Finding the There There: theory and praxis of location-aware systems design

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I first gave this talk at the Pitney Bowes Innovation Day 2013. The goals for the presentation were to 1) use theories of context and embodied interaction to examine the ways our conceptions of space and place have evolved, 2) illustrate new complexities of location-aware mobile design, and 3) suggest some new theoretical frameworks for thinking about designing location-aware systems.

Published in: Technology, Education, Design

Finding the There There: theory and praxis of location-aware systems design

  1. Finding the There There Theory and Praxis of Location-Aware Systems Design Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt thomas@srsg.co srsg.co
  2. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Thomas Wendt UX Strategist and Researcher Founder of Surrounding Signifiers, a strategy and design consultancy Background in continental philosophy, psychology, and literary theory
  3. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/Seining_salmon.jpg
  4. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt http://img103.fansshare.com/pic12/w/non-celebrity/ 800/8520_jean_baudrillard.jpg “We live in a world where there is more and more information, and less and less meaning.” Jean Baudrillard
  5. Data is complicated. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
  6. Context is complex. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
  7. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt • Question the ways we currently think about location. • Illustrate the complexity of location context. • Start establishing some theoretical models. Why are we here?
  8. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Context Embodiment Space Place Praxis
  9. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Context Layers situation environment cognition emotion
  10. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Context Layers situation environment cognition emotion
  11. But what does “context” mean? Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
  12. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Context ≠ Sensors
  13. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt 1. The parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning 2. The interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs. Webster says
  14. “The notion of “context” has been adapted to computing from its original use referring to language, which is reflected in the structure of the word itself: con (with) text. In using language we produce a text, either written or oral, intended to be interpreted by one or more other people. That text is not an encapsulated representation of an intended meaning, but rather is a cue that allows the anticipated audience to construct an appropriate meaning.” Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Winograd says Terry Winograd
  15. “Context is an operational term: Something is context because of the way it is used in interpretation, not due to its inherent properties.” Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Winograd says Terry Winograd
  16. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt http://beautifultrouble.org/wp-content/http://fanart.tv/fanart/music/382f1005- e9ab-4684-afd4-0bdae4ee37f2/albumcover/all-eyez-on- Context creates meaning
  17. Text Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt http://www.deviantart.com/download/281824001/reading_book_by_srnnrgz- d4nsgsh.jpg Context shapes experience
  18. Context is always of something http://www.movpins.com/big/ MV5BMTg4NDY3MDc1N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMzIzNDMzNQ/still-of-tom-cruise-
  19. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Context is never static https://www.google.com/url? sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&docid=qpWnd3U5dLkNYM&t
  20. Text Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://www.cbsoutdoor.com/PhotoGallery/Subway%20Corridor_New %20York_Retail.JPG Architecture for everyday life
  21. Text Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt http://fogsmoviereviews.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/ blue_velvet_frank_booth_jeffrey_beaumont_dennis_hopper_kyle_maclachlan.png Context is all we know
  22. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Context Embodiment Space Place Praxis
  23. The body presents a problem. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
  24. 1) We’re thrown into the world. 2) We interact with objects. 3) We cope.
  25. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Smooth Coping User is in the midst of a seamless experience, acting-through, without distinction between self and object.
  26. Section Title Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt http://img.tjskl.org.cn/nimg/44/9f/ 5592a0632b61a239fbc95349e778-0x0-1/
  27. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.co http://cdn.dottech.org/media/2013/02/nexus4.png
  28. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Theoretical knowledge, disconnected from here and now. World presents itself as an obstacle. Intentionality
  29. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Smooth Coping Intentionality
