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Bresciaclass Report Long


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In collaboration with the Province of Brescia, Italy, we aim to redesign the relationship between four elements: information, the urban space, people and institutions. First, we will innovatively …

In collaboration with the Province of Brescia, Italy, we aim to redesign the relationship between four elements: information, the urban space, people and institutions. First, we will innovatively imagine new forms of communication and services to foster learning, knowledge and social inclusion. In particular, we will investigate the use of new media and communication technologies to promote social sustainability and cultural enrichment for location-based communities. Second, we will explore innovative designs for embedding electronics into the urban fabric, as well as into the public transportation system, so that they may promote ubiquitous accessibility to information, culture and knowledge. The ultimate goal of the project is to imagine how new media and mobile technologies can increase the younger population's awareness of environmental problems, foster learning and civic engagement.

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  • 1. Brescia: Promoting Learning, Sustainability, and Civic Engagement through New Media MIT Mobile Experience Lab - Fall 2007
  • 2. An educational workshop held at the Mobile Experience Lab, part of the Design Lab under the School of Architecture and Planning, at the Mas- sachusetts Institute of Technology, in collaboration with the Provincia di Brescia, Italy, Assessorato Innovazione, Giovani e Università, in Fall 2007.
  • 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS 6 Foreword 8 Participants 10 Introduction 20 Methodology 32 Framework 46 Inspirational Material Brescia Project Table of Contents
  • 4. 62 Design Interventions 66 Brescia 2.0 82 EcoPets 98 Reconfigured Bus 108 EcoWearables 120 Conclusions 124 References 128 Acknowledgements 5
  • 5. Brescia Project Foreword
  • 6. FOREWORD THE INTERACTION between individu- to the potential for the successful evolution of vices to the people, and to consider the public civic participation through new media. What transport system –inseparable from the urban, als, communities and institutions takes place is at stake is nothing less than the meaning of social and economic fabric of the city- as a in multiple contexts within a territory: public public space in the age of wireless technolo- suitable environment for the convergence of spaces and civic buildings give shelter to gies and augmented architectures. ubiquitous accessibility to digital information collective activities and physical presence to and participatory involvement of the com- institutions, public transportation systems Considering these elements, we ask: What will munities across Brescia’s territory. It became allow people to traverse a territory following be the future of public space? How will trans- apparent that this convergence is a powerful certain patterns, and internet and cell phone port systems make use of mobile technologies argument for attracting young population networks enable communication between to become a rich experience of encounters, into a hybrid space of community-building distant actors via personal computers and participation, learning and play? How will mo- and participation. Furthermore, a system that wireless mobile devices. Our project inves- bile wireless devices change the way people relates the public transport infrastructure with tigates the potential of a dialogue between navigate the city as well as access, produce emerging communication technologies in an these sub-systems to generate new kinds of and share information and goods? open and accessible way has the potential to urban experience, and new platforms for civic promote awareness of sustainable practices at engagement, participation and learning. The content of this report is based on the non-explicit levels, far from the pamphlet or educational design workshop “Learning the sermon. Our starting premise is that the interaction Sustainability: Promoting Learning and Civic between people and institutions is a rich Engagement through New Media”, held at the Defining a dynamic relationship between dialogue that encompasses multiple modes of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Design people, transportation and information, trig- communication (among individuals, between Lab, Fall 2007. MAS 551, in collaboration with gers a complex series of mutual effects that individual and community, and between Provincia di Brescia, Italy. This report, more require the design of the system to be tackled communities). This premise led us to project than a linear account of the workshop, should from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, the government’s presence in the Province of serve as an instrument to “think with” that from product and interface design to com- Brescia as an open platform for socio-cultural reflects the results of the collective efforts of puter science, architecture and sociology. The and economic encounter, rather than as a both MIT and the Provincia di Brescia. synergistic overlap of these elements relates distant source that delivers contents and ser- 7
  • 7. Brescia Project Participants
  • 8. PARTICIPANTS Class Instructors Federico Casalegno William J. Mitchell Course Collaborators Orkan Telhan Sebastian (Guz) Gutmann Students Colleen Kaman, Comparative Media Studies, MIT Lorenza Parisi, Sociology, Visiting Student, MIT Bo Stjerne Thomsen, Architecture, Research Fellow, MIT Daniel Cardoso, Design and Computation, MIT Michelle Petersen, Architecture, MIT Anthony Rizos, Urban Studies and Planning, MIT Solomon Bisker, Computer Science, MIT Joseph Brown, Mechanical Engineering, MIT Mingxi Li, Massachusetts College of Art and Design Zijian Li, Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design 9
  • 9. Brescia Project Introduction
  • 11. SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY expert Chris engagement and learning. On one hand ex- ists the risk of increasing the so-called digital The interaction between these actors is a Zegras describes public transport systems as divide; but, on the other, exists the opportu- subject worthy of design and debate, and is one of many “subsystems” that a city is made nity to design interfaces that allow people to the driving concern of this investigation. Each of . Transport systems provide people with perceive and navigate the city while accessing of the proposals presented tackles a particular mobility, but other sub-systems like Internet the available electronic resources, and per- aspect of this interaction. As indicated above, and cell phone networks provide mobility haps creating and sharing new resources in a comprehensive design solution that fosters to information. The interplay between mov- novel and playful ways. a novel dialogue between the public transport ing people and ubiquitous digital informa- and wireless network infrastructures can be tion allowed by new technologies results in a This broad understanding lays out a working expected to enrich the urban experience, and revised notion of transportation, where a new framework for the manipulation of new media to increase both civic engagement and learn- set of actors needs to be considered among alongside common architectural and design ing in the Province of Brescia. Our understand- the old ones: 1) the bus, a public transporta- tools, while dismantling conventional-wisdom ing of civic engagement is thus broadened by tion device that acts also as a place for social disciplinary barriers that very often constrain a our view of technology as a bridge between encounters, access to information, sightseeing design approach to predictable solutions. The the collective realm of public space, travel and and travel; 2) the bus station, a physical space expression “augmented architecture”, used physical mobility and the individual realm of where passengers wait for the bus, access by Lev Manovich to refer to the specific case wireless personal media, data transmission information, rest and communicate; 3) the in- of interactive information display surfaces in and wearable computing. formation infra-structure, comprising both the buildings, serves us as a scaffold for the more intangible wireless networks and the devices general “augmented city”, or for our particu- Ubiquitous and pervasive access to informa- that connect to them (such as mobile phones, lar case in Brescia: an “augmented province”, tion reconfigure not only the way people portable and wearable computers, and build- where inhabitants interface with other in- perceive and travel through the territory, but ings); 4) the people, young and old, that uses habitants, with their communities, and with also the way people form societies, belong to the system, each with different needs and the larger scope of the province through new communities and access the resources that desires; 5) the province’s territory, as a politi- media. The virtual space defined by intangible the city offers. This is a fundamental aspect in cal and administrative entity, and as a cultural networks is superimposed to the physical the design of a system geared towards civic and social environment. Brescia Project Introduction
  • 12. as an ecology of user-generated information These are not only a central part of the system territory of the province, creating an environ- travel and display across the Province of Bres- but they define new ways of mobility within ment of an entirely different nature. A new cia; (2) as a system of sub-cultures that clash, the city context. Techno-pessimists, rebels form of city topology (Mitchell, “e-topia”). play, compete and learn within the province, against the future, think of a dark universe (3) as a system of static and mobile spaces that where users, prisoners of the electric virtual The MIT Mobile Experience Lab takes a mul- enable the configuration of social and eco- sphere, tend to confine themselves in the tidisciplinary approach at understanding nomic exchanges, as well as learning and play, golden cages of the electronic bits and to be people’s experiences using wireless commu- and (4) as a system where the communication disconnected from the physical world. From a nication technologies, while exploring how between the individual and the collective different perspective -the one we put forward- mobile media impact societies, communities realms is channeled through clothes and the the always increasing presence of digital infor- and spaces. When designing a system that body itself. mation available in a wide variety of physical is to operate in such an environment, the places has the potential to enhance them correlation between the territory, the digital The main design proposals, as detailed in the and enrich them; the environment becomes a information and the people is crucial. Mobil- following pages, are: real interface of mobility, a connective tissue, ity happens equally from a physical and from where digital location-specific information a cognitive point of view. As Gregory Bateson 1_Brescia 2.0 enriches people’s experience of their naviga- had begun to realize, we are not fully con- 2_EcoPets tion through the city. tained within our skins, and our extended 3_Reconfigured Bus networks and fragmented habitats make us 4_EcoWearables Keeping in mind these aspects, this report spatially and temporally indefinite entities: de- considers the potential of new technologies signing from this standpoint implies giving co- and design strategies to promote learning and herence to a system that includes elements of civic engagement in the province of Brescia, very different sorts. In this system, the super- and makes several specific design proposals. imposition of the physical territory with the digital information is central. We deal with a In doing so, it puts forward the following dif- superimposition and not with a mutual exclu- ferent perspectives of Brescia’s civic realm: (1) sion between physical and electronic spaces. 13
  • 13. 1_Brescia 2.0 An infrastructure of virtual services localized around bus stops and buses can act as an open platform for content generation and sharing, building bonds within communities, and –by intelligently propagating these con- tents- connecting otherwise distant communi- ties. Brescia Project Introduction
  • 14. 2_EcoPets A system of personal interactive accessories for distributed pollution monitoring, social networking and transportation can foster play and healthy competition among the young, turning sustainable practices into status sym- bols. 15
  • 15. 3_Reconfigured Bus By reshaping the experience of the bus trav- eler in Brescia through electronic games and displays and a re-configuration of its physical space, we can make transportation a more social and playful event, suitable for learning and play. Brescia Project Introduction
  • 16. 4_EcoWearables Responsive tattoos and bracelets can reshape the dialogue between the bearer and its environment, while opening avenues for new kinds of social interaction. 17
  • 17. Conclusions The evolution of the public space in cities and territories has yet to embrace the potential of new emergent technologies to enhance the participatory dialogue between people and institutions. Designing for the new urban topologies generated by the convergence of wireless networks and the physical structure of a territory requires discussion and cross-dis- ciplinary debate. Taken together, the propos- als presented here can produce a more flex- ible, agile, responsive environment that takes full advantage of the new possibilities opened up by current technologies to foster learning and civic engagement. Brescia Project Introduction
  • 18. 19
  • 19. Brescia Project Methodology
  • 20. METHODOLOGY 21
