Since only a few years, fast spreading, participatory platforms on the web have evoked a major shift into the realm of social media. Social media are often discussed today in relation to Web 2.0, which refers to a number of technical, economic, and social developments.The new social media platforms reveal the particular features of individual subcultures. Based on these recent developments, our application proposes to develop a strategic manual for social practices-oriented design in public space. New forms of public performance and social interplay are likely to appear, if we envision them to be fed by media-rich content created in an asynchronous, remote virtual manner in the everyday of public life. Customization and participation will be taken as key principles to initiate and enhance new self-organizing forms of public life. Public Space 2.0 - a proposition for a manual to enhance creative urban experience.


first logging

final production

wiring electronics

layout soundscape
drawings by Rainer Stadlbauer, student@a-theory
programming of audio/vibration signals by Thomas Grill

public space feedback

1. user/system (i) 2. data collection 3. data clustering 4. data symbolization
5. repressed contents/symbol evaluation) 6. decision making /soundscape
7. user/system (ii)

drawing by Mathias Mitteregger, phd student@a-theory

Can Infrastructure be crowd-sourced?

>>Session 3 / Media Territories and Crowd Sourcing
Can Infrastructure be crowd-sourced? The Role of Representation in Participatory Systems
talk by Dietmar Offenhuber, Project Leader Trash Track at MIT SENSEable City Lab
The title reflects a genuine (rather than rhetorical) question that frequently comes to mind in debates about the possibilities and limitations of mediated self-organization and decentralization. Allegedly, participatory media can facilitate revolutions, but can it also support mundane tasks of maintenance? Can a traditional urban infrastructure such as waste collection be organized in decentralized, voluntary way? Many concerns can be raised: how reliable, homogenous, and scalable can such a system be? What about social justice and inclusion – who prevents that the burdens are carried by the least powerful? Who is accountable if something goes wrong? Ideologies of bottom-up, with the Internet serving as a metaphor for decentralized modes of organization, are anti-modernist and modernist at the same time. Continue reading ‘Can Infrastructure be crowd-sourced?’

Possibilities of Communication

>>Session 3 / Media Territories and Crowd Sourcing
Possibilities of Communication
talk by Mathias Mitteregger, Junior Researcher@Public Space 2.0, PhD Student, Department for Theory of Architecture, University of Technology Vienna, Austria
Public spaces have been characterized as places of mutual visibility. In other words places that are first of all about communication. This applies at least for the Western ideal, descending form ancient Greece, largely dominating the academic discourse. Much has been written about the stones of Athens, about the structure they provided and on the political effects they have had; the Pnyx or the Agora and the various forms of communication they furnished. Another constraint recognized is the accessibility which is at issue. Returning to ancient Athens, public space was exclusively for man, as woman (with the exception of the Hetaerae) were bound to house and hearth and not allowed to freely move and participate in public life and discussion. The public sphere is where shared believes are created and exchanged. Recognizing the Internet as part of public sphere that connects people at any given moment, structure and accessibility are at issue again. I argue against the idea that the Internet should be conceptualized as a network of a kind, where “every entrance is the correct one, because every point is connected to every other trough … other points. Continue reading ‘Possibilities of Communication’

Mediatized Decomposition of Public Space

>>Session 3 / Media Territories and Crowd Sourcing
The Mediatized Decomposition of Public Space
talk by Oliver Schürer, Senior Researcher@Public Space 2.0, Department for Theory of Architecture, University of Technology Vienna
The cultural idea of public space was driven by a bourgeois value of a homogeneous society with relatively small differences (Jürgen Habermas,1962). But differences in society got made visible by counter cultures like workers movement, women’s liberation, youth movements, social reform, and the development of a consumer-and-leisure-culture. Hence homogeneity as bourgeois connotation to public space got eroded. The idea of public space additionally puts strong emphasis on its duality to the private, which got nearly obsolete. Besides an opposition to the private, public space does not talk about the conditions of dominance and opposition, the possibilities of coherence of a society despite ruptures, and the modes of action allowing for the cross linking of social networks. As a matter of fact today public space is said to shrink away. This development of an ongoing downsize in importance got enhanced by the fact that some of its communicative functions got moved into different kinds of digital media. Continue reading ‘Mediatized Decomposition of Public Space’

data-flow diagrams

from sensor input (audio/distance/wifi/subjective) to output (sound/vibration) after symbol generation & evaluation

comparison between symbols representing varying experiences provided to the wearer by the data-logger

diagrams by Adriana Torres Topaga, master student@s&d

data-logger components

final soldering by Ebru Kurbak, phd student@s&d

Which institutional models?

