Digital Ground, Cyberspace, Tectonic

humans assimilate their surroundings by means of mentally constructed representations of spatial relationships. peripheral awareness
environmental psychology, spatial behavior
a disengaged picture of a persistent world - a spatial mental model

  • wayfinding

Intent: e.g "the act of walking down a street may be shaped by what one is looking gor, whether one is in a hurry, or whether on efeels well dressed"
context: "Theory of the body is already a theory of perception" - Maurice Merleau-Ponty

a focus on interaction
human-environment interaction
(through interaction to do sth)

Embodied Learning
contextual learning

"the use of tools transforms the perception of enviornment. This actively engaged way of learning about the world challenges the assumption that technology is a purely symbolic literacy, independent of ground"

Spatial Literacy - wayfinding and learning
function: learn the city (through bodily experiences)
spatial dispositions
"….spatial literacy should not be confused with literal signage declaring space…they are quite opposite…whereas an outsider who lacks local spatial literacy needs the latter for guidance, a literate denizen reads a space from its events and its symbols, like animal scat on the trail, and does not enjoy being told where to turn, what exactly occurs in each place along the road, or that a brand-name experience will protect hime from unwelcome surprises."

Social Configuration
p.38 "the existing outward forms afford readings of social relations ….bodily" (space is the organized bodily experiences, as in the metaphor by Heidgger, city is an expansion of home)
environmental psychologiests….variations on crowding make life enjoyable. nightclub mosh pit enthusiasts go for the contact that they lack while sitting at computers all day…habitual embodiment.
Dwelling is grounding, in Heideggerian sense.

Cultural Disposition
as cultures become identified with theirpeculiar spatial customs, landscape tends to serve as the best framework for narrative memory…Cicero "for walk where we will, we tread upon some story"

"technological convenience allows many helpful new constructs to form, but it also allows events that would normally serve environmental learning to dwindle….technology…extended life experience beyond the scope of bodily schema…shifted organization from space to time…..three-dimensional spaces of experience seldom remain coherent. "
Kent Bloomer and Charles Moore "cautioned against deskilling in a culture based on visual novelty…." (i hope he can gives more discussions on this topic)
"Man dwells badly," wrote Le Corbusier, "and that is the deep and dear reason for the upheavals of our time"

The Case for Ground
pervasive computing and situated interaction design
built and electronic environment
a way toward the better design and practice of appropriate technology
architectural design appropriate technology

3 Habitual contexts
location still matters - flow of information needs context
architecture has acquired a digital layer
augment reality - augment space
the proportions, image, and embellishments of bodies are reflected in the….of the buildings

The disciplines of architecture and interaction design both address how contexts shape actions. Architecture frames intentions. Interactivity connects those mental states to available opportunities for participation. These processes are ambient.

connections occur between digital and physicla infrastructures.

periphery - is background that is outside focal attention but which can quickly be given that attention when necessary.

Context and the Roots of Interactivity p.50
contextual factors, embodiment
situation theory

Persistent Structure
the more enduring the environment, the more it shapes our expectations without saturating our attention. The phenomenology we have examined suggests the need for more design emphasis on lasting backgrounds.
Gibson - affordance
"As people learn from their settings, they come to associate them with particular states of intent. Intent is important because it causes engagement of context to be…meditation teachers insist that a particular spot in the house be set aside for no other purpose."
"Habit matter. Accumulated experience of intent and action allows more abstract mental models to develope. It is especially in habitual context that perceptions of affordances, persistence, and situation emerge."

at the heart of tangible computing is the relationship between activities and the space in which they are carried out….tangiable computing expands this in three ways: through the configuration of space, through the relationship of body to task, through physical constraints.

Scale and Patternp.53
rich interrelationship of scale
"the life of a house, or of a town, is not given to it, directl, by the shape of its buildings, or by the ornament and plan - it is given to them by the quality of the events and situations we encounter there. Always it is our situations which allow us to be what we are" Christopher Alexandar

Typological Abstraction p.55
type is like a medium
"typological design is not a rigid set of rules, but insead a body of phenomenal essensec which play themselves out differently in each instance. This inflection provides a richer basis for building workable arrangements than does radical atypological invention."
city - realize human nature
in addition to questioning the advantages of anytime-anyplace technological freedom, interaction designers shold question pure functionalism

places aren't just locations with assigned uses or trademark formulas. cities…appropriated….appropriations makes people identify with palces….