  • 21. THE EDUCATIONAL design workshop Students were from very different cultural backgrounds speaking English, Spanish, Ger- “Learning Sustainability: Promoting Learning man, Italian, Turkish, Chinese, and French. and Civic Engagement through New Media”, Moreover, the workshop is not curriculum took place during the 2007 Fall academic se- based but focused on a project-based educa- mester at MIT’s Mobile Experience Lab. Below tional approach. Critical to this project is the is a descriptive summary of how we formed construction of a core design team because the class team for the workshop, the class dy- as the project grows the students’ participa- namics and, finally the collaborative learning tion also changes based on academic require- environment we used to run the workshop. ments. The core team of the MIT Mobile Expe- rience Lab ( frames the 1_The Team design process by functioning as socialization agent by introducing new team members Choosing committed students with the about our design methodology. Student proper skills and talent to achieve the proj- selection allows us to form a highly motivated ects’ goals is a crucial step to set up effective multidisciplinary, multicultural and multilin- collaborative learning environments. One of gual team that maintains a high energy level the strengths of MIT Mobile Experience Lab throughout the course of the project. classes is the multidisciplinary composition of research groups. This diversity provides the 2_The Class flexibility to integrate not only students from different departments, but also emphasize Problem Definition cross-generational, cross-cultural collabora- In collaboration with representatives of the tion. We had very flexible credit requirements Province of Brescia, prior to start the work- that allowed a wide variety of students, shop, we defined the objectives, as well as the ranging from freshman to upperclassman to methodology and the collaboration strategy Masters to Doctoral and, finally, Post-Docs. Brescia Project Methodology
  • 22. to achieve them during the design workshop. In our first class session we described the The Mobile Experience Lab as well as the Prov- structure of the design workshop, focus, and ince, have done lot of research on this domain: educational goals. We then asked perspec- creating a common knowledge background tive students to submit a short essay and their first, and, secondly, collaborating during the resume, and we completed the recruiting problem setting was a key factor to achieve process with face-to-face interviews. good results during the design workshop. We 3rd Step : Course Structure then started the workshop following the steps described below: In addition to formal class sessions every Monday, from 2.30 p.m. to 5 p.m., we also had 1st Step: Reaching Out to Multiple occasional Wednesday dinners —an informal Disciplines way to discuss ongoing projects and research. The class setting shifted as we alternated lec- The first step is to publicize and communicate tures with group work, student presentations, our design workshop within MIT and Harvard, discussions and reviews. Representatives of making sure to cover different departments, the Province of Brescia were constantly in- including the MIT School of Architecture and volved during all the workshop phases, regu- Planning and the Harvard Graduate School larly interacting with students and faculty, of Design, various Engineering Departments being present at key moments of the work- at MIT, the MIT Sloan School of Management, shop and through remote communication and the MIT Media Lab. We also had an “as- otherwise. Their support was extremely valu- sisted recruiting” system: faculty involved in able before, during and after the workshop. the project recommended talented students Collaboration happens via online web-based with particular skills in their respective depart- platform, but also via face-to-face meetings, in ments for the class before the term began. Boston and in Brescia. 2nd Step: Selection 23
  • 23. Class Instructors and give directions for further work The goal is to evaluate the work done and to set the goals Their role is to dispense knowledge, but also before the final deliverable. to set up the overall goal of the class, set deadlines, frame the class, set the agenda for Work Time, Casual Work, Informal the class and set the guiding line for the proj- Meetings ect, both conceptually and administratively. This is a form of collaboration where students Expert Lectures work together in small groups. Casual meet- ings, not formally structured, but intense, free Similar to guest lectures, with the only dif- for brainstorming, for individual and groups. ference that they provide industry’s point of Fostering Peer-to-peer learning and group dy- views on the design problems. namics, informal communication and generat- Charettes or Collaborative Design Ses- ing social capital. sions Site Visit Fully intensive collaboration among students. In order for the workshop members to ap- The goal is to tackle a particular problem in propriately respond to the specificities of a multidisciplinary way. It is a very intensive the province of Brescia, visiting the city and focused innovation process. External Reviews traveling across the territory of the province Presentations of students work: it is important is crucial. The goal is to gain a deeper under- to have comments and to present the latest standing of the site, understood as the physi- developments of the projects to the entire cal, social and cultural environment of the learning community and engage a construc- province. The visit also serves as an important tive dialogue. Students are asked to synthesize check point for the design, key to adjust and their work and present their ideas in a cohe- caliber the design strategies in the light of the sive manner. Reviews are an efficient way to real conditions of the site. A series of meet- import knowledge from outside, to evaluate Brescia Project Methodology
  • 24. posters and students were able to inform the ings with province’s representatives introduce class on their topics and collect comments students to the policies and programs that are and insights from the learning community. Af- currently implemented across the province ter the class discussion, posters were exposed in terms of transportation, sustainability, and in our studio space to populate the space with media, and become an important point of en- ideas and to be inspiration material for further counter between the initial ideas put forward iteration, discussions and projects. by the province and the solutions provided by the workshop. A series of trips within the city Silent Spaces and to different cities are devised to gain a col- lective breadth of knowledge of the province. Leave space for reflection and thinking. De- sign doesn’t’ happens mechanically, idea and Posters creativity needs time for sedimentation, reflec- tion, distractions, it is very difficult to have One of the techniques we used is a poster- “eureka moments” without time for reflection. based presentation. Lots of the sessions were brainstorm-oriented and students were asked 3_Collaborative Learning to, first, collect the information and then formalize this knowledge. Secondly, during Environment and Tools class, they were asked to do some group work divided and re-define the information they In order to foster learning and enhance com- just collected. Then, as an assignment, they munity, we use a variety of different tools, were asked to work together in order synthe- methodologies and educational software to size and formalize it by visualizing on big scale work, communicate, design and illustrate our posters. Posters were then discussed with the work during the course of a workshop. entire class and also with occasional extended group (like, visitors on the Lab). During the Studio Space class discussion, walls were covered with these A flexible and open physical place for interac- 25
  • 25. tion provides a home for the project. Here we educational environment that complements had regular meetings and lunches. The studio the physical infrastructure of the institute. The space at the Mobile Experience Lab fosters Stellar site for the workshop supports design multiple kinds of interaction and knowledge and discussion activities for the students, sharing. The Studio is open and accessible to staff, and faculty. More than merely delivering students, and it became a second home for online content, the system includes mecha- the learning community. First, we set up the nisms for producing, managing, sharing and studio as a place for collaboration in order to adding value to these intellectual materials. create excitement about this ongoing design During the semester, the learning community workshop. Second, unexpected experts from used the Stellar site to share files, upload and different fields and disciplines often visit the download documents, build a mailing list, studio and enrich our work. They are a key ele- interact in discussion forums, communicate ment in the implementation of a collaborative and exchange project-related information. learning environment. Third, having an open Stellar is a very important tool that allows the space fosters chance encounters with visitors, members of a learning community to custom- students and experts that comment and pro- ize a virtual environment in order to create the vide useful ideas. We had visits from a variety most appropriate communication tools for of people from inside and outside of the MIT achieving the projects’ goals. Photographs of campus, that provided important insights into the trips made to Italy by the workshop mem- the project. Finally, with video connections, bers, presentations made by the students, web platforms and face-to-face meetings with and web casts of lectures were made available Province of Brescia representatives, we share and discussed through this medium. Stellar knowledge and explore innovative ideas. became a dynamic repository of the work- shop’s products and thoughts, and a valuable Stellar Site source of reference for future collaborators to quickly catch up on the intellectual content. Stellar is a MIT online initiative that acts as an Brescia Project Methodology
  • 26. and structural and environmental analysis of This is important not only because students designs. As a general rule, a rich design pro- and partners could access and remotely follow cess undertaken by students make a creative the work in progress, but also because all the use of both computer and paper as means to content uploaded onto Stellar created shared discuss and advance ideas into a fully fleshed, knowledge and a common culture within the buildable project. learning community. Both spaces, the studio in the design lab and our Stellar space, are Among the digital media tools used for de- places to foster collaboration and interactions. veloping the designs in this report are Rhino A lot of the knowledge transmission takes and RhinoScript, a very flexible 3-D surface place precisely in the process of collaborating, modeler that can be controlled by means of a exchanging ideas, discussing related projects, graphical user interface, but also by means of criticizing works, and it was one of the most an end-user programming language based on significant ways to cross fertilize students and visual basic (RhinoScript). This programming Province of Brescia collaborators with mutual language allows for a greater control of geom- knowledge. etry through control structures, conditionals Design Media and routines, as well as for a direct connection between geometry and data. Other digi- Traditional design media like paper play an tal tools used during the workshop include important role in the development of con- AutoCAD and SketchUp, very useful for 2-D cepts and in the communication of these and 3-D geometry and visualization, such as within a community. The computer offers an the re-design of the bus and the bus-station, array of extended, modified environments and Flash, useful for creating quick interactive that enable a broad landscape of conceptual mock-ups of the mobile interfaces designed and detailed design that include three-dimen- in the workshop. In terms of rapid prototyp- sional modeling, rapid prototyping of physical ing, the design lab has access to a 3-D printing models, interactive simulations of systems, 27
  • 27. dents to, first, define their subject, synthesize machine and a laser-cutter, as well as CNC and it, and find the most effective way to explain water-jet cutter. an idea to people that do not have particular insights about these concepts. Second, it is a Other complementary CAD (computer-aided great way to engage a discussion within the design) software is also used, such as 3Dstudio class and to play with ideas. Finally, the post- Max, and Generative Components. As a means ers must be well designed so they may remain for discussion and review, students present in our studio space for people to refer to, dis- their ongoing work to the class in slide shows. cuss and use for further investigations. This method is useful for the evolution of the workshop for two main reasons; first it re- 4_Building a Common quires students to structure their concepts in a transmissible, coherent way, and second, it Knowledge Base provides an excellent ground for discussion and constructive criticism. The slide shows Located in the region of Lombardy, northern created during the workshop become at the Italy, the Provincia di Brescia is an administra- same time a valuable record of the students’ tive region that is responsible for many admin- work. istrative tasks, attributed by the State or the corresponding Region. The most important Presentation Boards are the following. Students synthesize their work by illustrating ongoing concepts in presentation boards. - protection of the environment (ground, During classes, we have brainstormed and natural areas/parks etc.) we’ve played with ideas, constructing and de- - regulation of the use of waters and natural constructing concepts on smart mobility and energies urban transportation. Illustrating these ideas - transports and ways of communication with big posters is a good method for stu- - health services Brescia Project Methodology