>>Session 2/ Social Space as a System of Regulation and Innovation
Which institutional models? Knowledge problems and problematic context for innovation
talk by Smita Srinivas, Assistant Professor at Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University; Director, Technological Change Lab (TCLab)
Smita Srinivas is currently working on a book on models of innovation and ideas of knowledge in economic development and economic theory. Her talk covers some examples of sector-specific technological innovations with their historical, urban, political and regulatory context. It will focus on how knowledge and innovation have been historically classified, the urban challenge, and alternate ways we might study approaches to knowing, doing, mixing and borrowing. Smita Srinivas’s research and policy areas are comparative economic and industrial development. Continue reading ‘Which institutional models?’

Geographies of Exclusion

>>Session 2/ Social Space as a System of Regulation and Innovation
Geographies of Exclusion and Mechanisms of Social Control
talk by Carla Shedd, Assistant Professor of Sociology and African American Studies, Columbia University
This talk will further interrogate a central position in sociology that individual agency is both shaped and restricted by social institutions and mechanisms of social control. My research extends theories from more frequently studied adults to adolescents, and offers insight into urban adolescents’ negotiation of the public realm, specifically in their school and neighborhood contexts. I will also build on Sibley’s articulation of “geographies of exclusion” (the literal mappings of social relations) as they are manifest in the urban environment along race, class, gender, age, and myriad other categories that define who we are and how we are seen.  The adolescent ego is inextricably shaped by place. Continue reading ‘Geographies of Exclusion’

Considerable Grounds to the Logics of Use

>>Session 2/ Social Space as a System of Regulation and Innovation
Considerable Grounds to the Logics of Use
talk by Sandrine Klot, Project Lead / Senior Researcher@Public Space 2.0, s&d_research, University of Industrial Design and Arts Linz
Along the course or our research, we all shared a deep curiosity to learn about the wide range of use in the context of public space. New social forms encourage us as designers, urban theorists and engineers to speculate about the retrieval of appreciation for communal space, as well as the recapturing of almost lost abilities to handle, if not even to give shape to spaces we share with others. In my lecture, I want to highlight the complex relationship between user and social space. In reference to psychoanalysis, individual agency becomes shaped as well restricted by forces of the social, a necessary condition for the individual to mature and, following post-structuralist arguments, to develop what may be called constructed identity. As any individual represents a system of meaning on its own eventually surrounding spatial systems experience and absorb implied moments of symbolization and articulation. Therefore, we aim to recognize the single user as potentially counterbalancing instance to encompassing, rigid regulation measures in public space.

Continue reading ‘Considerable Grounds to the Logics of Use’

Ecological Approach in Arts-based Research

>>Session 1/ Arts-Based Research in Relation to User Ecologies
The Data Logger: An Ecological Approach in Arts-based Research
talk by Ebru Kurbak / Junior Researcher@Public Space 2.0, PhD Student, s&d, University for Industrial Design and Arts Linz
In his paper entitled ”The Debate on Research in the Arts”, Henk Borgdorff divides possible manners of making arts-based research into three groups, namely research on the arts, for the arts and in the arts. In the first one, the artifact is something to look at, to be placed in a setting, interpreted and evaluated. In the second one, the artifact is the goal, so the research outcome presents the technical and material means discovered on the way to reach this goal. Obviously, researchers tend to favor these first two approaches. This happens mainly because they make it relatively easy for the researchers to present their work as academically relevant through the appropriation of established scientific methodology. However, not only according to Borgdorff but also according to many others including our research group, it is the third approach that might have the greatest potential in revealing the essential nature of arts-based research in comparison to all other types of research. For researchers then, the challenge becomes favoring questions to answers. In my lecture, I intend to discuss our technical artifact entitled the Data Logger from this perspective.

Continue reading ‘Ecological Approach in Arts-based Research’

architecture of processing

diagrams indicate how input values are being transformed into symbols

programming/diagrams by Isabella Hinterleitner, PhD student@ICT

Humunculus Technicus in the Box

>>Session 1/ Arts-Based Research in Relation to User Ecologies
Humunculus Technicus in the Box
talk by Isabella Hinterleitner / Junior Researcher@Public Space 2.0, PhD Student, Institute for Computer Technology, University of Technology Vienna
Giving sense to human behavior is a difficult task. Even in historic times there was a need to understand human’s behavior. Thus, before psychology and neurosciences have developed the so-called humunculus has been created referring to the self in the brain. However, with the development of the nature sciences the humunculus became less mysterious and more transparent for all of those who wanted to grab the essence of the self. Indeed, with the help of imaging methods the miracle of a selfness disappeared but is still there in basic sciences such as psychology and philosophy. The term humunculus technicus refers to a technical installation that mimics the non-adapted self and enables the carrier to experience a certain kind of perception that normally people get used to and are familiar with. The technical installation consists of an internal sensor simulating internal values such as stamina level and metabolism whereas the external sensor perceives information on sound, temperature brightness nearness or wideness of an object, etc. Continue reading ‘Humunculus Technicus in the Box’

