Designing Data-Rich Urban Environments — UrbanIxD
Designing Interactions in the Networked City
UrbanIxD is a Coordination Action project that ran from 2013 to 2014 for the European Commission under the Future and Emerging Technologies programme. This Coordination Action defined a coherent multidisciplinary research community working in the domain of technologically augmented, data-rich urban environments, with particular focus on the human activities, experiences and behaviours that occur within them.
We share what we learn
Theme: Designing Interactions in the Networked City
The UrbanIxD Summer School 2013 project took place in Split, Croatia. It was organised as a workshop event and was hosted by the Department of Visual Communications Design at the University of Split. Dr. Ivica Mitrović and Oleg Šuran have been running interactive design workshops for many years. Besides listening to speeches prepared by a series of great inspirational speakers, participants worked in groups led by experienced atelier leaders, among them Sara Božanić. The work created by the participants was presented as an open exhibition at the end of the week.
Additionally, throughout the exhibition the most successful projects were selected and then presented at the UrbanXD Exhibition, held at the Telecom Italia Future Centre at the same time as the Venice Biennale.
Sara Božanić’s team, under the close guidance of Tobias Revell, developed a project called The Aura City. This was another project looking at interactions in hybrid urban space, and it described how to use the negative side of our future to great advantage. The currency of the future would be the aura.
The point where storytelling and technology intersect
The project is a beautiful story about what our lives have become and how human interactions gradually lose their value. It is a challenging story about realising the loss of our true senses and of trying to find a way to get it back. With in-depth research, scientists come up with a technology that enables ultimate connectivity. To enjoy the augmented experience, one needs to sync one’s senses with others in proximity. Sharing visual data requires people to use the connect lenses and look into each other’s eyes; sharing feelings can only occur if people actually touch. In a society that relies on data-sharing for most of its processes, reputation needs to be quantified. Personal Aura Points determine your aggregated reputation and whether others can trust you to share or not. In an Aura Economy, what you give is what you get.
The Aura City project was presented at the UrbanIxD exhibition at the gallery of the City Museum of Split, Croatia. The same exhibition was also be held in September at the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice and the Museum of Architecture and Design (MAO) in Ljubljana.