i move and i interact in torino
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i move and i interact in torino

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This presentation is a quick overview of the results from a workshop about how people move/interact in the city of Torino. It was discussed in a panel with Bruce Sterling and Geoff Manaugh at the......

This presentation is a quick overview of the results from a workshop about how people move/interact in the city of Torino. It was discussed in a panel with Bruce Sterling and Geoff Manaugh at the "i realize conference".

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  • 1. i move and i interact in torino nicolas nova | i-realize torino, june 10, 2009 This presentation describes the result of a workshop I conducted in Torino, Italy in the context of the i-realize conference organized by Top-ix. Based on a field exploration (during 2 hours), we worked on the needs and practices of inhabitants of a Torino suburb, before discussing the implications of terms of solutions (existing or disruptive).
  • 2. the future’s already here touch interaction One of the thing we noticed is that the future we are presented with in media is already here. Touch interaction for instance
  • 3. the future’s already here just-in time information information membrane context-aware services real-time tracking But also mobile and context-aware services.
  • 4. the future’s already here but it’s broken did we care about people want/do? That said, their deployment is often problematic... things get broken and these products are often given/sold/proposed to people without so much care whether they would really need them.
  • 5. back to what people do, which reflects their needs natural pockets At the same time, when we look at what people do, their practices, we can... we find urban gardens, natural pockets and chicken, even in the suburbs of Torino!
  • 6. natural “pockets” vineyards We even found vineyards!
  • 7. 24/7 access to goods and services We also noticed 24/7 services such as porn DVD vending machines
  • 8. repurposed objects People using billboards as walls
  • 9. user-generated content! Participation in generating or correcting information for transportation systems. Is this the wisdom of the crowd? perhaps. At the very least, this is bottom-up innovation.
  • 10. workshop discussions/data analysis With this material we discuss design problems, principles and trade-offs
  • 11. trade off #1: design for everyone or iphone owners? We spent some time talking about whether design should target everyone (public displays so that everyone could know when the busy will pass by) or specific individuals (people who have 3G phones).
  • 12. trade off #2: general need versus individual desire It’s important for designers to address needs but what happens when there is a tension between individual needs (people who desire to have a big car, people who cannot use public transport and need a car because there is no train in their area) and general need (sustainable development to save the planet)?
  • 13. trade-off #3: make the invisible membrane visible? And also, we talked about the invisibility of all these digital services (wifi, access to bluetooth services, rfid tag services...)? How to make things visible.
  • 14. principle #1: infrastructures are fine but people need to be aware of them! Which lead us to talk about the problems of infrastructures: they do exist BUT people are not necessarily aware that there is a bike lane 200m from where they are! And it’s the same for lots of other services (digital or physical).
  • 15. principle #2: don’t break what works well We discussed the tension between tabula rasa (starting from scratch) versus integrating design in the existing elements of the urban fabrice. Urban gardens are important to people, they should not be removed.
  • 16. enrich trips, beyond optimization We were fortunate enough to have transportation design students who drew amazing shapes but interestingly what these students proposed as far beyond sexy spaceship-like tramways! One of their message was that an interesting avenue would be to enrich transports qualitatively: by providing tools to enable people to spend a good time in the buses/metro (games, discussion boards, etc.).
  • 17. new informational membrane citysense Of course we also dealt with how the digital traces we produced through our activity (movement in space, cell phone usage) could be employed to create new services, such as Citysense, a mobile application that aims at helping people to figure out where are city “hotspots” (by sensing where the most popular places are based on the location information emitted by cell phones). This kind of application create an information membrane to help people take decisions.
  • 18. old tools, still good solutions However, some people in the workshop raised concerns about the difficulty to put in place new devices. They proposed the use of watches and rfid tags as a way to interact with physical space in different way, without forcing everyone to buy a fancy-and-expensive 4G phone.
  • 19. old tools, still great solutions that can be redesigned I also pointed out how old tools, such as maps, could be reshaped and re-designed in original ways based on design principles coming straight from digital practices (video-games, interaction design). This project is called “Here&There” by Jack Schulze, it depicts Manhattan in an innovative way. As Schuze puts it “The projection begins with a three-dimensional representation of the immediate environment. Close buildings are represented normally, and the viewer himself is shown in the third person, exactly where she stands. As the model bends from sideways to top-down in a smooth join, more distant parts of the city are revealed in plan view. The projection connects the viewer’s local environment to remote destinations normally out of sight.”
  • 20. conclusion high-tech products and solution are thrown to people do they correspond to people’s practices? needs? should designers/engineers disrupt people’s practices? should we invent new things or improve existing solutions?