empirical research device: the data-logger

>>Session 4 / The Data Logger as empirical Research Device
Conceptual Outline and Technical Description of Empirical Research Device
production group: Raimund Krenmüller, Ebru Kurbak, Mathias Mitteregger, Isabella Hinterleitner, Rainer Stadlbauer, Adriana Torres Topaga
The Data Logger represents a research tool to follow a subjective approach in public space. Defined by the use of a wearable device, it adds a second layer to our own abilities in sensing, processing and reacting to information we perceive in public space. As our perception of reality turns out not to be neutral, but highly dependent on subjective evaluation, we see the world not as it is, but as it matters to us, and every act of perception is inherently an act of interpretation based on human needs, desires, believes and experiences. What ever occurs in our genes and happens in our lives, eventually provides the framework for how our perception is structured, filtered and evaluated. The Data logger is meant as an empirical tool that gives a certain twist to our perceptual framework by superimposing additional sensing- processing- and actuating facilities. The Data Logger takes conditions of perception as variables of an unstable structure, made of physical and technical states that become symbols. The input of the space and of the wearer together is taken from the Data Logger system with the aim of creating its own vocabulary. This is what we call `subjective´ approach in the sense of a self-contained set up which defines itself through its implementation in time, free of presets opening the possibilities for results. The system is supported by software, hardware and a physical user-space interface.

data logger: design development

The Data logger is meant as an empirical tool that gives a certain twist to our perceptual framework by superimposing additional sensing- processing- and actuating facilities.

drawings and models by Ebru Kurbak, phd student@s&d and  Adriana Torres Topaga, master student@s&d

research workshop @ SENSEable City Lab MIT

Public Space 2.0 Talks: in collaborating with the MIT SENSEable City Lab, we hope to raise a discussion about potentially new forms public interaction as theoretically anticipated and creatively studied in the course of our current research project.

Data Logger: in a parallel mode, we envision to present, discuss and develop further technical equipment, that mainly serves the purpose to furnish a series of empirical surveys in public space.

related links
MIT Events Calendar

Schedule/Abstracts of Public Space 2.0 Talks

research feedback review II/ july 5-6

Public space has been extended into electronic networks, typologically it finds itself redefined as multiplicity of public-private couplings.  Finally architects had to let go of the modernist dream of public space as the merry, plannable patchwork of given public spheres. Democratic systems provoke the conflict which public spheres are tolerated as politically legitimate, and do not, on the other hand, automatically settle in advance which ones are not. This implies that no particular public sphere, no individual project strategizing space may claim this preconfirmed status for itself. As of today, the place of the public sphere remains void. And if there was the much claimed multiplicity, how does it allow for such structures and provide the possibility for the formation of local or geographically and temporally segmented communities? -> additional information

lectures by researchers as well as by guests will be held as basis for discussion and project feedback / invited guests: Georg Flachbart/mind21Vasco Granadeiro/PhD student at MIT PortugalSabine Knierbein/SKuORMark Shepard/UB Dept. of Media Studies

research workshop at PENN University

A social network is conceived of as a multiplicity of social units and its relationships among them. A network also functions as a relational structure. Within formalized networks, the quality of units and relationships is not defined. Singular units or actors are individual people; but of course they can also be subgroups or even institutions. Relationships may have communicative, family like, economic or financial attributes, they may be weak or strong, of individual or collective nature. In terms of power and impact networks prove to produce a broad spectrum of structures reaching from egalitarian to hierarchical or asymmetrical structures. Between the image of the actor him/herself, normative conceptions of networks or its symbolic representations on one hand, and the empirical analysis, quite often there seems to be a big discrepancy.

The workshop addressed genesis and dynamics of social relationships and networks in varying phases of transformation (change of structure): - extension of economic dependencies /- change of cultural identities /- processes of social exclusion, marginalization -> additional information

Lindy Hop in the Burggarten

Yesterday, I met a bunch of people who were dancing in public. A self-organized group of people who met during “Lindy hop” dance courses started to bring their dance workshops outside. They bring their music and speakers with them and meet Friday evenings in the Burggarten and Saturday evenings in the Volksgarten. The dance floor is open to everyone who can dance the Lindy hop. They told me that they often meet tourists from all over the world who dance with them for a few songs and then leave.

