3rd Round of Activities

A third call of of proposals for DC inter-project collaboration activities was launched in 27/03/2002. 10 proposals were submitted under the headings of Disappearing Days, Troubadour Grants, and Research Ateliers, 9 of which were accepted for funding. The detailed list follows (note: tentative dates are enclosed between double asterisks)

  • DD08: "Designing interactive systems that disappear"
    (25/06/2002, London)

    Proposed by: Michel Beaudoin-Lafon and Wendy MacKay;
    Abstract (Excerpt): Designing Interactive Systems that Disappear: a proposal to help members of Disappearing Computer projects address the unique user interface design issues associated with computers that disappear.

  • DD09: "Mobile Minds 2: Juxtapositions, mixed media and configurations"
    (22-23/08/2002, London)

    Proposed by: Monika Büscher;
    Joint work during a previous disappearing day event has revealed significant points of contact between WorkSPACE, SHAPE and PAPER++. By comparing observations of naturally occurring activities across different application domains (education, architecture, and interactions in museums and public spaces), we have identified a cluster of issues for further study and devised a research and development programme. The programme takes data analysis as a starting point for more design oriented activities. This proposal for one workshop consisting of two 'disappearing days' is the first in a series of self-contained but interrelated and cumulative events. It combines data-sessions with design critique and some design activity around the theme of 'juxtapositions, mixed media and configurations'. Understanding, learning, and creative engagement with a subject matter within all three application domains is often achieved through drawing very different media (text, maps, images, sound, video, models, samples, objects) together and configuring them to support the activity at hand. Some of these resources are in a physical format, some are digital, some exist in both formats simultaneously. How are the compatibilities and incompatibilities of these different media and their affordances negotiated? How do the design opportunities taken up by SHAPE, PAPER++ and WorkSPACE change this? What might be additional design opportunities? These questions will be addressed during the proposed disappearing day workshop. There are three objectives: (1) we will develop our analytical understanding of the role of juxtaposing in the activities we have observed; (2) against this backdrop we will jointly evaluate the technologies we have designed so far and (3) use this constructive critique as inspiration for an exploration of alternative or additional design opportunities.
    Associated projects:SHAPE, WORKSPACE, and PAPER++;

  • DD10: "Novel Technology, Novel Learning? The role of the DC in educational settings"
    **??**, Limerick-London)

    Proposed by : Tony Hall;
    Abstract (Excerpt):
    The ATELIER, PAPER++ and SHAPE DC projects share a common interest in designing and developing technologies that assist in the creation of novel learning tools and environments. The aim of ATELIER is to increase our understanding of how we can design systems so they support more flexible and creative learning. For experimentation and observation work, ATELIER is focusing on two settings in particular: an interactive design studio and advanced college architecture course. SHAPE has as one of its concerns the enhancement of the educational function of the museum - through the creation of informal and playful learning environments, incorporating and supported by novel technologies. And, PAPER++ is focusing on the classroom as an application domain for digitally augmented paper media. This proposal aims to bring together researchers from the three projects and different partner sites to explore how we can use our emerging repertoire of technical capabilities in the DC community to design technologies that help to create novel learning environments. .
    Associated projects:ATELIER, PAPER++, and SHAPE;
  • TR06: "Privacy Troubadour Action"
    (**??**, ??)

    Proposed by : Marc Langheinrich;
    Abstract: Further to the meeting on privacy of January 18 2002 in Paris on the initiative of the LDC-EDF (AMBIENT AGORAS), in the presence of Jakub WEJCHERT and of Pierpaolo MALINVERNI, we noticed the necessity to have an ethnographic vision of DC projects in respect to privacy issues. In order to avoid any " policy " connotation to this idea, we decided that the best way to proceed is by organizing a Troubadour project.
  • TR07: "Creativity^2n"
    (8-9,14-15,21-22/10/2002, Limerick-Malmø-Darmstadt)