  • 28. · A on line service for substitute teachers - secondary education where they can find opportunities of job dur- - data processing and technical assistance to ing the all year in all the schools present on the local Authorities the territory. - coordination of economical, tourist, social, The description and current implementation cultural and sport activities. of these services can be viewed at the follow- ing web address: There are also many current projects in the technological innovation field. Some of the Brescia Digital Network (BDN) projects that the Province has started to implement as related to Learning and Tech- The basic idea for this project is to connect nology, involve: in digital way all the Communes present on the provincial territory. Presented around the Brescia Schools Network (BSN) end of 1998, the project started in 1999, after the reached agreement between Provincia di To improve communication among schools of Brescia and the Association of Brescia Com- similar/different level spread on all provincial munes. territory, Provincia di Brescia realized a series The main goal of the project is to give on line of services on line for schools. In particular, the services to citizens following similar criteria following services have been activated: and to promote the exchange of information · Internet connection, e-mail, web pages; between Communes and Provincia. · Access to a limited access area (called “Extra- There are no financial burdens between the net”) only for schools; two public bodies, but Provincia has respon- · A web space for students, teachers, families sibility for technical support of the on line and scholastic associations; services and, on the other side, Communes · Newsletter service (with articles, commentar- engaged themselves to use these services and ies about news and most important subjects to propose new ones. An important part of from the “scholastic universe”); 29
  • 29. book is available for use. the project is the service called JORBA, which International criteria have been use to cata- is a on line consultation of the Public Register logue texts, modern means have been made of Enterprises. The Extranet Area gives other available to the libraries and to the users, to services like statistics, information about tour- improve the pleasure of reading and the on ist events, young people, documents etc. line consultation of texts. Since 2001, also the The description and current implementation Provincia of Cremona (a town 40 km far from of these services can be viewed at the follow- Brescia) was added to LSS, with its network of ing web address: local libraries. Library Services System (LSS): The description and current implementation of these services can be viewed at the follow- A project realized by the Provincia of Brescia ing web address: during the period 1999 – 2001, to update a library system more than ten years old. The SMS Tourism Info main goal of this service is to organize in a logical and efficient way the management of An agreement has been reached by the Prov- the library services on the territory of the Lo- ince with a national telephone company (Tim) cal Authority. The LLS network promotes the to send tourist information by SMS (short mes- cooperation among 180 libraries and supports sage service): the information concerns the the production, treatment and fast transmis- availability of hotels, camping and other kind sion of the information. of accommodations for tourists, as well as the The main service provided to local libraries calendar of the main seasonal events. consists in all kind of catalogue’s services, to economize costs and have uniform working strategies. In fact, only one database has been created where people can find a book they are interested in and the place where the same Brescia Project Methodology
  • 30. 31
  • 31. Brescia Project Feasibility Study
  • 32. FRAMEWORK 33
  • 33. 1_Introduction eral to face the future world? It is impossible Mobile technologies and new digital media to foretell what the future of education will be, today offer the possibility to improve civic but if we consider the evolution of informa- During the workshop we explored a variety participation and social inclusion in younger tion society and of technologies, one thing we of themes and concepts. Some ideas have citizens. In particular, they can increase aware- can be certain of is that it will be vastly differ- been explored more in depth, and some oth- ness in sustainable and environmental mat- ent from that of today. ers have been explored more broadly on the ters. Moreover, the opportunity of embedding surface. We began our exploration by con- electronic media and Wi-Fi connectivity into In 1958, Seymour Papert predicted that within ducting a preliminary study to determine and the urban fabric allows infinite possibilities in 20 years’ time, children would be able to pro- document the project’s viability. We started new forms of social and civic engagement. gram computers; as expected, reactions varied this process by first analyzing current issues in from amazement to great skepticism. As a Brescia regarding Sustainability, Civic Engage- In collaboration with the Province of Brescia, matter of fact, when Papert made his state- ment, and Education. We then identified pos- Italy, we want to understand how the educa- ment, computers referred to mainframe com- sible areas of intervention, and determined tional dynamic changes with the diffusion of puters that occupied the entirety of rooms the main directions for design while consid- new media, and we want to understand how and cost millions of dollars. Thus computers ering New Media as the venue. Finally, we to better design new media and communi- were restricted only to the elite. However, investigated techniques for intervention and cation technologies to foster learning and today we find that Papert was right, and com- examined related works and similar undertak- sustainable society. munication technologies are becoming more ings elsewhere in the world. and more “democratic” and available to the 2_Education and Learning average person. With the emergence of pervasive digital me- dia and networked communication, the way Today, the MIT initiative One Laptop Per Child Change today’s youth access information, create and (OLPC) aims to break the digital divide by share knowledge is changing dramatically. At The questions we seek to answer are: Can giving millions of laptops to children around the same time, we observe a change in the we imagine how education will be in twenty the world ( Increased way the younger sectors of society interact years’ time? How can our educational system broadband connectivity and wide-range Wi-Fi with their institutions and governments. best prepare our children and society in gen- Brescia Project Framework
  • 34. becoming contextualized and globalized. broadband aim to challenge the digital divide in rural areas. Governmental free access or Learning ad-hoc mesh networking system aim to pro- vide ubiquitous free access to the network for From a theoretical point of view, the construc- every citizen. tionist notion theorized by Seymour Papert is key to the understanding the future of educa- If we consider how many people today actu- tion. His constructionist concept goes back ally have a career in the field for which they to Jean Piaget’s theory of constructivism: if studied while at school, we will realized that we think of the educational process, we have only a small minority can prove continuity to consider that knowledge cannot be simply between school, learning, and occupation in transmitted from a person to another with- today’s education system. We see then, that out a active and in depth processing of the the educational system has difficulties keep- information on the part of the receiver. No ing up with the rapid changes in the specific form of knowledge can be transmitted as a cultural and knowledge needs of our societies: “precooked” entity that the receiver can use as thus, learning to learn is crucial. they received it. Knowledge and information must necessarily pass through the receiver’s personal interpretation: this process is based Learning is gradually changing in our society upon personal experience and is filtered by today; from a vertical relationship between the interactions of people with other people, teacher and student, we are shifting to a hori- with the world, with objects and artifacts. The zontal structure where learners and teachers act of teaching and of transmitting knowledge are more closely and collaboratively involved does not occur in a direct, vertical, frontal pas- in the learning process. The older structur- sage, but instead always takes place following ally closed environment, such as “class” within an appropriating process. As Piaget puts it, schools, or “family” and domestic walls are teaching is always an indirect process--the gradually disappearing, and learning is now 35
  • 35. to learn. In this way, the teacher is no longer one learning processes always the information the owner and transmitter of knowledge, but with their own mental categories, with stock rather a guide that helps the students; if we of knowledge and their own personal experi- think of the concept of a house then perhaps ences. students can access the Internet and build their own idea of a house. They can discover According to these principles, learning takes for themselves how the Eskimos live at the place when the person is actively involved in Pole, how nomad populations live in the Af- the processing of the information they receive rican desert, how some people live in Venice, and consequently adapting into their com- and others in New York’s skyscrapers, and prehension schemes. For instance, we can thereby build their own idea of a house. This imagine teaching the concept of a house: in is the process Jean Piaget defines as construc- the traditional scholastic system, the teacher tivist. transmits the information to a “passive” class/ mass of students that memorize the content Seymour Paper adds to this active learning with which they are presented. The teacher process the idea of construction. The learning will therefore say that the house has windows process is supported by the construction of and walls, rooms with different functions, artifacts, objects or entities that become real etc. The teacher is, in this case, the one who in the outside world. Mental and material con- has the knowledge and that transmits it to structions feed each other creating a circular the passive listeners. However, in the case dynamics that crystallize the learning process. of active teaching, on the contrary, we can In short, the learning process takes place not say that the teacher does not transmit their only when the one who’s learning is actively knowledge, but rather they lead the students building their learning and processing infor- to the personal construction of a knowledge mation, but also when they are expressing path, stimulating them to discover by them- the information to the outside world through selves the concept of what they are engaged Brescia Project Framework
  • 36. simple building as cultivating a garden), and be different from traditional approaches while the construction of an “entity”. The learning by asking questions about the methods and simultaneously favoring real scholastic reform. process is based on the internalization of the material used.” external information and by the externaliza- The MIT Media Lab future of Learning direc- tion of the internal information, in a cyclic per- Environments tor, David Cavallo, proposed Emergent De- petual shape. If we consider the example of sign as an innovative educational approach: the house, students will not only be engaged When the educational system questions emergent design does not aim to accept in the active construction of the information, how it can design a better learning environ- everything that comes from the “bottom”, but to complete the learning process, they ment and pedagogical programs, it generally instead it systematically bases itself upon the will also have to “build a house” (be it through searches for the answer in the application of an highly structured teaching program, in the differences of teachers and students in order the means of their computers, Legos, sand, to trace the guidelines of teaching programs paper and pencil, or with any form or material creation of a precise pedagogical curriculum with standard procedures and universal teach- and learning principles. The Emergent De- that allows them to express their knowledge), sign approach fulfills these philosophical and constructing a sharable artifact. ing disciplines that can be applied to every practical requirements. This concept promotes situation and place. However, this top-down process in which the bureaucratic system does those learning environments that act and de- Papert himself writes, “Thus, constructionism, velop according to the needs of the learners my personal reconstruction of constructivism, not take into consideration local and diversi- fied peculiarities that characterize the territory without planning all the learning activities in a has as its main feature the fact that it looks of a nation or the specific needs of the people central way, according to the top-down mod- more closely than other educational –ism at el. At the same time, this disciplinary approach the idea of mental construction. It attaches to whom the teaching is directed. This ap- underlines specific methodologies, targeted special importance to the role of construc- proach seems obsolete to us, and in any case it is not exhaustive as for the role of the educa- educational activities, concrete means and tions in the world as a support for those in tion system or the needs of learning in present examples that characterize collaborative en- the head, thereby becoming less of a purely vironments and learning forms. In this sense, mentalist doctrine. It also takes the idea of societies. applying a curriculum and following a priori constructing in the head more seriously by Within this context we need an innovative issues without taking into consideration local recognizing more than one kind of construc- approach to the designing of learning envi- issues or the needs of those who are deeply tion (some of them as fare as removed from ronment and pedagogical programs; it must 37