  30. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Smooth Coping Intentionality
  31. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Coping Intentionality
  32. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Intentionality Coping
  33. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wxrYOHd_MKA/T9d3EJi8LXI/AAAAAAAAAB8/ TzmCg7Htk9k/s1600/andyclark.jpg “Intelligence and understanding are rooted not in the presence and manipulation of explicit, language-like data structures, but in something more earthy: the tuning of basic responses to a real world that enables an embodied organism to sense, act, and survive.” Andy Clark
  34. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wxrYOHd_MKA/T9d3EJi8LXI/AAAAAAAAAB8/ TzmCg7Htk9k/s1600/andyclark.jpg “Embodiment is the property of our engagement with the world that allows us to make it meaningful.” Paul Dourish
  35. Text Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt http://macaulay.cuny.edu/eportfolios/adesignaday/files/2009/06/ dadcard2-03.jpg Moravec’s Paradox “High order” tasks are easy to program. “Low order” tasks are difficult to program.
  36. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt http://www.cnmeonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/IBM- Watson.jpg Cognition
  37. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.co http://asimo.honda.com/ASIMO_DCTM/News/images/highres/ 02_ASIMO_Climbing_Stairs_2.jpg Cognition in context
  38. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.co http://cdn.dottech.org/media/2013/02/nexus4.png
  39. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.co http://www.far-flungfitness.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/ freeimage-1325989.jpg Proprioception
  40. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.co http://www.antiquemaps.com/uk/mzoom/29900.jpg Disembodied navigation
  41. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.co https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images? q=tbn:ANd9GcTsGdgmZIXGdJ4xsc5Vv3EYuGeIbju5OXkMdBq5caUonl7UME Embodied navigation
  42. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Proprioception Our phones sense our bodily orientation and act accordingly.
  43. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Hyperception Ambient perception. Our new subconscious relation to the world.
  44. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Context Embodiment Space Place Praxis
  45. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Henri Lefevre “The living organism has neither meaning nor existence when considered in isolation from its extensions, from the space that it reaches and produces.” Henri Lefevre
  46. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.co http://www.museumsyndicate.com/images/4/39690.jpg Modernist Tension
  47. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt http://img103.fansshare.com/pic12/w/non-celebrity/ 800/8520_jean_baudrillard.jpg "What we have forgotten in modernity [...] is that force comes from subtraction, power from absence. [W]e are immersed in the opposite illusion, the disenchanted illusion of the proliferation of screens and images. Now, the image can no longer imagine the real, because it is the real." Jean Baudrillard
  48. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.co http://thisisthestoryof.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/nyc-central-park-aerial- photo.jpg “Space is not a thing, but rather a set of relations between things.”Henri Lefebvre
  49. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.co http://www.extravaganzi.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Andy-Warhol- Diamond-Dust-Shoes-1980.jpg Postmodern textualization
  50. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQSXOkeST8J6dCjUmZVh6qWylDh3hRcHBYXiSo-J_RGaeL9Mycrvg, https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images? q=tbn:ANd9GcSB_dncvweNPE7bBIp1BTQ0NUA3QvJ5e9ieHKYdWRmNu5MD2b8Ncg, https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRGwwS8pGUtqNyqxFwlSHz5RsPGIng2Bbri5Lh3cvZ-MMvp_Gyu, https://encrypted- tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQAlnTusCSAQf1OPI1a-EevqQTm_Eu9_Dvv_xfJM8x31uUNbH-1, https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTkLTzM2hE6_hhYZMezbQTepRJqv7txpPaZBjqIC_907LGM11WXAA, https:// encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTt056KrYKfU-ob1pocGDCy824wz2QkFt-DxtuQZ3MMSl6BZXUB, https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTcaD_JLBUFz51mTtgvbcZBgWt5XVgyEdx_SnKhBWeltrcxzeax, https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTPS41FufOwxOBaSvhCSyj8m-ow0eorFzlKrQsetKnh1Gz5WCv2, https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTNp3krLDMnJnmjN3Zfg2PDHts0i0ANt6OvWSMWnvh0- wRUb-BlRA
  51. Text Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt http://i.imgur.com/Gyzht.jpg "Today abstraction is no longer that of the map, the double, the mirror, or the concept. Simulation is no longer that of a territory, a referential being, or a substance. It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal […] The desert of the real itself." Jean Baudrillard
  52. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.co http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lqauptxLYL1qfrkx1o1_1280.jpg Disappear here