Conference: amberConference’10, Datacity

The second international conference of amberConference which will be held in conjunction with the amber’10 Art and Technology Festival. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Datacity’. read more

Istanbul, Turkey, 6th and 7th of November 2010

1 September 2010: Submission deadline (Up to 500 words abstract)

Subject Headings:

  • The politics of data and contemporary Urban governmentality.
  • Politics of data circulation and use.
  • Contemporary security and surveillance discourse.
  • Legality and legitimacy of data collection and use.
  • Political economy of data generation.
  • Value of metadata in a data-driven society.
  • The notion of Smart cities and urban management.
  • Datazen: the consumer in a transurban dwelling pattern.
  • Urban mundane and serendipity in the digital age.
  • Urban artistic sensibilities in the digito-technological age.
  • City as a “space of flows”: Networked urban topology as an art material.
  • Spatial experience and ambient information processes

Urban Pixels

by William J. Mitchell & Susanne Seitinger, PhD student, Smart Cities Group, MIT Media Lab

“Urban Pixels are wireless, solar-powered lighting units for cities that blur the boundary between digital display technology and traditional urban lighting. By combining a renewable energy source with RF communication it is possible to achieve a self-sustaining, distributed display network that can be attached to any building surface and reconfigured with ease. Depending on their configuration and placement, Urban Pixels can be used to convey place-specific information, respond to environmental conditions or support creative expression in urban public spaces.” Visit Site

Conference: Media Architecture, Urban Context and Social Practices

3rd international conference on the interaction of architecture, media and social phenomena

Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany, 29 to 31 October 2010

15 June 2010: Submission deadline (abstract)
15 September 2010: Submission deadline (full article for accepted submissions)

“The 3rd MediaCity conference will investigate how new media re-define social settings and urban spaces and how they influence architecture as well as media art & design in urban contexts, thus constituting new social and cultural practices.” read more

Persona (On Flickr)

Very inspiring project done by John Travis.


Another project commissioned by the ‘Toward the Sentient City‘ exhibition.

Creators: Anthony Townsend (Institute for the Future), Georgia Borden, Amanda Kross, Jung Hoon Kim, Antonina Simeti (DEGW), Dana Spiegel (NYCwireless), Laura Forlano (Parsons The New School for Design), Tony Bacigalupo (New Work City), Sean Savage (PariSoMa), Elysse Preposi (Sarah Lawrence College)

“Breakout! is a festival of work in the city, that explores the dynamic possibilities of a single question: what if the entire city was your office? Drawing inspiration from the shared office spaces of the coworking movement, Breakout! creates alternative venues for collaborative work outside of traditional office buildings by injecting lightweight versions of essential office infrastructure into urban public spaces.” Read more about the project here.

Related link: Breakout! project website

Too Smart City

“A set of three street furniture pieces that come to life with embedded intelligence and robotic systems” created by designers JooYoun Paek, David Jimison & engineers Daniel Bauen, Aaron Gilbert, Bill Washabaugh. “Too Smart City presents technological solutions to current problems, but as failures, rather than as progress: a future where everyday objects are rendered non-functional by their overly enthusiastic usage of computational intelligence.”

1. The Smart Bench is a  two-person seater that recognizes vagrancy and is capable of lifting people up and dumping them off.

2. The Smart Sign displays the latest legal codes on its glossy video monitor, pointing at and addressing people as they walk by.

3. The Smart Trashcan is a metal bin that analyzes what is being discarded. Throw the wrong trash away, and the Smart Trashcan throws it right back at you.

To read more about the project click here. To watch the video click here. The project was commissioned by the ‘Toward the Sentient City‘ exhibition curated by Mark Shepard.

Step into the Sensory Box

ENVISION : Step into the sensory box from SUPERBIEN on Vimeo.

Done with VVVV and camera mapping. Step into the Sensory Box was programmed and designed by studio Super Bien.

hacked suicide

The web2.0 suicide machine got hacked.

it’s a site, where users can get rid of their facebook and myspace profiles, that has been under the attack from facebook on previous occasions

Geek Stuff 2.0

This montage of AT&T ads came from a 1993 Newsweek CD-ROM that had examples of some of the cool new technologies in the future.

Geek Stuff 1.0

The use and abuse of mobile phones.