  • 37. of skills so that students can transform their culture. In this process, students learn starting involved in the learning process is not only knowledge into something different. Through from their local culture, from their interests against the basic premise of the pedagogy of computational tools, learners design and and their knowledge. They build bridges and education, but it is also a model that is unable construct and thereby generalize the forms of paths between fields of knowledge that once to benefit from all the advantages that can be the knowledge they posses. Developing tech- were differentiated and then finally learners brought by technologies. nological fluency enables students to break liberate their local knowledge from its specific out of a specific context and represent their embodiment. In this phase of change, the role Designing for this dialectical tension requires knowledge in forms that they can draw on in played by new technologies is fundamental. something vastly different than previous many contexts. The concept of Emergent De- design methodologies. In this case, we are sign, in the end, emphasizes a dynamic reso- For example, let us consider the case of the designing where human use and appropria- nance amongst the particular needs, the local book. We can remember how the invention tion is the critical element and is unpredict- of the book stratified the access to knowledge culture and the social knowledge combined able. Thus, the design must enable a wide separating learning from practice thus turning with the principles of learning environment range of possibilities, must be able to adapt “learning from doing” into “learning from read- and adaptable and programmable technologi- the situation, must be appropriable, and must cal tools. ing”. On the other hand, the book divided the deal with dynamic change. According to this audience into groups of defined ages to which approach, the learning environment design 3_Problems and General information is given. Television has changed must leave a series of opportunities open and this model by spreading the same message to it must be able to fit to the different complex Issues a differentiated public; communication dy- and local situations, constantly negotiat- namics in information highways have led to a ing its own forms with the emerging social further evolution in this paradigm. Communi- Sustainability dynamics. There is the need of favoring the cation technologies and robotics thus become The younger population is not aware of sus- methodologies that can design collaborative transitional objects that mediate the relation- tainable development problems. environments that are extremely sensitive to ships between learners, the world, and their the needs emerging from the “bottom”, from The goal is to improve younger population experience in the learning process. The role those who have to learn, combining learn- traffic and pollution awareness, and to provide of computer in this process is to provide a set ing environment design techniques and local tools to understand how this affects their life Brescia Project Framework
  • 38. and the communities in which they live. Governmental communication Media Government broadcasts to youth are often Cyber-bullying, misbehavior and youtube not heard or ignored. Government cannot posting in classrooms show that society’s always adopt quickly enough to the rapid life- youth use and master new media, but not for style changes of the youth. Social broadcasts a socially beneficial purpose. are not heard enough Violence Democracy The younger population likes to show off by Youth are not involved in their communities; posting violent videos. This is not compatible there is no active participation or expression with a community life. of opinion. Youth need to see results come from their actions and behaviors, and be reas- General Communication sured that they have the power to bring about change Rural areas are isolated and poly-centric; mobile connection and Wi-Fi / ubiquitous Societal awareness connectivity can help rural areas to be better integrated. Youth are disconnected from each Awareness of the distance between people’s other in rural areas and cannot coordinate to judgment on youth and youth actual partici- save resources. pation into society. Visualization Public space Understanding and visualizing concepts is key Urban spaces don’t take full advantage of new to understand sustainable and socially ori- interactive media and electronics capabilities. ented issues. Visualize to understand and to People’s Needs behave differently. 39
  • 39. 4_Suitable Areas of Intervention - People need to be part of the community - People need to be responsible for something bigger than the single, individual human - To increase civic engagement - People need to be connected with other - To empower users with new media people - To increase sense of community and belonging to a local territory - People need to be recognized by the society - To support the local environment - People need to understand the world that - To explore the potential for mobile communication surrounds them - To engage citizens in supporting and participating in governmental affairs - People need to see the impact of their action - To increase the information flow throughout communities and society in the society - To explore new sustainable living practices for a mobile generation - People need a feeling of success - To support social spaces - People need to rediscover the values of inter- - To help to eliminate physical barriers to youth cooperation and collaboration acting in physical space - To explore the potentialities of ubiquitous connectivity - People need to be aware of their resources - To enhancing the city-scape itself through new social interactions via digital architecture and their potential to improve living condi- - To explore potential of embedded electronics in the urban environment tions - People need to be aware of their resources and their potential to improve living condi- tions Brescia Project Framework
  • 40. 5_Main Design Directions they have an understanding of the value of their actions. Complexity / Simplicity Promote Social and Civic Engagement Avoid complex architectures, information As a way to establish positive connections flows and interaction, and find the simplest, between youth and territory, and especially but not simplistic, way to delivery appropriate actively engage youth in local issues. and pertinent information. Local / Global Balance local versus global needs and action, moving toward a loco-centric vision that con- sider global issues Electronic Information / Urban Space Optimize synergies between the urban build space with electronic and sensing capabilities, and with the ubiquitous distributed connec- tivity. Playful Learning With digital media learning can be creative and engaging. Empowering Youth Actively engage youth in a way that they can see the results and impact of their action and 41
  • 41. 6_Technology The alternative is that we can also provide mobile phones ourselves, which may allow for Recommendations more mobile, rich experiences. . Portable Device: User-provided phones are ideal for: mobile phones / PDAs / laptops - scenarios where the usefulness grows as the . Location Awareness and Positioning: number of users grows – this is particularly semacode / tags / GPS true of social networks and user-contributed . Web/Internet content . GPRS - needing to “search for” information, . Wi-Fi - needing information interjected in one’s . RFID daily life – “agent” systems (ambient Intelli- . Bluetooth gence); . LCD projectors, connected to a network for - where true mobility is required (the standard dynamic content phone user today will rarely use tethering . Interactive Media Terminals technologies like Bluetooth on the go) Portable Device Customized-provided phones are ideal for; Mobile platforms are quickly becoming a - projects that require rich visualization of data dominant means of communication and in- - needing to “browse” or “explore” information formation synthesis. We have two paths here. spaces The first is that we can assume every user has - projects where it is necessary to have all a mobile phone and design for a common members on a “level playingfield” (for in- subset of mobile technologies – this leads to stance, learning environments, a professional text and speech dominated interfaces, due to workflow tool or a mobile game) a lack of standard mobile GUI technologies, - rich mobile collaboration and leads to reliance on the phone network. Brescia Project Framework
  • 42. could be explored further in this context. - situations where mobility can be traded off between phones and central servers as a for richness of experience network communication over telecoms net- As for GPS, we can see that the game FRE- works. GPRS also has powerful bandwidth QUENCY 1550 played with Nokia phones PDAs are suited particularly well for controlled capabilities (though not yet at Wi-Fi speeds), using GPS was able to be deployed city-wide environments, such as the Exploratorium’s and it is a technology being strongly pushed while still allowing teams to keep track of each indoor exhibit space [http://www.explorato- by telecoms such that phone companies can other’s members. That awareness lead to a]. They allow for rich sell “data plans.” This is an effort that will likely richer and truly mobile experience. GPS will multimedia interaction and a controlled ex- succeed, because unlike Wi-Fi, GPRS is a truly be useful as a tool for students to understand perience, but lack the true mobility of mobile diffused mobile technology – anywhere I can context and the context of his/her peers, with phones (for instance, while they were used in get a cell phone signal, I can get GPRS mobile the caveat that GPS will not work indoors. outdoor games like Savannah [http://www. communication. GPRS is still not present in], those all user provided phones, but is more com- Web/Internet games took place in a space on the order of mon than Wi-Fi, and can be easily added for meters, not kilometers.) We predict giving – or purposes of experiment by swapping a user’s Websites are useful in a mobile scenario for worse, lending – students PDAs is not particu- SIM card or adding data privileges to a phone before and after an event/keeping in touch. larly empowering and will not support the account. It’s most prohibitive feature, in our They may also be useful for creating interfaces sort of permanent change in lifestyle we hope opinion, is cost, but it could be deployed both that encourage changes to one’s mobility. to affect. in a controlled environment and with a subset While the phone will increase in importance, of user provided phones. we believe the traditional web will not fully go Location Awareness and Positioning away anytime soon – rather, mobile technol- Wi-Fi ogy can strengthen the usefulness, accurate- Mobile photo-tagging technology was pres- ness and richness of web information resourc- ent in some projects, particularly the mGBL Wi-Fi is beginning to be used as a communica- es such as those provided by the Province. (mobile game based learning) initiative. tion framework between phones and standard The ability for people to annotate the world PCs and the Internet. It is already the standard GPRS around them is a very empowering one, and for research projects using PDAs, but we have the uses of this technology are something that largely ruled out PDAs for our work. Wi-Fi has GPRS is increasingly becoming a standard 43
  • 43. themselves). mobile environment – its users must all carry very powerful bandwidth capabilities, but around something with an RFID chip, perhaps we cannot assume everyone’s user-provided LCD Projectors the phone itself. Indeed, in the Exploratorium phone will have Wi-Fi in the next 3-5 years, project where this was tried, RFID readers had particularly as telecoms invest in their own Projectors are finally to the point of affordabil- to be built into each exhibit and controlled GPRS and other data-rich mobile networks. ity where they can be deployed on a wide- PDAs were used for input/output. Moreover, Wi-Fi must be deployed everywhere scale in the urban landscape. A 4,000 Lumen we want people to be, and thus is a tethering projector with high definition like the ones Bluetooth technology in the sense that it cannot com- used for Graffiti Research Lab’s Interactive Ar- municate with a central server without having chitecture or TXTual Healing can be acquired Bluetooth is useful as a common communica- the user within the 100M radius or so of the for as low as 3-4,000 US$. They’re particularly tion framework between phones themselves Wi-Fi router. useful for scenarios where you expect people as well as between phones and static base to move to a static location or perhaps be- stations. However, Bluetooth is limited in RFID tween static locations. A projector can easy range to 30meters and, when used with a be hooked up to a standard server with all user-provided phone, often has issues estab- RFID allows one to encode and exchange software configured remotely, and the combi- information digitally through short-wave radio lishing initial connections due to overzealous nation can be hidden and secured in a public “pairing” security.” Bluetooth may be useful in frequency communication. It is particularly place for the purposes of displaying dynamic a controlled setting but has some risks in the useful when one wants to exchange private content. Is possible to imagine a truly innova- information with a trusted source (as opposed true mobile environment. For creating ad- tive use of LCD projectors. hoc networks between phones, Bluetooth is to a publicly visible semacode), but has not yet been proven useful in establishing ad-hoc particularly useful in decentralized research. Interactive Media Terminals However, we currently envision a central networks. server model for our collaborative groupings RFID can blend more gracefully into a physi- Media terminals such as those used in the In- of students, even if said central server model cal architecture, often being concealed from teractive Bus project and at interactive kiosks is completely invisible to the user (that is, they the human eye, an advantage over Sema- that one might see in a museum have the ad- simply log in to the same piece of software code. However the hardware requirements of vantage of very rich media – you can have not and draw the connections between users RFID make it difficult to integrate in an urban only textual input and output, but webcam Brescia Project Framework