Building Backgrounds
what is interaction design???
Architecture are the enduring formation of periphery, Architects of built periphery should emphasize the affordances of everyday life rather than fashionable statements in form. bulidng should be valued for their duration. In contrast to information technology's rapid churn of data, devices, and techniques, quiet material permanence seems like a welcome source of calm.

Digital systems are then applied to buildngs to giv them adaptability, and hence more duration.

Depressing Cyberspace Experience

Incoherency of cyberspace experiences

"three-dimensional" spaces of experiences selfdom remain coherent (McCullough, 2003, p42)
frustrating, depressing cyberspace experience (AI, gaming experience, why it is always labelled as bad for gaming) is it the result of unstable, incoherency?

Always distracting cyberspace experiences

more and more popular short cuts in tv series, motion pictures without imaginary coherency at all
the multi-screen thing (from that big reference book)



"the expansion of our actual identity requires greater recognition of our sense of internal space as well as of the space around our bodies. Certainly if we continue to focus radically on external and novel experience and on the sights and sounds delivered to us from the enviornment to the exclusion of refininig and expanding our primordial haptic experiences, we risk diminishing our access to a wealth of sensual detail developed within ourselves -our feeling of rhythm, of hard and soft edges, of huge and tiny elements, of openings and closures, and a myriad of landmarks and directions which, if taken together, form the core of our human identity" (Bloomer and Moore, Body, Memory, and Architecture, p.44)

how to fix it

embedded technology
welcome source of calm

physical building absorbs pervasive computing like so many other technological layers before it. ….it is formed by successive layers of technological development, ..the fixity of the built environment is not absolute, since it accumulates, it does have fixity relative to any potentially new layer of systems…some of that fixity is obsolete legacy, and som e is useful armature for extensibility. the endurance of these layers of infrastructure sustains cultural capial of a sort. ….pervasive computing, the latest layer of spatial adaptation. Successful applications toward that goal will become regarded as natural, or at least appropriate technology… (what about its relationship to open source)

II Technologies
Bashing the Desktop p.67

The most profound technologies are those that disappear. They weave themselves intoth efabric of everyday life until they are indistinguishable from it. - Mark Weiser

(even its most essential applications - text, graphics, databses, and spreadsheet - have been weighed down under hundreds of commands)

software pile up. programmers' impetus to add ever more features (OPEN SOURCE!!) had led to bloat. …each time another option is considered, the number of conditions that must be coded and configured increase. Faster chips run all this code acceptably, but people and organization seldom benefit. more features each year, whether or not they r usable or useful
feature-accumulated cycle, ?how much a device can do without better information about its context?
coming of network-centered computing based on packetswitched communications, TCP/IP on which this was based assumed that everything one needed could be made universally acceeible on the Internet.

If (our growing constellations of) devices and gadgets are to become any less obnoxious than the desktop computers (they r intended to replace), they will have to acquire some situational protocols. (p.69)

…'invisible ' computers reflect the need for less attention-consuming technology, goal of natural interaction

From architecture we have identified a latent need to map our embodiment onto the world. This pertains to the present discussion in that we feel a deep need to maintain technological constructs whose dimensional resemble those of the human body in architectural space.

1. Sites and devices are embedded with microprocessors
embedded systems can communicate their status and receive ongoing instructions to and from their suroudings contrast to anytime-anyplace universality, this alternative is intermittent and local
(on censor, i agree with this)
Scott McNealy, you have zero privacy anyway - get over it….we can only hope that with billions of sensors in place, there is too much information for any software, much less some government agency that cannot even master its own internal communicatoins, to interpret successfully.

5. acturator

6. controls make it participatory
"pushbutton" convenience was a hallmark of a modern age only recently freed from bodily work….hundreds of buttons, or hundreds of expressions for entry by buttons, depart from the realm of comprehensible expereience. This is why the household videocassette recorder has become a standard emblem of incomprehensibility."

