Reflection - Builders at Play

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The Internet of Things
Workshop II: Builders at Play
September 2-4
Waag Society
Amsterdam

www.smartinpublic.nl

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  • In our opinion a successful interdisciplinary workshop is a workshop that is open ended and aims towards breaking down the barriers between the participants, establishing an evolving culture of collaboration and knowledge exchange.\n
  • Smart in Public, Builders at Play. As the name demonstrates, we wanted to build things. This is of course a different approach then the initial workshop. May 7th, we organized a workshop to bring architects and software engineers together to elicit a collaboration. There was only discussion and hardly any constructive discourse. This time we approached the workshop with a concrete brief and a (demanding) call for prototypes. What is it now that needs to be improved to bring this collaboration, this interdisciplinary dream, to the next stage of completion?\n\n
  • As a means to analyze the projects we identified, six elements or considerations that exist within projects created for public space: Permanence, re-configurability, granular level of participation, location specificity, incentive for participation, level of interaction.These six elements we have then used to create a spiderweb visualization to demonstrate the extent to which the projects exhibit these elements.\n\n
  • As you can see none of the projects evoke all of the elements equally, nor do they exhibit all of the considerations to a significant level. Rather each project (and there is also a trend one can observe which we can get to later) emphasizes only a few (in most cases only two) of the elements. This can be seen then as a short coming of the projects. As such, we then can consider combining all the projects' graphs to demonstrate the then assumed idea. This ideal of course being that a project evokes all of the elements to a maximum level. However, does this even work or even would this work to create the ideal project? By observing the teams in this workshop it is clear that the very assumption that the optimal project exhibits all of these elements is in fact false. The assumption that many, and some of us even may have had coming into this workshop, is that there is a possibility of making a project that covers all of the so far proposed angles to their fullest.\n
  • The assumption that many, and some of us even may have had coming into this workshop, is that there is a possibility of making a project that covers all of the so far proposed angles to their fullest. One concrete counter to this is that the re-configurability of an urban object is almost in direct opposition to the local specificity of a space. This must be understood in terms of first stage interaction (an urban object of course can be re-configured for a space, but this is then the incorporation of a history through time, rather than an incorporation of history--temporal and spatial specificity--from the outset of a project). In other words a project cannot have an embedded site specificity and still be configurable for other spaces, while a project that through time becomes site specific can always be put somewhere else for initiation. This does not mean that site specificity is an element that should be avoided of course, making a project has a clear and function, politics and social consequence, just as a project that is reconfigurable does.\n
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  • To move now to a more concrete example we can look at Usman Haque's project Primal Source which we have thus similarly mapped. This considered to be a highly successful project, and yet it demonstrates very few elements of our diagram.\n
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  • Another interesting example is Anish Kapoor's spectacular sculpture in Millennium Park, Chicago. The sculpture makes you aware of yourself in relationship with your surroundings and is exemplifying how sharing an experience inspires people to adapt, literally copy each others behavior, mediating the physical and social distance between them. Obviously the level of participation is location specific.\n
  • To conclude we want to approach this by detailing what were the variables in this workshop, what we provided and what we need to add in terms of material and expertise to build a framework that enables interdisciplinary collaboration.\n\n\n
  • There is a clear necessity to bring in a wider range of expertise, beyond that of the engineer or the professional architect, into a rapid prototype space for meaningful networked environments.\n\nThere is a great potential in terms of what can be created. A successful interdisciplinary workshop is a workshop that is open ended.\n
  • Reflection - Builders at Play

    1. 1. The Internet of Things Workshop II: Builders at Play September 2-4 Waag Society AmsterdamSmart in Public - Reflection
    2. 2. we are building an open source knowledge platform for sharing design experiments with networked environments in public spaceSmart in Public
    3. 3. All aspects on 100% ?
    4. 4. Desire Paths
    5. 5. Desire Paths
    6. 6. Square Dots
    7. 7. Square Dots
    8. 8. betaKUUB
    9. 9. Beta Cubes
    10. 10. NDSM ZOO example of the unforseen
    11. 11. http://www.haque.co.uk/primalsource.phpPrimal Source - Usman Haque
    12. 12. http://flic.kr/p/a25NhHCloud Gate - Anish Kapoour
    13. 13. now, next, later, maybe...To be continued

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