  • 44. technologies to promote social sustainability input, touch input, speaker output, sensor and cultural enrichment for location-based input…anything you can imagine hooked up communities. to a physical machine. Presently the biggest Second, we need to explore innovative limitation of such terminals is that they are designs for embedding electronics into the not mobile at all – they can be used as base urban fabric, as well as into the public trans- stations to augment or report on the mobile portation system, so that they may promote experience, but they cannot be called on at ubiquitous accessibility to information, cul- a moment’s notice. Moreover, they are not ture and knowledge. a readily scalable technology – most urban kiosks even in museum exhibits can only us- The ultimate goal of the project is to imagine ably be operated by a few people at time. how new media and mobile technologies Conclusions can increase the awareness of the younger population to environmental problems, fos- ter learning and their civic engagement. In order to promote learning and civic en- gagement through new media, per initial hy- pothesis, we have identified two main areas for design intervention: 1 – information / communication; 2 – urban space; First, we need to innovatively imagine new forms of communication and services to foster learning, knowledge and social inclu- sion. In particular, we need to investigate the use of new media and communication 45
  • 45. Brescia Project Inspirational Material
  • 47. PocketPCs, PDA, Wi-Fi (WLAN) incorporating mobile technology in the class- To inform our research and design, we identi- room, to support the instructional process, the fied similar projects around the world that URL: assessment of educational contents included address issues similar to ours. These projects in the school curriculum and the teacher’s role are detailed in the follow section, organized regarding the classroom management. according to the following categories: (2) Design, assess and develop a software environment easy to use for teachers and stu- - Mobile learning dents, which allows its immediate use within - Mixed reality the classroom or in any place. - Participatory media (3) Design, develop and support logistics for - Transportation the use and management of technology in - Play each school. 1_Mobile Learning (4) Develop strategies to transfer this technol- ogy to teachers and students, for an adequate assimilation by the school system. Mobile Technology in the Classroom (5) Design and develop educational contents by based on new ways of working and collabora- Edunova tion in the classroom and to assess its impact on learning. Description: Mobile technologies (PDA) used in classroom Impact: by teachers and students. PocketPCs are This model allows to use technology inside shared between different grades and classes the classroom, increasing coverage, since each diminishing the cost per student ratio. student has access to his/her own device. Objectives: Enabling Technologies: (1) To improve the learning of students, by Brescia Project Inspirational Material
  • 48. Electronic Guidebook Research Project by Exploratorium, in collaboration with HP Labs. Description: tion and context for the exhibits and suggest- The Electronic Guidebook is an Explorato- ing new avenues for experimentation), and rium research project investigating the use after the visit (allowing additional reflection of handheld computing devices and wireless and analysis). networks to support a richer learning experi- ence for science museum visitors. Impact: In collaboration with HP Labs. Interactive RFID-enhanced museum exhibits let visitors continue their scientific exploration Objectives: beyond the museum’s walls. But museums The project focused on investigating the must still help them understand the technol- applications of wireless handheld devices ogy and address their data privacy concerns. with the greatest potential for inspiring more in-depth learning and reflection about the Enabling Technologies: exhibits and related phenomena. Specifically, Java, PDA, website, Wi-Fi, RFID the primary goal was to explore ways that the technology could expand the boundar- URL: ies of the museum visit for the key audiences, including activities taking place before arrival at the museum (e.g., using a computer to plan a visit or provide orientation and background), during the visit (providing additional informa- 49
  • 49. MOBILern Java, PDA, website, Wi-Fi, Tablet - Human interfaces adaptive to the mobile device in use and the nature (e.g. bandwidth, by URL: cost) of the ambient intelligence that is avail- MOBILern Project Consortium able in a given location; - Context-awareness tools for exploiting con- Description: text and capturing learning experience; This project explores new ways to use mobile - Integration of mobile media delivery and environments to meet the needs of learners, learning content management systems; working by themselves and with others. Collaborative learning applications for mobile MOBIlearn is a worldwide European-led environments. research and development project explor- (3) The development of a business model and ing context-sensitive approaches to informal, associated implementation strategies for suc- problem-based and workplace learning by cessful EU-wide deployment of mobile learn- using key advances in mobile technologies. ing, starting from: - A study of existing business models and Objectives: market trends; (1) The definition of theoretically-supported - An appraisal of the external environment. and empirically-validated models for: Large-scale use of project results by all inter- - Effective learning/teaching/tutoring in a ested parties in Europe. mobile environment; - Instructional design and eLearning content Impact: development for mobile learning. This project explores new ways to use mobile environments to meet the needs of learners, (2) The development of a reference mobile working by themselves and with others learning architecture that is attractive to key actors in Europe and beyond, and that sup- Enabling Technologies: ports: Brescia Project Inspirational Material
  • 50. 2_Mixed Reality improves digital literacy skills. Creating me- diascapes can give an introduction to ideas of logic and programming. Creat-A-Scape by Impact: Edunova This software enriches the experience of being in a physical location by augmenting a child’s Description: perception with multimedia traces left by Using a special free software, you can tag a other children, and allowing the children to map with media files or additional informa- interact through saving multimedia. tion, transfer it to your PDA and use the infor- mation/media files at the right location where Enabling Technologies: the information belongs to by using GPS. GPS, PC, PDA, Internet Objectives: URL: (1) Mediascapes are excellent tools for devel- oping cross-curricular and collaborative activ- ity, as they link subjects in a meaningful way, they also encourages collaborative work and skill-sharing. (2) Mediascapes encourage new interactions with the environment - they give a new per- spective on the space in which they are set, especially those that tell hidden histories. (3) All age groups can engage with making and using mediascapes. (4) The process of producing mediascapes 51
  • 51. TXTual Healing is to engage an audience to think about the physical spaces we move through, live in and by share. Futurelab, mscape, with DCSF and HP Labs Enabling Technologies: Description: Mobile, Laptop, LCD Projector The public audience receives a flyer with a cell number and simple instructions. A participant URL: sends a text message to the provided phone number and it is then displayed inside the speech bubble. Multiple bubbles may be used and the audience can direct their input to a specific bubble. Objectives: The artist is trying to address public versus private space and what kind of dialogue might transpire if we shared out private thoughts. The piece was designed to encourage play, idea sharing, thought, discourse, and enter- tainment. Impact: The piece explores the use of mobile technol- ogy to trigger dialogue, action and create content for a staged public performance. By using the facade of a building the intention Brescia Project Inspirational Material
  • 52. Handheld Augmented Reality virtual teaching environment? Simulations (3) Develop a platform for mobile educational games that can be played in physical environ- by ments by a group of students. MIT Teacher Education Program, with The Education Arcade Impact: The project innovates in its ability to allow Description: entire classes to play such a game with each One of the games, Environmental Detectives other and learn person to person from each (ED), is an outdoor game in which players other’s independent actions with the virtual using GPS guided handheld computers try environment. It is the game design that forces to uncover the source of a toxic spill by inter- such person to person action, not allowing viewing virtual characters and conducting electronic person to person communication. large scale simulated environmental measure- ments and analyzing data. Enabling Technologies: Another games, Charles River City (CRC), a sec- PDA, Wi-Fi, computer ond generation outdoor GPS based game, and Outbreak @ MIT (O@MIT), an indoor client- URL: server based game that opens new opportuni- ties for educational AR games. Objectives: (1) How can technology be used to make educational activities more engaging? More interactive? (2) How can augmented reality be used to combine real-world teamwork exercises with a 53
  • 53. Savannah URL: by Futurelab, with BBC Natural History Unit, html Mobile Bristol, Nottingham University Mixed Reality Lab Description: Savannah is a collaborative project that ex- plores whether children can learn about ecol- ogy and ethology by ‘being an animal’. The idea of the game is for participants to learn what it is like to be a lion by walking around in a virtual Savannah and encounter- ing sounds of other animals or things in the environment. Objectives: The project is motivated by the question of what innovation and creativity mobile tech- nologies and rich media delivery can bring to ways of learning in a game play environment. The project also brings together collaboration across different sectors. Enabling Technologies: PDA, Wi-Fi, website Brescia Project Inspirational Material
  • 54. 3_Participatory Media 3) Full-fledged participatory news sites (Ohm- example is StumbleUpon. yNews) • Social networks amplified by informa- 4) Collaborative and contributory media sites tion and communication networks enable Wikipedia has the following definitions: (Slashdot, Kuro5hin) broader, faster, and lower cost coordination 5) Other kinds of “thin media.” (mailing lists, of activities. This is an economic and political Participatory Media include, but aren’t lim- email newsletters) characteristic. ited to, blogs, wikis, RSS, tagging and social 6) Personal broadcasting sites (video broad- bookmarking, multimedia sharing, mashups, cast sites such as (KenRadio). Wikipedia also has the following definition of podcasts, and participatory video projects. Citizen Journalism: These distinctly different media share three Citizen journalism, also known “participatory common, interrelated characteristics: journalism,” or “people journalism” is the act of citizens “playing an active role in the process • Many-to-many media now make it of collecting, reporting, analyzing and dis- possible for every person connected to the seminating news and information.” network to broadcast and receive text, im- ages, audio, video, software, data, discussions, Online Journalism Review classifies media for transactions, computations, tags, or links to citizen journalism into the following types: and from every other person. The asymmetry between broadcaster and audience that was 1) Audience participation (such as user com- dictated by the structure of pre-digital tech- ments attached to news stories, personal nologies dictated has changed radically. This is blogs, photos or video footage captured from a technical-structural characteristic. personal mobile cameras, or local news writ- • Participatory media are social media ten by residents of a community) whose value and power derives from the 2) Independent news and information Web- active participation of many people. This is a sites (Consumer Reports, the Drudge Report) psychological and social characteristic. One 55
  • 55. Voices of Africa nomic pressures otherwise. by Impact: Africa News, Africa Interactive It is now possible for Africans to send articles and images (still and moving) about events Description: taking place in their countries without using In each African country, a number of skilful a computer and without having traditional (young) men and women (with the help of internet connection. Under those circum- a local coordinator) are equipped with high- stances, the bigger the number of people technology mobile phones (with a small fold- expressing their opinions through that tech- able keyboard) where a special piece of soft- nology, the stronger becomes democracy, and ware is installed to permit direct uploads of the more valuable is the contribution to good photos, texts and videos to the Skoeps server, governance efforts in Africa. from where they are transferred to the Africa Interactive website for publication. Enabling Technologies: web content management system, public and Objectives: private-facing websites for content review/ap- Develop a central news organization in a place proval, direct server for mobile upload, GPRS, where people are as distributed as Africa to Nokia E61 mobile phones with integrated report on issues that affect Africans in diaspo- image/video cameras, attachable foldable rate parts of a given country/region. keyboards Empower citizens of corrupt parts of Africa to directly record and report news to the Inter- URL: net, where it cannot be filtered. Give Africa the opportunity to develop a cul- sofafrica ture that is tech-savvy and motivated to make positive changes to society despite socioeco- Brescia Project Inspirational Material