7. Dispay spreads out
the idea that how we do things with symbols depends on their scale and position relative to the body is fundamental to pervasive computing, sth u read inclined on the sofa should be a different size than sth you read as u step out of sidewalk traffic into a doorway.
lately it has become possible to move text betwen many scales and surfaces. Researchers from Sony have demonstrated ways to drag an image off a laptop computer and onto a wall. the greater the variety of display surfaces on hand, the more appealing such mobility becomes…IBM's Everywhere Displays project combined projection with detection on an arbitrary surface such as a tabletop or a wall. In efect, this coupling turns the surface into a crude wireless touch screen.
??next, the literal ground itself becomes interactive. With the spread of positioning sytems, which in effect make anyone who carries such a system into a live cursor, the city plan itself becomes a living surface??? howp.88

5 Location Models
intrinsic relationship of information technology and organizational change..
(let's abondoned the desktop and embrace embedded technology) - contextual computing - how to present the context?

Geometry Still Matters
negates geometry - being able to obtain information without having to know where it is stored.
architectural elements of physical space often frame and cue actions. sites of interaction involve geometric relationship sat fine resulution..when somebody closes a door, they may wish that act could also stop any incoming phone calls or outgoing webcam feeds, although usually it does not.
declare out locations to passive systems.
location model
MIT Easy Living emphasized the importance of ontology for particular spaces, in order to avoid perceptual inconsistencies and hardware redundancies in smart space systmes, a represnetation of the existence of persons and devices in a space must be constructed as a service independent of any particular application.


against the backdrop o fso much spatial documentation, there emerges a more specific domain of place-based digital models which do not just map, but also help people select, construct, and operate physical sites.
how design is more useful when it is optimizing a system rather than adding features to isolated elements
network computing

Environemtnal Systems
buildings may be called intelligent mainly on the basis of how well their systems integration gives them adaptability

User, Actors, and Stagesp.113
how users become actors, how computing is about letting us take part in shared representations….achieving the right balance in this process if the goal of interaction design

open systems for extensible places p.114
a model represents a theory….
computing - simulate

as open systems become more prevalant in computing, and as the processes they model include more social complexities of everyday life, the challenge of designing them becomes much more like architecture. ARchitecture intentionally configures space by means of schematic proposals. It models form and identity mor eoften than behavior or performance, and addresses all these without the luxury of predictability. As a set of intentions about arranging space, architecture intrinsically applies a theory. As a philosophical means of ordering many aspects of eperience, a particular way with space reflects a particular culture. This fixed configuration provides a framework for the flows of resources, authority, and people. Architecture thus represents.

Now the configuration of pervasive computing requires similar levels of theory, models , and intentionality. As an open system, this architecture of reponsive places builds from amy partial models of locality and situated action. Whether we appreciate its results may depend on how well we are able to represent environmental knowledge. This is a cultural challenge. Local aggregations of information technology represtn cultural intentions.

6 Situated Typeps
6.1 Technology piles up

architecture….something about the habitual nature of an environmental usage gives it life….like most etiquette, architecture exists not out of pompousness, but becasue it lets life proceed more easily, situated computing exxtends this age-old preference, whereas anytime-anyplace computing does not

we need a typology of situated interactions.
how types r morphed, extended, and only occasionally made obsolutte by new layers of technology……dematerialization…all things digital will neither replace the built enironment nor allow anything to happen anywhere in it….at a practical level, archietcts understand a component-based apporach to designing macro-scale eniornment.

