, as Saskia Sassen calls it, may have to be read as an ongoing unsettling of the former urban order. Meanwhile, under the umbrella of far-reaching, invisible network technologies, civic capacities are being aroused rather spontaneously. Hence, the plain occasion of physically meeting with a foreigner (the other as non-homogeneous instance) claiming citizenship of the same place, summarizes one of the most crucial design challenges of today.

    Public space comprises a multitude of data and media layers that do cause people to agglutinate to groups around invisible attractors. To provide a basic mapping of civic resources is what is intended with the agent. By attaching mobile sensors to human agents the subjective individual experience of the user is included in the perceived data. By moving towards or away, or lingering at places while rushing through others, it is expected to learn a lot more than by using data from a static sensor.

    It is crucial to select appropriate sensors for mobile use on human agents among the vast variety of available ones. Contingent upon the sensor, where to place it is of equal importance. The same applies naturally for groups of sensors. Additionally, a connection to data storage and communication with the possibility to reorganize information in a collaborative 2.0 manner is required. We show our approach in melting together user and sensors and the DIY possibilities in order to include a large number of people in our search for data.

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