  • 56. 4_Transportation system is mobile and it`s possible to reach working with learndirect to deliver a variety of more people than a “static location“. online courses. By “funtasy bus“, the youth center intends (3) The New Beginnings Bus : Mobile Classroom in a Bus to give the opportunity to youth to do own The project aims to assist adults aged (16-90) by video and photoprojects. The target group who did not pass the standard test. The learn- various are youth that can`t afford the a computer or ers practise basic skills following an individual digital cameras but are really interested in this needs assessment and work at their own pace Description: field of working. The youth can get experience toward the ‘Skills For Life’ tests. Upon comple- Three projects to bring education to the peo- in different workflows and have a sense of tion exit routes are offered to enable learners ple in a more physical way. Every project has achievement. to continue their education and achieve a a bus with laptops, printers and teachers on Level 1 or Level 2 Skills For Life qualification. board to give access to online classes which Enabling Technologies: (4) The Funtasybus: can be participated from everywhere. Laptops, website, Wi-Fi, digital cameras/cam- A youth center supports and offers projects corders, bus within the field of photography and vidopro- (1) The learningbus: duction through a fully equipped bus. The bus Climb aboard our blue and red Metro bus – in URL: got 3 eMacs, 2 Power eBooks G 4, 3 digital vid- a previous life a standard passenger vehicle – The Learningbus eocameras, 5 digital photocameras and music but now a state of the art mobile classroom. recording equipment. The aim is to bring computer training to work- Cyberlink Bus ers who wouldn’t normally get to use a PC or Objectives: laptop during the course of their working day. The New Beginning Bus The aim of “learning bus“, “Cyberlink bus“ and (2) Cyberlink bus: “New Beginnings Bus“ is almost the same: to The Cyberlink bus is one of a network of learn- ing_3_07.htm give access to knowledge (traditional teaching direct learning centres throughout Wales. The The Funtasy Bus as well as web based) to a class of population centre provides a variety of training courses which wants to learn but can`t afford it (mon- with the aim of helping individuals through- gogik/dsc00309.html ey, time...) thru the “bus location“ the whole out the community. The centre has been 57
  • 57. 5_Play URL: mGBL (mobile Game-Based Learning) by eleven partner organizations from Austria, Croatia, Great Britain, Italy, and Slovenia Description: Studies of different partners in europe to communicate content from different fields in an involving and emotional way to younger people aged 16 - 24 through games on mobile phones. Objectives: Based on innovative methods from the field of mobile learning and pervasive gaming, new forms of game-based learning will be devel- oped. The games address mainly affective and behavioral learning goals. The mobile phone will act as trigger for social interactions. mGBL will contribute new learning models to the learning and mobile market. Enabling Technologies: UMTS, mobile phone, website Brescia Project Inspirational Material
  • 58. Frequency 1550 It is a research pilot examining whether it’s possible to provide a technology supported by educational location-based experience. Waag Society Enabling Technologies: Description: UMTS, GPS, mobile phone, laptop, website Frequency 1550 is a mobile history game where students learn about Medieval Amster- URL: dam by using mobile technologies. For one to two days, players roam through the city in small groups. GPS makes it possible to know the position of your team (and of other players or objects). To prove themselves the most worthy order of pilgrims, a team will need to demonstrate their knowledge of medieval Amsterdam by doing location-based media-assignments on the city’s history. As they wander through the streets of medieval Amsterdam, they get in virtual phone contact with characters that provide information on locations and on the strange disappearing of the holy relic. In the meantime, they’re com- peting with the other teams. GPS technology and mobile phones turn the city into a medi- eval playing-field. Objectives: 59
  • 59. MobiMissions participation in a location-based, social, mobile phone experience, and identify future by possibilities for using this technology to sup- Futurelab port learning. Description: Enabling Technologies: Teenager using mobile phones and a website Java, PDA, website to create missions or games in their city. In MobiMissions, players create ‘Missions’ URL: on their mobile phones. Missions consist of photographs and text and can be used to set a missionsv question or a challenge, make an observation, etc. When a player creates a Mission, they ‘drop’ it from their phone into their current cell. Play- ers can search their current cell location at any time to discover any Missions in that cell. Play- ers can respond to Missions they find, again using photographs and text. All Missions and their Responses can be seen on a website, where users can also leave comments for one another and rate the quality of each others’ Missions and Responses. Objectives: The key aims of the trials were to explore significant factors affecting young people’s Brescia Project Inspirational Material
  • 60. 61
  • 61. Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 63. The students collaborated in groups from the beginning of the workshop. For the final pre- sentation, students divided into four groups and presented their work classified into four final themes: 1_Brescia 2.0 An infrastructure of virtual services localized around bus stops and buses can act as an open platform for content generation and sharing. 2_EcoPets A system of personal interactive accessories for distributed pollution monitoring, social networking and transportation can turn sus- tainable practices into status symbols. Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 64. 3_Reconfigured Bus By reshaping the bus through electronic games and displays and a reconfiguration of its physical space, we can make transportation a more social and playful event. 4_EcoWearables Responsive tattoos and bracelets can reshape the dialogue between the bearer and its envi- ronment for new kinds of social interaction. 65
  • 65. Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 66. BRESCIA 2.0 An infrastructure of virtual services localized around bus THE GOAL of the design exploration, as stat- ed by the Province of Brescia was to promote stops and buses can act as an open platform for content learning, sustainability, and civic engagement. generation and sharing. From this we extracted three specific points to address. Firstly, we wanted to engage the young population in civic activities by pro- moting a stronger sense of identity and asso- ciation with the Province, and the government of Brescia. Secondly, by encouraging the use of public transit, we expected to promote sustainability as well as public involvement. Thirdly, throughout the proposed systems, the spread of information will need to be integrat- ed in order to incorporate learning and raise awareness of environmental issues. The initial design solution proposed by the Province of Brescia involved displaying con- tent on screens set up in public places such as schools in order to post content that the government would provide. This results in a restricted one-way interaction between the people and the government. Our proposal, in contrast, tries to develop a model for a public platform to accommodate community- generated content, and most importantly, a 67
  • 67. way to access the public sphere via mobile devices. Our starting premise is that learning and learning about sustainability comes from communication between people and between communities. 1_Overview Brescia 2.0 is a platform for people to interact and share information with their community, and between communities. The Brescia 2.0 system comprises of a web application and traditional public transportation facilities augmented with technology to provide con- nectivity. The web application is accessible to users with mobile devices and comput- ers connected to the internet. The system’s services are location-specific: they are tied to the public transport system of the province of Brescia, Italy. In our proposal, we intend to lay out a layer of services, of virtual infrastructure, over the existing infrastructure in the Province of Brescia; thus we decided to name our proj- ect Brescia 2.0. Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 68. Project Goals community building and learning. • Engage young population in civic activi- Key Ideas ties by (1) encouraging a sense of identity • Public with the Province of Brescia • Location-specific virtual services revolv- (2) encouraging the use of public tran- ing around public transportation sit • One-to-many communication through • Incorporate Learning component mobile devices • Raise environmental awareness System Structure Our Proposal • Brescia 2.0 Software • A public platform for community-generat- - MediaWall ed content - EcoViz: Transit Tree • A way to access the public sphere via - MediaMappa mobile devices • Brescia 2.0 Hardware - Wi-Fi bus Hypothesis - Wi-Fi enabled bus-stops • A public platform of location-specific - MediaStaziones virtual services can reconcile the virtual and physical dimensions of the city, en- hancing the experience of the inhabitant by allowing her/him to access the public sphere via personal mobile devices. • Using the public transport system as the home of these services becomes instru- mental in attracting populations that would otherwise use other means of transportation. • Participatory dialogue, instead of one-di- rectional information deployment, fosters 69
  • 69. Components WiFi Bus WiFi Bus Stop MediaStazione Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 70. 71
  • 71. 2_System Elements People can use them to post anything from announcing events to sell/buy to digital graf- fiti. The Itinerant Posts get collected into the Software MediaStazione of the zone. The most visited In this section we describe the details of the posts are propagated to all the province, and software that is downloaded to the users are displayed in other MediaStaziones, and phone. We imagine that this software is usu- the buses. ally inactive, but will “wake-up” when the user is in the vicinity of a bus station, or inside a EcoViz. By displaying the usage of public bus. We imagine this software to be distrib- transportation in the form of a growing tree, uted freely to the public. the User Tree intends to raise consciousness about the positive impact of public transpor- MediaWall tation on the environment. A calculation of The first component is the virtual bulletin the CO2 savings that are achieve (under the board, where people can post content that assumption that users in the public transpor- will become attached to the physical space. tation are not using private means of trans- The Province of Brescia has a very visual cul- portation) could reinforce the message. ture; the graffiti in the streets are important, and the walls are all covered with posts. These MediaMappa is a google-maps-inspired utility were the inspiration for our idea: we want to that displays information on the bus system, create a virtual parallel, with government- of contacts that are within the system, and related content. of user-generated space tags. By allowing MediaWalls are a virtual boards that are acces- people to interact remotely with each other sible by users in the system through their mo- and with the city, the project adds value to the bile devices via Wi-Fi. The content is posted by experience of using the transport system. the users from within the stations. MediaWalls do not support a specific type of content. Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 72. 73
  • 73. Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 74. 75
  • 75. Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 76. Connecting Virtual and Physical MediaStazione MediaStaziones are public installations or The figure to the left shows how the virtual data-sculptures located across the province components are linked with the physical inside each MediaDistrict. Each MediaStazione components. The small blue circles are bus acts as a data collector and display for the stops. The blue lines are the bus lines, and bulletin boards (MediaWalls) of its zone, and the bulletin boards that are located around different MediaStaziones exchange contents each one of the bus stops belong to a certain in accordance to number of hits; most popular neighborhood which we call a MediaDistrict. posts will propagate faster. They are intended Each MediaDistrict will have the third compo- to be seen as unique icons. This MediaStazi- nent of our system, the MediaStazione, which one acts a voronoi-shaped pixel urban screen. we will discuss below. The basic underlying It is a screen that dissolves in resolution. The components are the hubs that we call Media- goal was to use really cheap materials and Stazione, which are a sort of data sculpture of low-technology to create something that is the community. compelling. We experimented with extrud- Hardware ing cells, imagining that maybe some could become benches, and that the rest might be a Wi-Fi Buses wall. From our user study, the students, coming from different places, rode different buses when going to school. The Wi-Fi buses would present an opportunity for them to communi- cate while going to school, thus improving the quality of their ride. This would also provide them with opportunity to do things that they usually can’t do for free, like sharing multime- dia. 77
  • 77. Construction Precedents Artopoulos, Giorgos, Stanislav Roudavski (in alphabetical order) with François Penz, 'Adap- tive Generative Patters', in Proceedings of The Second International Conference of the Arab Society for Computer Aided Architectural De- sign (ASCAAD 2006), ed. by Jamal Al-Qawasmi and Zaki Mallasi (Sharjah: The Arab Society for Com-puter Aided Architectural Design (AS- CAAD), 2006), pp. 341-362 Strips, cells and patches. A) A cardboard sheet cut and scored by a laser-cutter and sorted for assembly. B) Cardboard strips to be assembled into cell-walls. C) A cell with a cell-skin at- tached. D) Cells assembled with hot-melt glue and rein-forced with nuts and bolts. E) A frag- ment of a cell-patch. F) A cell-patch. (photo- graphs) Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 78. 79
