Nethood Aesop09 Liverpool

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Nethood Aesop09 Liverpool

  1. 1. Planning and Design Practice in the Virtual Space Ileana Apostol Panayotis Antoniadis Tridib Banerjee XXIII AESOP Congress Liverpool July 16, 2009 Université Pierre & Marie Curie, Paris University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  2. 2. The Virtual Space • the underlying communication network the Internet: access fee or public (e.g. WiFi city coverage, Athens Wireless, Seattle Wireless Net) • the digital information exchanged between the nodes of the network public and private rights over its content • the computer software that defines the rules for using and transforming this information some public and/or open source (e.g. Drupal), but most of the social software of the currently successful online communities is privately owned (e.g. Yahoo, Google, Facebook)
  3. 3. Why the Virtual Space? • its complex uses substitute, supplement or are entwined w/ social life in physical environments • there is the opportunity to bring to reality spatial values like users’ control over the space, building strong communities, future flexibility, choice, diversity, preferred lifestyle (Lynch 1981) users may influence cyberspace development from “one to many” to “many to many” (Shirky) • software design impacts users behaviour & the dynamics in online social networking/communities under debate: the Internet neutrality and its regulation (e.g. Odlyzko, Crowcroft etc) • besides increasing the quality of cyberspace, the social software could promote place-based communities in the physical space
  4. 4. Social Contract without Social Contact?
  5. 5. The Culture of Computer Networks: Virtual Space
  6. 6. From Facebook to Face-block Communities The tradition in planning theory and practice Methodological frameworks that assist us in spatial perception, experience and conception
  7. 7. What Type of (Virtual) Space? • relational social space that exists only insofar as it contains and represents relationships phenomenological view on space: meaning and human experiences like emotion, desire, volition, imagination, thought, action etc… • cannot be conceived in separation from time dynamic changes within social networking, synchronic/asynchronic exchanges, past records, collective memory • the representational spaces of the network society are the object of spatial knowledge (rf. Lefebvre ‘91) spaces directly experienced through their associated images and systems of signs and non- verbal systems (including artistic representations)
  8. 8. Representational Spaces Landmarks XIX-th Century
  9. 9. Representational Spaces Landmarks XXI-th Century
  10. 10. Planning Contribution in Cyberspace • Knowledge: 1. Places 2. Communities • Practice: 1. User interface 2. E-places 3. New forms of social organization
  11. 11. Planning Knowledge for Cyberspace 1. Places • users’ behaviour in cyberspace suggests a sense of belonging and identity that achieves a “form” through self-representation; through the images and language employed; through frequent system operations and process reiterations • they appropriate space and transform it into places, namely e-places early place vocabulary: chat room, electronic frontier, information superhighway, city of bits • places (Arefi & Triantafillou ‘05) a set of visual attributes (image); product (information content); process; meaning
  12. 12. Identity of Spatial User The tradition in planning theory and practice Methodological frameworks that assist us in spatial perception, experience and conception
  13. 13. Identity of Spatial User
  14. 14. Identity of Spatial User The tradition in planning theory and practice Methodological frameworks that assist us in spatial perception, experience and conception
  15. 15. Planning Practice in Cyberspace 1. User Interface • the user interface mediates the spatial experience, and works as a cross-section through the software components and communicates its functionality • the social software mediates the online social exchanges Planners can integrate various choices for interface details with their effects on social exchanges, and recommend those in accordance with the particular representational spaces
  16. 16. Interface: Appearance and Wording
  17. 17. Planning Practice in Cyberspace 2. E-places • the methods of practice in the physical space could be transferred between the two environments for social life like, for ex. Kevin Lynch’s methods: Taxonomy of Images • paths: space navigation (rhythms) • edges: space separation, division • nodes: space of gathering • landmarks: identifiable (unique) signs • districts: space unification (groups) Sketch (Cognitive) Mapping • representations of space
  18. 18. Representations of Virtual Space: Geographical
  19. 19. Representations of Virtual Space: Web Trend Map
  20. 20. Representational Spaces Paths and Edges
  21. 21. Representational Spaces Paths and Edges
  22. 22. Representational Spaces Nodes and Districts The tradition in planning theory and practice Methodological frameworks that assist us in spatial perception, experience and conception
  23. 23. Representational Spaces Nodes and Districts The tradition in planning theory and practice Methodological frameworks that assist us in spatial perception, experience and conception
  24. 24. Planning Knowledge for Cyberspace 2. Communities • online communities shaped out by members of social networks based on common interest (e.g. Flickr, MySpace, Facebook) users begin to define their particularized space, beyond the control of software designers (i.e Friendster) • hybrid (place-based online) communities that overlay spatial neighborhoods common locus of activities and interest; provide the necessary links between physical space and their online space and activities, facilitate recording and building an archive of collective memory, short- and long-term feedback; challenge: building common interest, shared values, community identity
  25. 25. Representations of Virtual in Physical Space: San Jose WiFi Yellow Chair
  26. 26. Representations of Physical in Virtual Space: Online Communities Image physical to virtual
  27. 27. Bridging Virtual and Physical Space: Hybrid Communities
  28. 28. Quality of Places (E-places) A good place is one which, in some way appropriate to the person and her culture, makes her aware of her community, her past, the web of life, and the universe of time and space in which those are contained […] sensible, identifiable places are convenient pegs on which to hang personal memories, feelings, and values. Place identity is closely linked to personal identity. “I am here” supports “I am”. Intense familiarity will create a sense of place” (Lynch 1981 p.142 &132).
  29. 29. Planning Practice in Cyberspace 3. New Forms of Social Organization • the cyberspace capabilities allow to easily transform and even reset community rules, and members roles and identities Planners could promote community values that lead to conviviality, vitality and ecology, instead of online addiction and commercial objectives Planners could mediate the public and the private, and build trust between the community and the entity holding their information, owning the software or the communication network (e.g. municipality) Planners may provide guidelines for easily customizable and self-configured software
  30. 30. No matter how hard we’d try, we cannot escape reality :o) bekathwia@flickr
  31. 31. Planning and Design Practice in Cyberspace Summary • the emergence of e-places and of thriving online communities bring up a new challenge for planners: Their contribution to cyberspace development: User Interface Design Evaluating the Quality of E-places by means of Lynch’s Taxonomy of Images Breaking the Ice for Community Engagement: Sketch (Cognitive) Mapping Supporting Hybrid Community Building and Bridging the Physical with the Virtual Space through Social Software Design

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