    Proposed by : Monika Buscher;
    Abstract (Excerpt):
    We propose a series of three visits under the theme of 'creativity2n' based on a dual interest in creativity in design. All five projects involved - WorkSPACE, ATELIER, AMBIENT AGORAS, SHAPE, and SOB:
    1. design technologies that support/encourage creativity and play and
    2. use creativity and play strategically as part of their own multidisciplinary design practice
    On the one hand, we all aim to support creativity and play as a crucial aspect of work within design professions (landscape architecture, architecture) and as important features of engagement with artefacts and spaces in public settings, working environments and museums through new and innovative technologies. On the other, we ourselves are designers and continuously engaged in finding and experimenting with new and better ways of being creative.....
  • AT08: "Smart-Its Hackfest"
    (29/07/2002-01/08/2002, Lancaster)
    Proposed by :
    Hans Gellersen and Tom Rodden;
    Abstract:We propose to bring Smart-Its developers together with participants from other Disappearing Computer projects (Accord, Interliving) for a week-long prototyping exercise ("Hackfest"). The overall aims are to disseminate Smart-Its technology, to build working prototypes, and to better understand challenges in rapid prototyping and exploration of ubiquitous computing

    Associated projects: ACCORD,INTERLIVING, and SMART-ITS

  • AT09: "Distributed Context Capture with Smart-Its Technology"
    Proposed by : Michael Beigl and Hans Gellersen;
    (24-27/06/2002, Karslruhe)

    Abstract (Excerpt) :
    The Smart-Its project led is investigating a new device platform that supports multi-sensor integration, microcontroller-based processing, and ad hoc wireless communication. The device is small-scale (4x4x1 cm), modular, and aimed at augmentation of passive everyday objects to augment them with sensing (of own state and/or environmental conditions) and ad hoc connectivity.
    As result of the first period of the project a large batch (>100 devices) of a 1G Smart-Its device has been produced. These devices are based on the PIC microcontroller, and aimed to support rapid prototyping of smart artefacts. A particular noteworthy feature is the communication protocol that supports very tight synchronization of devices. This is aimed to support collective behaviour of ad hoc networked Smart-Its, in particular for correlation of distributed sensor events.
    The aim of this research atelier is to bring together developers of the device platform (TecO, Karlsruhe University; and Computing, Lancaster University) with researchers interested in distributed context capture and context modelling (PCCV Group, ETH Zurich; and IMAG-CLIPS, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble). The atelier will be held at TecO in Karslruhe and is aimed at joint prototyping of distributed context capture using the Smart-Its platform...

    Associated projects:SMART-ITS;

  • AT10: "Specifying unity and uniqueness in people's perception of collection of artefacts"
    Proposed by : Achilles D. Kameas;
    (**??**, Patras)

    Abstract: The scope of the proposed atelier is to address the issue of designing artefacts (eGadgets) in such a way that when associated to compose collections of artefacts (Gadgetworlds), the latter will behave as one artefact, while people will be aware of both its unified behaviour and its structure. A key factor to be additionally considered is the uniqueness of each Gadgetworld to its creator or owner.
    This atelier will seek to classify the factors that affect artefact design, to elaborate on the above requirements and to produce technical and design eGadget specifications that will meet them.
    This atelier is a follow-up to AT01, which successfully dealt with the effect that human interaction with collections of artefacts can have on the specification of individual artefacts; in fact AT01 gave birth to many ideas that will be elaborated upon during the proposed atelier.

    Associated projects: E-GADGETS, and MIME;
  • AT11: "Use of disappearing computer artefacts and spaces: designing for extended human use"
    Proposed by : Irene Mavrommati;
    (October 2002, Patras)

    Abstract: The proposed atelier will attempt to address the human side of both the design and use of DC spaces and the objects within them that may define these spaces. These might include such things as the cognitive, social, emotional, societal and even political issues emerging from the increasing use of DC technologies. DC technologies have the potential to make artefacts, and spaces radically different to what has gone before. These spaces and artefacts will have a dual set of possibilities. As well as the physical, there will be a computational element to their makeup. More than this, they will evolve and change in interesting ways. It may be that our relationship to these artefacts and spaces may well be different. For example, in our ability to manipulate them, for example, embed our intimate thoughts or our usage patterns somehow in them. There might well be an evolving and changing use of these artefacts and spaces which is much more responsive to their use, and which may feed back in interesting ways to their computational form, and their physical form. A good case in point might be if these DC items become as ubiquitous, as everyday objects: Everyday objects have a much longer period of use (sometimes several generations) compared to consumer electronics; they also have richer emotional, ritual and symbolic aspects than most traditional consumer electronic products. How these new 'augmented' objects age and how they can remain in use while the technology inside and around them evolves, becomes an important issue. How may artefacts upgrade? How may the DC technologies lifecycle be affected by people's patterns, expectations, and sentiments? Answers to several such questions about the sustainability, mutability and use of augmented artefacts involve issues of the interaction, the hardware and the software of these objects.


The Disappearing Computer Initiative © 2002