  • 79. Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 80. 3_Conclusion lenge in terms of the design of the interface. tion that increases dialogue and participatory These problems have been described in detail interaction, in which the learning component by (Knight 2007). However, a quick look at the is implicit in the interaction achieved between Challenges telecom business pages predict an imminent the members of a community, and between The scope of our project did not explore the wider availability of Wi-Fi connections in mo- different communities. important issue of content management. bile phones. We wish to avoid censorship, and thus we imagine that a solution might be to provide Privacy issues arising from the availability of a very specific system of self-regulation. This location information in the system (specifically is unexplored at the current state. For future in the mediaMappa software) can be ad- design iterations, a study of Wikipedia peer- dressed by empowering users with the ability reviewed co-editorial model could serve as a to “hide” or be “invisible” such as in web ser- useful reference. vices as MSN and Skype. In terms of technical issues, researchers had previously pointed out that the shadowing of Contributions GPS signal by buildings will make the location We have proposed a preliminary research, data difficult to read. This problem has been system architecture and design proposal for recently addressed by researchers that have implementing mobile devices as means of developed algorithms that clean the signal by civic engagement and community participa- disregarding sudden changes in the data. tion in the Province of Brescia, Italy. In this proposal, we have given an overview of the Another technical concern is that not all available technical possibilities to implement phones currently on the market are GPS en- such a system, as well as a series of problems abled. The screen size and resolution of cur- and considerations to take into account. We rent phones (around 320 x 480 in the iPhone, provide a scalable model for a public interven- and 240 px x 260 px on a Blackberry) is a chal- 81
  • 81. Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 82. ECOPETS A system of personal interactive accessories for distributed THE STARTING point for the EcoPet project for the Province of Brescia is the initial ques- pollution monitoring, social networking and transportation tion: can turn sustainable practices into status symbols. ‘How to learn sustainability?’ and ‘How to mak- ing learning sustainable?’ Our project pro- vides a response to these questions by focus- ing on three main objectives: first, to circulate environmental information through interac- tive media and objects on distributed net- works; next, to promote a collective engage- ment with the city in a playful and personal way; and lastly, to incorporate active learning through individual and group participation in an urban game. Based on the objectives, we discovered that one of the most successful ways of imple- menting a sustainable practice, especially among the youth, would be to focus on de- veloping a tool that allows the users to experi- ence and investigate the city through sustain- able feedback, and to encourage behavior that will increase awareness of the environ- ment using a public media to exchange and visualize data. 83
  • 83. Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 84. 1_Overview 1_System Description perience and investigate the city with sustain- able feedback, and we wanted to increase awareness of the environment using a public Inspiration Our system comprised of four parts: the Flock, media to exchange and visualize data. Our ideas were inspired by previous works by the main database, the EcoPet, the personal others including emotional objects, personal expressive object, the Fields, interactive public We started from one screen with top-down in- objects, environmental sensing devices, and spaces, and the Route, incorporated with the formation and went to a multitude of smaller interactive public spaces. One such is the Na- current public transportation system. feedback systems acting as a collective whole baztag rabbit by Violet in 2007 that expresses with a distributed sensor system. We then de- Flock The We begin with a storyboard of how we imag- people’s emotion. Another is the common veloped a web interface illustrating environ- push pin button, as a personal object that ex- ine the user will interact with the entire sys- mental data and sounds to encourage conver- game about environmental Flock is a social networking presses identity. Thirdly, we looked at Pigeon tem: sustainability and collective learning organized through the sations and community-based solutions. Blog, a project which provides an alternative distribution of sensory objects using the public way for people to participate in environmen- tal air pollution data gathering. The project transportation system. equips urban homing pigeons with GPS en- abled electronic air pollution sensing devices capable of sending real-time location-based air pollution and image data to an online map- ping/blogging environment. In our search for precedent in the design of interactive public spaces, we looked at “Gamelan Playtime”, and interactive sounds installation by Arlete Castelo and Melissa Mongiat in 2006. Approach We wanted to provide a tool for users to ex- 85 Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen
  • 85. This is Marco. He used to wait at the bus station with nothing to do. … and download sounds onto his mobile phone. Now he uses Eco-Pet ... Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen This is Marco. He used to wait at the bus sta- Now he uses EcoPet... ... to access the Flock system and download tion with nothing to do. sounds onto his mobile phone. Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 86. Marco gets on the bus, using Eco-Pet as a pass. He downloads the latest remixes from Flock artists. Eco-Pet even measures the levels of pollution in the air so it Marco posts an audio response to his favorite one. helps Marco learn about his environment. When Marco arrives at school, he sees his friends. They all have Eco-Pets. Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen Marco gets on the bus, using EcoPet as a pass. Marco uses EcoPet to collaborate with Flock EcoPet begins to blink and shiver, sensing ris- He downloads the latest remixes from Flock members and sty in touch with friends. He ing pollution. EcoPet helps Marco think about artists. Marco posts an audio response to his has even customized it to show his village and how much the air quality impacts his health. favorite one. his favorite football team. EcoPet even measures the levels of pollution When Marco arrives at school, he sees his in the air so it helps Marco learn about his friends. They all have EcoPets. environment. 87
  • 87. Marco tells his friends about the great new remix he heard on the bus. They The Eco-Pets ‘sense’ each other and begin to sing. They go to the school web screen to see the pollution levels show him where go to record new environmental sounds. Soon, Marco’s Eco-Pet regains its strength. and sounds from around the province. Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen They go to the school web screen to see the Marco tells his friends about the great new The EcoPets sense each other and begin pollution levels and sounds from around the remix he heard on the bus. They show him to sing. Soon, Marco’s EcoPet regains its province. where to go to record new environmental strength. sounds. Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 88. After class, the friends go to a bus stop where Marco uploads the Marco’s Eco-Pet begins to chirp. It’s identified one of his sounds he recorded. favorite remix artists. Marco’s collected 30 minutes of sound, The group begins to play the sounds of the city using the interactive field. She’s a classmate! And a new friend! enough for a free ticket to Milan! Together, they’re creating their own remixes. Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen Now that his EcoPet is healthy again, he uses The group begins to play the sounds of the Marco’s EcoPets begins to chirp. It’s identified it to record the sounds of his friends laughing. city using the interactive field. Together, one of his favorite remix artists. She’s a class- It’ll sound great in a remix. they’re creating their own remixes. mate! And a new friend! After class, the friends go to a bus stop where Marco uploads the sounds he recorded. Mar- co’s collected 30 minutes of sound, enough for a free ticket to Milan! 89
  • 89. Flock Flock is a social networking game about environmental sustainability and collective learning organized through the distribution of sensory objects using the public transporta- tion system. Flock is the main database used to store environmental information and ex- change it among the users. At the same time it is a social networking game about environ- mental sustainability and collective learning organized through the distribution of sensory objects using the public transportation sys- tem. The Flock system as a whole is acces- sible through a web-interface and distributed screens. Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 90. 91 Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen
  • 91. Eco-Pet: emotions and actions EcoPet EcoPets are personal, emotional and environ- mental sensitivehealthy feels objects combined with bus Low pollution pass for public transportation. The object is carried in the city attached to something like a mobile phone or backpack. The device con- • monthly transportation pass tinuously measures the level of air pollution • records location-based sounds wh in the environment. The EcoPet responds to the level • registers location-based pollution le of air pollution using sound and light and when them with sounds carried in healthy environments, it can be used as sound recorder for the distribu- tion of sounds throughout the flock system. amon • sings when happy and when The EcoPet shows its emotions and actions as by serving different functions depending on its environment. The practical function as a monthly transportation pass is constant re- gardless of state, but when the EcoPet senses feels unhealthy High pollution that the environment has low pollution, then it feels healthy and records location-based sounds when activated, it registers location- • monthly transportation pass based pollution levels and associates them with sounds, and it sings when it is happy pollution • registers location-based among other EcoPets. • sings among other Eco-Pets When the EcoPet senses high pollution and feels unhealthy, it registers location-based pol- lution levels, and sings among other EcoPets. Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 92. The Eco-Pet: technical specifications 93 Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen
  • 93. Interactive field Fields The Fields are the interactive public spaces where users can exchange and play with the recorded sounds of the city. The Fields visualize location-based sounds that can be downloaded. Individuals can interact, play and create mashups with recorded sounds of the city. Community-based sounds can be synchronized with local bus routes to enhance the bus riding experience. Users upload the sounds from the EcoPet and at the Fields they can activate and create mashups of current sounds in the Flock system. The recorded sounds and mashups can be downloaded to bring on mobile phone, mp3-player, computer or similar. Brescia Project Design Interventions Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen
  • 94. Interactive field • An interactive field that visualizes location-based sounds that can be downloaded • Individuals interact, play and create mashups with recorded sounds of city Community-based sounds Interactive field: • synchronized with local bus routes materials Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen 95
  • 95. Route (with buses) The routes are the transportation Web interface network of the Province of Brescia. The Routes are distrib- uting the sounds from the interactive Fields using the buses as agents. Within the Route system the users are able to download and listen to the recorded sounds and mashups. The buses themselves transmit the the new information (environmental data and sounds) around the city. We imagine that the web interface will offer a downloadable database of all the informa- tion collected (sounds and pollution), and will also present visualizations of the connection between location-based sounds and pollution levels. It should also include functions for the user to manage their bus account and track their EcoPet. It should visualize the collective presence of EcoPets and create new applica- tions for learning sustainability at schools. Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 96. Marco uses Eco-Pet to collaborate with Flock members and stay in touch with friends. 3_Conclusions Summary Our project proposal encourages individual collection of environmental data and increas- es awareness of the environment in a playful way. We innovate by supporting storytelling all around the Provincia, and we’ve designed environmental sound ‘clouds’ for collective interaction, in addition to providing a distrib- uted system for the government to collect data about the Provincia. Future Steps We envision that additional physical augmen- tations could be provided so that users have more options to customize their EcoPets and to express their personal and collective identi- ties. Also, an integrated card to support youth participation, such as cultural and recreational activity discounts, would greatly promote the adoption and use of EcoPets. He’s even customized it to show his village and his favorite football team. 97 Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen
  • 97. Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 98. RECONFIGURED BUS By reshaping the bus through electronic games and dis- OUR INITIAL premises were based on the assumptions that Brescia’s students don’t like plays and a reconfiguration of its physical space, we can public bus services because they feel that the make transportation a more social and playful event. passenger experience is undesirable. Thus we thought that if the experience of riding on the bus were more fun and engaging, then the students would ride buses happily and more often. The implication of course, is that taking the bus is environmentally responsible and fosters a captive audience. Thus we defined the goal of our project to be the empowering of the young bus passenger by providing education, entertainment, social interaction and a political voice, by using a free and innovative mobile device. 99
