Posts Tagged ‘technology’

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today we’ve been at Frontiers of Interaction V

Frontiers of InteractionFrontiers of Interaction

probabily the most interesting interaction design event in Italy. It’s the most interesting (and only one :) ) in Rome, for sure.

We’ve been there to present FakePress, our next-step publishing house, with two “ubiquitous” projects: iSee, interstitial narratives for shopping centers, and Ubiquitous Anthropology, location based technologies for ethnographic research.

But more on that later. First of all: the meeting.

Frontiers of Interacton V took place in the beautiful Acquario Romano. We’ve been there from the day before, setting up screens, projections, sounds and kilometers of cables.

The meeting originates from idearium.org, a community in which designers, technologists, anthropologists and creatives of all sorts meet sharing points of view on contemporary society, and on the ways in which it is shaped and mutated through technology and its practices.

The meeting shares the same conceptual setup: people come there and, basically, show what they’re up to. People of all sorts: from international superstars of interaction design to students and younger innovators ready, energetic and willing to showcase their creations.

This year (it is the fifth edition), there have been several interesting highlights.

Complexity, visualization, the emergence of natural interfaces, gestuality. And an ever more focused awareness on the needs to integrate a deep understanding of the world that is around us, ecologically, socially and politically.

The hybridization of practices and the idea of human awareness were recurring concepts in the contributions.

As Daniele Galiffa of Visual Complexity, showing the ways in which data visualizations can rise the level of awareness, by communicating in expressive ways environmental impacts, cause-effect relations, world mutation. And describing the frontier for infovisualizations and infoaesthetics, which is the representation of social data, and the delegation of the tools for visualization to the “social”.

Or the wonderful Adam Greenfield, with his “Elements of a networked Urbanism“, which managed to perfectly avoid the declaration of yet another manifesto of some kind, and instead presented an observation of the emergence of new patterns in cityscapes. A series of “before” and “after” scenarios, highlighting some really interesting points of view.  Entirely new ways of using cities, unthninkable even just a few years ago. From wayfinding to wayshowing, Adam showed many mutations in which social dynamics truly materialize themselves, allowing people to actively share their views on the world. Even bypassing the idea of “optimization”, typical of previous designs. The ideas, for example, of systems telling you the “best” way how to get from point A to point B cuts off several parts of your experience of cities, which are also composed of several “inefficiencies” that are far from being “bad”, providing you social experiences, enjoyment and rythms, feelings and well-being. “Noise” as not being a negative experience, but a creative, cultural one.

David Orban also presented a truly interesting point of view with his Consciousness Panopticon, introducing the Singularity University and showing the trends in which various people are getting ready for the progression through which we are living, in technological evolution, to our own ability to understand what is happening around us.

Or professor Liam Bannon, demoloshing the idea of “intelligent” devices, or the romantic suggestions coming from artificial intelligence, and promoting the perspective of technology that supports creative and critical thinking, in the development of an etherogeneously positive and (sociallly) interactive world.

Andrea Gaggioli presented in his “Ecologia Partecipativa” a set of ecologic scenarios and the tools through which we all can research, observe and react to our impacts on the environment.

Then Carlo Maria Medaglia of Rome’s CATTID multi-faculty center, presenting some stunnig projects on mobility, technological approaches to disabilities and, in general, several forms of open source approaches to create functional enviroments that are embedded in the natural, urban and social environment, from infrastructure, to hardware, to software.

And other, many things which you will find documented of FoI’s  website.

and, in the next upcoming article, we’ll describe our own personal contribution: Ubiquitous Anthropology, by Luca Simeone and Salvatore Iaconesi.

More info at Frontiers of Interactions

Here some videos

architettura rel:attiva

November 8th, 2008

just back from Mexico where me and penelope.di.pixel performed quite a few activities: a congress on the revitalization of the historical centers, a panel on virtual, participative and interactive architectures and on innovation, and an installation performance called rel:attiva presenza.

attiva in Mexico City

architettura rel:attiva in Mexico City

The Seventh International Meeting on the Revitalization of the Historical Centers (27-28-29th of October 2008) was organized by the INAH in collaboration with the Spanish Cultural Center in Mexico, with the Italian Cultural Institute in Mexico and with the Italian and Spanish embassies.

This year’s edition of the congress focused on the theme “today’s  architecture as mediator of the historical and contemporary city“.

Many illustrous and international participants attended the meeting: Guillermo Vázquez de Consuegra (Spain), Teodoro González de León (Mexico), Felipe Leal (Mexico), Mario Coyula (Cuba), Maria Elisa Costa (Brasil), Augusto Quijano (Mexico), and an incredibly significative Carlo Aymonino, a central figure of Italy’s and international’s architectonic neorealism, providing for an incredible set of professional competences and personal histories.

We were infiltrates, just as usual, and were the only not-architects making a presentation. :)

The congress took place at the beautiful Franz Mayer Museum, with its incredible cloister, showing the evident signs of 1985’s earthquake.

