Over the last three years of research on Urban Tapestries and Social Tapestries we've been grappling with the problem of how the knowledge contributed to a public authoring system would reach people who didn't have the kinds of emerging mobile technologies that we were specifically investigating.
As we worked with people from different walks of life, age groups and social and economic backgrounds it became clear that there are many reasons why people will or will not adopt certain technologies. Perhaps because they can't be bothered, or cannot for economic reasons; or are comfortable with other technologies (television, teletext etc)...
As Social Tapestries starts to work with some specific communities we've begun to address these directly, planning and building into the next generation of the Urban Tapestries software platform the capability to respond to some of these possibilties.
Two we are particularly pleased to share are print-based. In thinking about the structure of Urban Tapestries the Pockets and Threads we drew parrallels with existing real world media: postcards and posters. Our plan is to integrate a PDF engine (similar to the work we are doing on another Proboscis project, the DIFFUSION eBook Generator) to allow people to create PDFs that can print off pockets as postcards (A6), and threads as posters (A3)...
The sorts of things we think these postcards and posters could be used for include:
direct distribution within the community to make local knowledge more widely accessible
posting them to friends and relatives
displaying them on community noticeboards or in shop windows
as a tool for political activism, e.g. sending them to a local councillor or MP
We've put together a new leaflet [A4 564 Kb] as an overview of some of the ideas and areas we're looking at in Social Tapestries...
Urban Tapestries: Public Authoring, Place and Mobility
A Proboscis White Paper by Giles Lane & Sarah Thelwall
This white paper presents our vision for public authoring and our conclusions on its relationships to place and mobility. We argue for design solutions to focus on actual people in real world contexts and situations, offer insights from the public trials of our prototypes and set out Proboscis own future vision and research agenda. Finally we recommend a series of policy proposals for realising a public knowledge commons, structured around place.
Urban Tapestries: Project Report
A Proboscis Report by Giles Lane & Sarah Thelwall
This report gives a chronological account of the development of the project and provides detail of and context for the key issues that arose over its two year span. In describing the activities and outcomes of the project it also connects the completion of Urban Tapestries to the research brief for Social Tapestries, a follow on research programme. A summary of the outputs, press coverage, some statistics and project credits are listed at the end of the report.
Urban Tapestries: Observations and Analysis
A Proboscis Report by Giles Lane, Alice Angus, Victoria Peckett & Nick West
This document presents the observations and qualitative evaluation of participant activity and feedback from the bodystorming experiences, the public trial of December 2003 and the field trial of June/July 2004.
The reports are free for private use by individuals, academics and non-profit organisations in the arts and civil society sectors. Complimentary copies are available for affiliates, project funders and partners. Commercial organisations, government departments and government agencies are requested to purchase reports. This income is important in enabling us to continue our work.
Order the reports
Purchasers will receive bound copies as well as digital copies. Free copies will be digital only.
The eBooks have been commissioned for the third series of Species of Spaces, inspired by and in homage to George Perec's eponymous book. The series contemplates how we occupy space in the contemporary world of the twenty-first century the virtual and physical, emotional and social what Perec called the "infra-ordinary". Species of Spaces questions the trajectory of contemporary urban existence, intervening in current debates on how the virtual and the physical relate to each other, and how technological advances affect cultural and social structures.
The four eBooks are:
Stirring Still: The City Soul and its Metaspaces by Raoul Bunschoten
On Spatial Perception by Nina Czegledy
Separate Spaces: Some Cognitive Dimensions of Movement by Scott deLahunta
Labours of Location: Acting in the Pervasive Media Space by Minna Tarkka
The eBooks will be available to download here as A4 and US Letter PDFs from Friday 1st July.
John Paul Bichard's Neighbourhood Games is an ongoing research project for Social Tapestries and part of his larger exploration of gaming in the everyday, Embedded Games. John is collaborating with both Proboscis in London and the Interactive Institute in Stockholm (on the Back Seat Playground project) to develop models for a Real World Game Engine.
"By associating game properties to real world objects, much in the same way that a videogame uses an object orientated approach to associate properties and rules to modelled and textured objects, real world objects can be organised and related to form embedded game environments.
"Neighbourhood Games sets out to explore the possibilities of introducing cross-media games into the everyday neighbourhood environment, to propose ways in which games can be meaningfully structured across a broad range of channels, including fixed and mobile digital spaces and the 'real' environment of the local neighbourhood."
John and his wife Louisa are currently on their 2220 expedition a 60 day journey around the coast of Sweden by kayak.
The old Urban Tapestries website has been moved to a new domain - http://research.urbantapestries.net/ as we prepare to launch the public beta of the web interface to the new Urban Tapestries system (version 2.0). This web client will be the first of several new interfaces we'll be releasing over the coming months to facilitate the projects and experiments we're conducting for Social Tapestries.
The original Urban Tapestries system, its content, RSS feeds and Flash Browser will be kept online and will still be accessible from http://trial.urbantapestries.net/
The event will bring together practitioners from the arts, industry, government, civil society organisations and academia to review the work underway for Social Tapestries and stimulate public debate on the issues.
This event is a pre-competitive forum for the free exchange and flow of ideas intended to generate opportunities for dynamic partnerships that find common ground between artists, culture organisations, civil society organisations, academia, government and public agencies, business and industry.
To book a place please complete the online form. Places are limited to maximum of 70.