At Work
Deliberating (places for thinking)
solitude working space intruded by communication technologies
solution: Bill Buton "door mouse" situated computing
Presenting (places for speaking to groups)
…the holder of the stone becomes the controller of lighting, audio, and recording devices….
collaborating (places for working within groups)
Computer Systems for Cooperative Work
Dealing (places for negotiating)
telephones summoned not only information but also additional players. convenient printing technologies increased the use of graphics in support of decisions…..with the introduction of computer networks, some kinds of dealing places, such as stock trading floors, did dematerialize into informatino spaces, and those tha remaine were tranformed by an increase in data displays….
Documenting (places for reference resources)
a fav model of embedded documentation uses wireless communication and position information to giv a person documentation about an evnrionment in which he or she is operating
Officiating (places for institutions to serve their constitutencies)
Crafting (places for skilled practice)

by loading different force-feeback programs onto a handle, the device can be reprogrammed for different users and levels of expertise, for different applications, and to avoid using a mouse to fetch commands that have been buried in menus

Associating (places where businesses form ecologies)
Learning (places for experiments and explanations)
Cultivating (places for stewardship)
Watching (places for monitoring)

At Home
Sheltering (places with comfortable climate)
recent developments shift the goal from conquest of climate to engagement with it…."thermal delight"
Recharging (places for maintaining the body)
what if recharging facilities become wearable?
Idling (restful places for watching the world go by)
passive entertainments dominate domestrc life
is this the front porch morphed beyond recognition? the technology transforming the type is the camera, in all its increaingly real time and digital manifestataions
Confining (places to be held in)
would a senior gardener use a residence facility's community garden more often if he or she coul dwatch remotely for the arrival of friends there?
Servicing (places with local support networks)
the history of domestic technology suggests a continual democratization of service….
Metering (places where services flow incrementally)
a lot of goods and materials enter and leave the home little by little…..many forms of built space reflect some daily routine of dropoff and delivery…the better urban layouts often provide an alleyway or mews for such services…domestic control systems

On the Town
Ray Oldenburg, the "third place": a location for conviviality that supplements home and work as a site of everyday life.
Eating, Drinking, Talking (places for socializing)
new media make it practical to provide a more diverse range of ambiences for social gathering spots….easier for patrons to identify and locate those locations..??
Gathering (places to meet)
communication techno assists in physical gathering….avertising on broadast media increases the importance of destinations….ppl tend to decide where they r going before they get in their cars, tend to spend their money near wherever they get out their cars, electronic inducements tomeet someplace assume great social and architectural importance - isn't it sad… spontaneoty!!!
Cruising (places for seeing and being seen)
i didn't get it…Marshall McLuhan..electronic media would retribalize society…now it's happening in physical space
Belonging (places for insiders)
Shopping (places for recreational retailing)
how pervasive computing helps customize individuals' physical shopping experience is of consierable interest to interaction designers today….personalized reponse..
Sporting (places for embodiedplay)
Attending (places for cultural productions)
Commenmorating (places for ritual)

On the Move
the ways of the high-tech nomand have been expanding. what environmental types do they support?
Gazing/Touring (places to visit)
Hotelling (places to be at home away from home)
Driving (car as place)
the car itself has become a place where many peole spend much of their day.
Walking (places at human scale)

…walking remains the most fundamental form of mobility…gives scale..technologies that we can use while walking r the most truly portable (tt's why i'm obssed with portable things, bcoz i walked a lot)…many devices r light enough to carry comfortably but r heavier in terms of usabiliy; they require us to step out of pedestrian traffic,…een to sit down to use….many skills and perceptions change when one is walking..some r more acute than wehn we r still and others r bunted. this sipmle distinction begins a typology of portable device design. Consider how we walk in relatino to others and in realtion to fixed enviornments. UDer understand differnce in ped activity, and their work emphasizes typologies of form. Thus we come full circle to th eprsistenc of repeating patterns as a manifestation of affordances and appreciations of embodied environments.

Being Someplace Digital
typological design should advance the appropriateness of location-aware technology more quickly than universal standards or one-time circumstantial configurations….as least as much as we need to connect to the same net everywhere, we need idfferen tplace sin our lives to help differentiate, structur, and facilitate our activities…situated computing is based on the belief that such universality is neither attainable nor desirable. this approach questions total mobility, advocates local protocals, recognizes forms of tacit knowledge, and taps into moore kinds of embodied predispositions

….ends of design must include some approach to appropriateness othe rthan soley technological features and their performance specifications. An open standard could estbalish practices for any particular type this seems a matter of protocols..the usability of well-made traditional places now appears as a rich basis for design of contet-aware technology. Whether it is organizational, social, or domestic, space awaits rediscovery for its richness of social framing…