What emerged from these intense 3 days of discussion was a really live debate on the conception of the city.

While most architects had no problems in conceptualizing a definition of architecture that includes the concepts of form and function, the impact of a our “little” semantic shift proved out to be quite a surprise, provoking deep interest and deep oppositions. It sure didn’t leave people unresponsive.

Our architettura rel:attiva discussed the point of view of the hybridization of practices and of disciplines, of the integration of the immaterial domains of reality brought on by the digital technologies and cultures, on collaborative practices applied to urban design and intervention, and on a general conception of a live metropolis, built from concrete and steel just as it is built on people, relationships, emotion and an active, collaborative way of life.

What we proposed, thus, was the idea of an architecture that was not only about the shapes of buildings and about their historical values, but also about the possibility for them to become tools, mediators and enablers of new social, anthropological, economic, relational, sensorial and emotional practices enabled in the contemporary era by digital technologies.

We talked about an anthropological, communicational, interactive, relational architecture. Which, for most of the classically architects was a shock.

In most cases the immaterial and virtual domains of reality enabled by technology are perceived just as tools to reconstruct and re-enact historical artifacts, to virtually rebuild, for example, the Roman Forum of the Templo Mayor in Mexico city so that people can walk through them and see/hear the “things of the past”.

Which is, by the way, a perfectly honest and interesting thing to do :)  but it leaves out all of the other possibilities in terms of social, business and relational models that could be enabled by the metropolis itself if spaces integrated technologies to create a truly ecosystemic environment in which interaction possibilities could turn into instruments for politics, culture, inspiration and expression.

architettura_rel_attiva_definitiva

THIS is the PDF of the architettura rel:attiva theories. It is only in italian for now: we will translate it into English, Spanish and French in a bit, stay tuned.

check out the rewiew on artsblog.

here below are some pictures from the event. Stay tuned for the report of the installation of the rel:attiva presenza, coming up next.

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http://www.worldsocialsummit.org/eng/summit.htm

Rome, 24-26 September 2008

Fearless: discussion on how to combat global anguish”

The first edition of World Social Summit will focus on global fears. This choice was made by taking into due consideration the central position that fear occupies within contemporary societies, not only due to the increase of risks that threaten society (terrorism, crime, environment), but chiefly, the expansion of uncertainty that now distinguishes people’s lives, makes fear, real or imagined, an emotion that an increasing segments of the world’s population are forced to come to terms with.

There will be an in depth analysis on the relationship between globalisation and anguish (social, multicultural, and economic), so to try to understand if fear is in many ways inevitable (fear being almost a “genetic” trait of developed societies), and how much the growth of global flows is also feeding new anxieties in emerging countries. Central to this outlook will be the analysis on how the relationship with “others” can breed fear.

There will be also an analysis on the social and communication mechanisms that today preside over the construction of fear. Many of the anxieties that proliferate in society, as a matter of fact, do not correspond to objective threats or risks posed, but are a by-product of a state of widespread insecurity, an existential mark of our time. It will be therefore the summit’s goal to understand who feeds this state of anxiety, who has an interest (economical, political, media wise) in upholding it, and in which ways does the language and communication methods used become social amplifiers of fear.

A special session will be dedicated to metropolitan insecurity. Big cities are where modern fears are concentrated (crime, social insecurity, poverty, terrorism, various type of risks and environmental hazards). Through a research realised by WSS on ten big cities around the world, we will analyse the current conditions of urban life and study the solutions that have been implemented to reduce insecurity. We will endeavour to shed light on the future path of fear, starting from the reconstruction of cultural evolution of fear, to then analyse its possible future projection, and the role of science and technology in generating or contrasting anxieties. At last, the central theme of WSS 2008 will seek to identify the instruments and the models that modern societies use to face up to anxieties, try to engage them, thus creating a more secure and fearless enviroment.

Dance-tech  is an international community of artists, scientists, theorists and organizations exploring the intersection of performance, media and culture.

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dance-techTV is an on-line collaborative video channel that gathers video content produced, aggregated and uploaded by the dance-tech.net community. Videos may showcase art works, performance documentations, installations, screendance, inspiring interdisciplinary projects, electronic performances, “how to” and ideas, coverage about relevant events, vlogging, training techniques and/or in-depth interviews. It is an on-line video database that registers the “pulse” of the field making available a collaborative repository of knowledge that fosters inquiry, creativity and social innovation.

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You and your Avatar will be finally one, sharing the same experiences even at physical level.
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mcgrew writes to tell us that scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have created a new system that can test any surface for just about anything. “Their idea uses a thin layer of metal drilled with nanoscale holes, laid onto the surface being tested. When the perforated plate is zapped with laser light, the surface plasmons that form emit light with a frequency related to the materials touching the plate. A sensitive light detector is needed to measure the frequency of light given off. The team says devices using this approach can be small and portable, will work on very low power, and could detect everything from explosives to bacteria. All that needs to be done now is build a system able to decode the light signatures.”