  53. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt http://www.newsdesk.umd.edu/experts/portraits/111602247.jpg “The mobile interface offers us a distinctly fluid relationship between space and representations of space [...] The interaction between these spaces continues to become mutually constructive.” Jason Farman
  54. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.co http://cdn.dottech.org/media/2013/02/nexus4.png
  55. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.co http://cdn.dottech.org/media/2013/02/nexus4.png Ears Eyes Skin
  56. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.co http://cdn.dottech.org/media/2013/02/nexus4.png Ears Eyes Skin Orientation
  57. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Context Embodiment Space Place Praxis
  58. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt http://www.newsdesk.umd.edu/experts/portraits/111602247.jpg "We have thus moved beyond the theorization of our mobile devices as a type of prosthetic to our bodies—an extension of ourselves out into the material world—but instead have to conceive of our devices as absolutely integral to the very foundations of embodied space in the digital age." Jason Farman
  59. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Static map interactions
  60. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Idea Representation Action Physical Space Static map interactions
  61. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.co “The map is not the territory”Alfred Korzybski
  62. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
  63. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Idea ActionPotentiality Representation Representation Physical Space Mobile map interactions
  64. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Context Embodiment Space Place Praxis
  65. Data is complicated. Context is complex. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt
  66. Text Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS5r6XAsLDivJ5hi8RxzgFDJtky9RY9V3JHZtQI2Fr2iKMNjTbx24JoiWM "A schizophrenic out for a walk is a better model than a neurotic lying on the analyst's couch." Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari
  67. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Intentionality Coping
  68. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Static map interactions
  69. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Idea ActionPotentiality Representation Representation Physical Space Mobile map interactions
  70. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt WORLD Unfocused Existence Decision-oriented Influenced by Microworlds MICROWORLD Focused Existence Task-oriented Influenced by World
  71. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Smooth Coping Intentionality
  72. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Intentionality Smooth Coping World Microworld
  73. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Fragments Sense of self is focused on many concerns at once.
  74. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Connections Context is found in the interconnections between self, world, and microworlds.
  75. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Differences Meaning emerges out of the differences between self, world, and microworld.
  76. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Intentionality Coping
  77. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Context Layers situation environment cognition emotion
  78. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Layers Many experiences are layered upon each other. emotion cognition situation
  79. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Idea ActionPotentiality Representation Representation Physical Space Mobile map interactions
  80. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Idea ActionPotentiality Representation Representation Physical Space Mobile map interactions intentionality coping intentionality smooth coping coping smooth coping
  81. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Idea ActionPotentiality Representation Representation Physical Space Mobile map interactions virtual virtual virtual physical virtual physical
  82. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.cohttp://purple.fr/filestorage/magazines/21/galleries/234/A_MCQUEEN_2_0965.jpg We need more models
  83. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.co http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Ggm6VG5Pzow/Tgbfk7qUGMI/AAAAAAAATWw/ K_dyeWw2C6I/s1600/scaffolding.jpg We’re starting to rebuild
  84. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.co http://img103.fansshare.com/pic12/w/non-celebrity/800/8520_jean_baudrillard.jpg We’re like babies... https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images? q=tbn:ANd9GcT1w4o80VnUC5wngejOh43euMjQIknvXe-e2kbIBcmljUXbmSeGCQ
  85. Surrounding Signifiers srsg.co | @thomas_wendt | thomas@srsg.co http://asimo.honda.com/ASIMO_DCTM/News/images/highres/ 02_ASIMO_Climbing_Stairs_2.jpg Learning to walk
  86. Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt Thanks! Thomas Wendt Surrounding Signifiers @thomas_wendt thomas@srsg.co srsg.co

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