III Practices
7 Designing Interactions
…design also means to make thing more useful

Strategic Legitimacy
strategy…..demands interdisciplinary insights based on engagement of projects rather than specialization in subjects……..what if we uses this like that….
(why we design?) change existing situations into preferred ones!
procedures and automation - participation and flow
understand the information context - also the physical and cultural context
design as applied decoration - the most widespread connotation of the owrd, design implied cost rather than income….."the self-fufillingly unimpressive results can be used to demonstrate the superficiality of design"

The need for a Craft
experience with a aprticular set of contexts remain essential in design expertise. Work is not just sth you do, but also someplace u go to each morning
"reflection in action"??p.152
…toward convenience for computers before conveniencefor people….the computer was not shut down properly!
the importance of interface design - p.153 they design what it does but not how it behaves, communicates, or informs - u need ambient, haptic and embedded interfaces as a way to reinvent computing…

From Machine Interfaces to Architectural Situations
Taylor…time-and-motion studies, industrial engineers sought efficiency in the repetitive mechnical actions of using a a technology. when today's software developers seek efficiency in the motor skills of moving a mouse about a screen, toward a goal of idiot-proof, buton-based interfaces, they perpetuate this legacy
the standard textbook in interaction design - Karen Holtzblatt and Hugh Beyer
Contextual Design - Defining Customer Centered Systems
ethnographic data-gathering techniques, "seeing work"
subjectivity is inherent to usability. differences in abilities, intentions, and exploration processes affect the successful use of technoogy at least as much as technical features.
usability, identity, desire, and intent tend to relate
technolog - product for consumption or ownership - as if simply purchsing sufficiently usable gear
few of us want our experiences predigested. John Thackara…i tend not to like or trust any all-encompassing experience that has been designed for me, and not with me: theme parks, shopping malls, air travel, most websites, 98 per cent of e-learning products. the majority of architects and designers still think it i stheir job to design the world from the outside, top-down. designing in the world-real-time, real-world collaborative design -strikes many designers as being less cool, less fun, than the dvelopmetn of blue-sky concepts. to be fair, may younger designers feel free to set the stage for what is experiences. but the big money still goes to the control freaks. ppl do like to be simulated, to have things proposed to them. designers r great at this. but the line between propose and impos is a thin one. we need a balance.
architects' practices hav been implicitly built ard building types and place responses….functional type…such as libraries or laboratories, exploring the appropriateness of different architectural types, where an architecture firm concentrates on services, rather than signature works for patrons or delivering generic space as a commodity for developers, it normally operates in a particular locality

instead, a project concept gives emphasis to some particular set of considerations as the drivers of the process and the basis of schematic clarity. such a premise rarely involves the accumulation of cuntional feature upon feature. instead it revisits and reawakens, some aspect of design solution that has fallen intothoughtless convention. as we hav seen, this interplay of convention and reinvention gives vitality to enduring types and genres.

Toward a Critical Practice
a design premise interprets a context. good design helps us make sense of contexts.
how design should help ppl understand a situation in different way. the walkman was a huge success becasue it made ppl rethink the context of listening to recorded music.

the everchanging relationship between established forms and expressive content has long been at the center of aesthetic theory and appreciation

content is participatory, it is sth you do, or perceive and not simply information u recieve

8 Grounding Places
to the more mobile and networked of us, place has become less about our origins on some singular piece of blood soil and more abt forming connections with the many sites in our lives. we belong to several places and communities, partially by degree, and in ways that r mediated
places r a way of taking part in the world,
places r not just passive containers, but indeed the very expression of cultures
the contextual design of information technologies must now reach beyond the scale of individual tasks to embrace architecture, urbanism, and cultural geograpy

Why Ground?
interaction design affects how each of us inhabits the physical world
high-tech nomads, for us technoogy provides not only mobility but also ways to connects, improved design can shap eour desire and ability to connect with our surroudnigns

Place and Space
embodiment in context
a place at work, part of something ongoing and dynamic, an ingredient in sth else: in the course of history, int he natural world, int he political realm
8.2 Sensate form: Milwaukee Art Meseum Quadracci pavillion designed by Santiago Calatrava
J.B Jackson, i am bewildered b our casual use of space: churches used as discotheques, dwellings used as churches, downtown streets used for joggin, empty lots in crowded cities, industrial plants in the open courtry, cemeteries used for archery practice, Easter sunrise services in a football stadium….