  • 99. Methodology System Description Brescia’s youth a new and unique voice: short video content broadcasted throughout buses, schools, and libraries. We began our investigations by exploring the Our proposal consists of three components: concept of theme buses: we wished to lever- the Theme Bus, VideoVoice, and the Retract- VideoVoice is a system of freely available, age the captive bus audience to enable a fun able Wand. At the end of this section we province-owned hardware on buses, at librar- social network using RFID technology, online also describe our imagined user scenario to ies and in schools that allows youth to record, profiles, and live streaming media from discos, demonstrate the user experience of the entire watch, and rate personal videos created by tutors, sponsors. system. themselves or their peers. Theme Buses We then developed a model for spontaneous Videos can have educational, social, personal video content created by the students at bus Inspired by railroad lounge car designs, we or popular value and are a reflection of Bres- stops, in schools, or on the bus itself. Video- imagined public-private bus partnerships cia’s youth, their culture, feelings, emotions Voice can be incorporated into curricula and between entertainment providers and the and values. requires no user hardware. Province of Brescia. ThemeBuses leverage the captive bus audience to enable a fun social Next, we designed the retractable wand, an network using RFID technology, online pro- all-purpose peripheral reachable by anyone files, and live streaming media from discos, on the bus. The final phase of our investiga- tutors, and sponsors. tion was conducted in Brescia, where we VideoVoice spoke with provincial officials, interacted with VideoVoice is a model for spontaneous video students, assessed the feasibility of our ideas, content created by students at the bus stops, and refined the details of our proposal. in schools, or on the bus itself. This system can be incorporated into curricula and requires no user hardware. Live media kiosks at bus stops would give Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 100. Theme Buses? Inspired by railroad lounge car designs, we imagined public-private bus partnerships between entertainment providers and the Province of Brescia. MIT Mobile Experience Lab: Anthony Rizos, Joseph Brown, Mingxi Li 101
  • 101. VideoVoice Live media kiosks at bus stops would give Brescia’s youth a new, unique voice: short video content broadcasted throughout buses, schools, and libraries. Brescia Project Design Interventions MIT Mobile Experience Lab: Anthony Rizos, Joseph Brown, Mingxi Li
  • 102. Retractable Wand The functions of the Retractable Wand can be expanded to include multiplayer bus games, The Retractable Wand is an all-purpose inter-and intra-bus chat, provincial services, peripheral through which VideoVoice is ac- reporting fare cheaters, summonning the cessed. The wand is reachable by anyone on police, and even for pre-ordering a meal to be the bus. delivered to your next stop. To encourage students to use VideoVoice, we User Scenario imagine that competitions, with the prospect of fame and prizes could serve as part of the Whether seated or standing, reach up to the motivation; or, teachers could assign video ceiling and grab a retractable wand. Log in homework for students to complete with Vid- using your RFID bus pass. Record using wand eoVoice. Further incentive could be given by or watch on the main bus screen... awarding creators of highly-rated videos with benefits such as free bus rides, extra vacation Beyond the wand... from school, credit in class, and recognition from peers, teachers, and coaches. Augmented windows and ceiling allows for an IMAX-style projection environment. The Retractable Wand is easily accessbile to all students because no laptop, cell phone or Interactive touch screen glass allows users to camera is required. We also considered that join the videos... there are often crowded conditions in the bus, and we made sure that the wand is safe and easy to use. We also intended for the Wand infrastructure to be free and a part of the institution 103
  • 103. Introduction [Today] Interaction [Tomorrow] Emersion [+1 year] Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 104. Introduction [Today] Interaction [Tomorrow] Emersion [+1 year] 105
  • 105. Introduction [Today] Interaction [Tomorrow] Emersion [+1 year] Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 106. 107
  • 107. Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 108. ECOWEARABLES Responsive tattoos and bracelets can reshape the dialogue WE DECIDED to tackle two complementary questions; first, how do we create personal between the bearer and its environment for new kinds of awareness of the impact ones daily decisions social interaction. make on the environment? And secondly, how can we initiate group learning about sustainable living? Our goals were to foster awareness of sustain- able decisions by inviting youth to make their impact part of their physical identity, and to employ public spaces effectively to allow for group experiences. We imagine a line of wearable bracelets, which we call EcoWearables. EcoWearables let you show off your environmental impact everywhere you go. 109
  • 109. Sources of Inspiration We were inspired by the use of tattoos as a form of personal expression. Also, we view such wearable electronics as an evolution of the Livestrong campaign (selling bracelets to raise funds for cancer victims), whose popular- ity swept across the U.S. With EcoWearables, your impact on the world is measured (water, electricity, participation, etc.), aggregated, and combined to find your “ecoscore”, which is downloaded to your wearable accessories. Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 110. Your “ecowearable” brightens to reflect your positive impact... EcoScore We imagine an EcoScore to be given to each individual, as a measurement of that person’s environmental impact. The Ecoscore could reflect a person’s ability to use less energy than his/her peers, the person’s personal improvement over previous energy usage, and his/her resourcefulness in making sustain- able decisions (using public transport, sharing rides, etc.) The EcoWearable would be aware Light intensity of this score and display accordingly, such as by brightening to reflect the wearer’s posi- tive impact. With EcoWearables, your impact on the world is measured, aggregated and Eco-Score combined to find your EcoScore, which is then downloaded to your EcoWearable. For exam- ple, the EcoScore would be adjusted as people tap their ticket for a city bus or walk past a wireless station, and EcoWearable brightens to reflect your positive impact, helping you make a big positive fashion impression. 111
  • 111. With EcoWearables, your impact on the world is measured… Water Electricity …aggregated… …and combined to find your Participation “ecoscore”… …which is downloaded to your wearable accessories… Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 112. 113
  • 113. EarthSwap Mockup of interface for sustainable knowledge exchange (part broadcast, part input via phone or touch) Shared Displays / Public Space We designed the EcoWearables as positive reinforcement of the environmental impact we can all make as individuals. The bracelets aim to inspire pride and friendly competition amongst those who wear them. We therefore continue to explore applications of integrat- ing EcoWearables with the public space. We ask, what opportunities does such a platform By adding ecology create for interactive experiences with shared advice, people adding ‘leaves’ to the ‘tree’, displays? Precedent: Ecotonoha by NEC EarthSwap Concept Visualization Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 114. EarthViz Mockup of (broadcast) interface for collective resource awareness We propose three concepts: • EarthSwap, an interface for sustainable The best knowledge exchange, where people add tree! Your ecology advice as “leaves” to the “tree”. area ! This idea is based on the precedent of Ecotonoha by the NEC Corporation. This interface would consist of two aspects: broadcast on a public display, and input via phone or touch from users. • EarthViz, an interface for collective re- source awareness. The virtual trees serve as indices of the overall energy consump- tion in individual areas, and the trees collectively serve as a forest for environ- mental awareness. This would be a broad- cast-only interface. • GroupShare, a touch interface for people The virtual tree as index of overall energy consumption in the area, to find ride-sharing. all the trees consist forest for environment awareness. EarthViz Concept Visualization 115
  • 115. GroupShare Mockup of (touch) interface for group ride finding Further Investigations Finally we look further at the possibilities for Possible Rides For Your Group different forms of EcoWearables, including augmentations for the bracelet so as to dis- Owner Space Storage Desti. play more information, or new technologies Jim B. 2 Ppl None [View] such as invisible tattoos that are printed with Abbie B. 4 Ppl Trunk [View] signal-sensitive ink. In Return: “Help me carry my groceries!” Solomon B. Jenna F. David C. Destination set to: Destination set to: Destination set to: Home Groceries, then Home Groceries, then Home GroupShare Concept Visualization Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 116. EcoWearables as a sensor network and a platform for EcoWearables as a sensor network and a platform for introspection - chemical sensors on the bracelet introspection - chemical sensors on the bracelet could could detect air pollution levels and dim brightness in response. detect air pollution levels and dim brightness in response 117
  • 117. Individual bracelet covers for different environmental causes - represents a “divide and conquer” approach Individual Bracelet Covers for Different Environmental to environmentalism through personalization Causes - Represents “Divide and conquer” approach to environmentalism through personalization Brescia Project Design Interventions
  • 118. 119
  • 119. Brescia Project Conclusions
  • 120. CONCLUSION 121
  • 121. Brescia Project Conclusion
  • 122. To creatively imagine a new media system were developed and elaborated to the extent to promote learning, sustainability, and civic possible within a short project, but the project engagement, we used a multidisciplinary ap- details should not be taken too literally; they proach. We approached the design question are intended primarily as suggestive starting from an ecosystemic perspective, considering points for further investigation, development, the problems and issues from diverse points of and critical analysis. view: from the young citizen, to his/her com- munity, to integrating the local transportation The close collaboration with the Province of system, to rethinking the local transportation Brescia helped us properly frame the work and system, to new types of public interfaces, to understand Brescia, the local culture, existing harnessing the social, transportation, and ur- system, and its people. ban network. We innovatively imagined new forms of communication and services to foster This work has established a framework that learning, knowledge-sharing, and social inclu- highlights perspectives to consider for further sion. We investigated the use of new media investigations. and communication technologies to promote social sustainability and cultural enrichment for location-based communities. We explored innovative designs for embedding electronics into the urban fabric, as well as into the public transportation system, so that they may pro- mote ubiquitous accessibility to information, culture, and knowledge. Our work does not see to identify possible incremental improvements, but rather to discover ways of fundamentally re-imagining the entire ecosystem in response to the condi- tions and possibilities made possible by our current digital information era. Our proposals 123
  • 123. Brescia Project References
  • 124. REFERENCES 125
  • 125. Berger, Doris, with Charles Esche, Mika Hannula, Andreas Spiegl, and Barbara Steiner 2002 Superflex, Tools. Walther Konig, Cologne. Berridge, P. and Brown, A.G.P 2002 A Touring Machine. Paper presented at the 20th eCAADe Conference, Warsaw (Poland) 18-20 September 2002. Holmes, Tiffany 2007 Eco-visualization: Combining art and technology to reduce energy consumption. Paper presented at the Creativity and Cognition conference, Washington 2007. Knight, Michael with Ghouisia Saeed and Yu-Horng Chen 2007 Remote Location in an Urban Digital Model. Paper presented at the Education in Computer Aided Design in Europe, Frankfurt, October 26. Manovich, Lev 2002 The Language of New Media. MIT Press, Cambridge. Mitchell, William J. 2005 Playing Words. Symbols, Space and the City. MIT Press, Cambridge. 2004 Me++. The Cyborg Self and the Networked City. MIT Press, Cambridge. Papert, Seymour 1993 The children`s machine. Rethinking school in the age of computers. Basic Books, New York. Brescia Project References
  • 126. Zegras, Christopher 2001 The Potential for Using Urban Growth Management for Transportation System Enhancements in Developing Countries: The case of the Santiago, Chile Metropolitan Region. M.S. Thesis, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 2005 Sustainable Urban Mobility: Exploring the Role of the Built Environment. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Glossary of Digital Media Terms 127
  • 127. Brescia Project Acknowledgements
  • 128. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We are grateful to the collaborators from the provincial government of Brescia, Centro Innovazione e Tecnologie, who participated very actively and constantly during all phases of the workshop. Their work, help, and support has been fundamental to the success of this workshop and subsequent report. Thank you to all the participants in the MIT workshop held at the Mobile Experience Lab, part of the MIT Design Lab, in the fall of 2007. We would especially like to thank all the students, Colleen Kaman, Lorenza Parisi, Bo Stjerne Thomsen, Daniel Cardoso, Michelle Petersen, Anthony Rizos, Solomon Bisker, Joseph Brown, Mingxi Li, Zijian Li, and the course collaborators, Orkan Telhan, Sebastian (Guz) Gutmann, and Agnes Chang, whose hard work resulted in the contents of this report. Finally, we would like to acknowledge the unstinting support and insightful guidance of Professor William J. Mitchell and Federico Casalegno without whom this workshop would not have been possible. Project Directors Federico Casalegno William J. Mitchell Final Report Design Agnes Chang Photographers Bo Stjerne Thomsen Sebastian (Guz) Gutmann Anthony Rizos Content Editing Daniel Cardoso 129
  • 129. BRESCIA: Promoting Learning, Sustainability, and Civic Engagement through New Media Educational Workshop Fall 2007 MIT Mobile Experience Lab MIT Design Lab