Tracing Mobilities – Designing Ubiquities

Tracing Mobilities — Designing UbiquitiesHuman activities are increasingly conducted while people are \”on the move.\” Mobility is the coordination in time and space, with impact in cosmopolitan flows and networks — an important dimension of the contemporary city life, which is indissolubly linked to visual perception, spatial cognition, and, nowadays, digital integration.This course addresses the way the contemporary digital layer of information and interaction alters our perception and experience of space on the move. It then discusses the question: how could we design for this new experience?The lectures will cover fundamental visual and cognitive theories to set a basis for the understanding of the spatial experience, before introducing the digitally augmented actuality. The goal is twofold. We will provide an overview of the \”analog\” space and of key design strategies for its experience, and the class will explore the ways in which digital ubiquity has subtracted/added to the given experience. Design exercises will provide the ground for hands-on experiences. Well-established theories, such as the one introduced by Kevin Lynch, or Gibson, will be revisited and re-examined through the prism of the contemporary urban setting, as this is experienced via global positioning systems (GPS) and location-based services (LBS). Those devices will be analyzed in the context of their representational value and their mediatory role, as well as their ubiquitous-presence capacity. What could be called \”design for the active eye\” in late modernity will now be approached as \”design for the extended body.\”The modern dweller lives in a state of experiential extension by digital prostheses. While not entirely cyborgian, we live with and through such augmentations. Cellphones can connect us to people as much as to locations. Urban experience is already augmented by digital tools. What would happen if we were able to shape our own understanding by meta-design of mobile applications? How can the digital world be coordinated with the physical to provide a unique perceptual and corporeal experience.