Place and Placeness
first, ppl retreat into private gated zones with their media, where the clean computer contrasts with public squalor….
second, the image of the city resorts to increasingly commercial and privatizing strategies to lure ppl back outside from their screens….brands become places and places become brands…
third, the spread of these nonpublic urban spaces subverts any preexisting legibility - or mental mappabilty of th city "we have seen how throughout history the body has been projected onto the image of the city, and how the city has been described as a simulacrum of the body. as body awareness withers, space becomes immaterial; as we retreat into the privacy of our media-altered realms, the direct experience of the city disappears. we no longer read the city as a totality."
disembodiment by electronic media undermines the anthropomorphic qualities of the city, the "body politics" becomes less legible.
the use of place is highly segregated

the use of space is highly segregated, not only by function as a consequence of outdate industrial zoning codes, but also by economic and social niches as a consequence of market stratificaiton. advertising rules; more space is designed to grab the attention of casual, passing users than to reward subtler appreciation by regular inhabitants. material overproduction delivers increasingly interchangeable goods and services in increasingly uniform and gigantic settings -the big box stores. shortened fiscal horizons lead to impermance in building and to transience in inhabitation. relentlessly casual use of space, amid a consusion of scales and a dominance of images, accelerates the cultural process the poststructuralists described as "dislocation" Sooner or later, just about everything appears out of context, it is all a familiar rant.

Place and Community
normally a place reflects a tradition of appropriations.
"In authentic attitudes to place maybe unselfconscious, stemming from an uncritical acceptance of mass values (kitsch); or they maybe self-conscious and based on a formal espousal of objectivist techniques aimed at achieving eficiency….an inauthentic attitutde to place is nowhere more clearly expressed than in tourism, for in tourism individual and authentic judgement about places is nearl always subsumed to expert, or socially accepted opinion, or the act and the mean of routism become mor eimportant than the places visited"

Service Ecologies
systems thinkers recognize aspects of ecology in the vitality of good service networks. when more activity is devoted to upkeep than to expansion, when elements at very different scales depend on one another, when elemtns co-evolve on the basis of context, and when resilience operates at the level of whole systems, then some sort of ecology is at work….
information ecologies…Bonnie Nardi…manage knowledge by a combination of softwaremodels, contextual configurations, and human reflection in action.
diversificaiton in interfaces makes as much sense as diversification in the urban form

Getting into Place: Architecture, Interaction, and Ground
a place is not just some positional coordinates. community is not just a marketer's mailing list. rather these are complex, subjective preceptions in which the nature of mediated interactions plays a vital role….when experience flows we get into place. flow is of course an essential goal of interaction design, and fixity is an essential goal of architecture. now the two join, to complement the spaces of information with the contexts for getting into place….

9 Accumulating Value
Value Emerges from Interactions
Value Itself
situated technologies
Expanding the Measures
…more accurate valuation of habitual living patterns
the word appropriate implies some moral value. will pervasive computing do anybody any good…
Context as Capital
places are accumulations….well-made, well-designed, well-lived-in places are repositories for human, cultural, natural, and fiscal capital….
the fixity of places….places are forms of nonfiscal capital accumulated for the conduct of interactions….

places remain great accumulators of value. new technologies may undermine such value, or they may recognize and enhacne it. built enviornments may be enhanced or trivialized, but ehy r seldom completely replaced by the flux of people, gear, and data. ….places are repositories?

IV Epilogue
10 Going Native

our homes and highways and management information systems are as natural as the nest a bird builds. they r form sof adaptation within a living ecosystem. Janine Benyus.."the question is not whether our technology is natural, but whether it is well adapted"

Further Readings
Brand, Stewart. 1994. How Buildings Learn - What Happens after they are Built. NY:Penguin. on types and patterns, and arguably the best book on architecture to come out of the 1990s.

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