Situating Hybrid Assemblies
in Public Environments
| IST-2000-26069

SHAPE is devoted to understanding, developing and evaluating room-sized assemblies of hybrid, mixed reality artefacts in public places. Hybrid artefacts exhibit physical and digital features and can exist in both physical and digital worlds. They combine interactive visual and sonic material with physically present manipulable devices. Hybrid artefacts can combine to form room-sized assemblies that provide groups of people with a rich sensory experience of a large-scale mixed reality. These assemblies can be deployed in public spaces such as museums and exploratoriums as new kinds of engaging and educational social experience. The consortium combines social and computer science expertise and is concerned to motivate innovation through studies of people's activity in public places and techniques of participatory design. 'Living exhibitions', where results are shown direct to the public, are planned at selected European museums which have agreed to participate.

The objectives of SHAPE are:

  • To explore hybrid artefacts and the various relationships that are possible between physical and digital manifestations, and create prototype demonstrators;
  • To examine and construct organised assemblies of hybrid artefacts within room-sized environments as a means for delivering a thematically integrated, yet rich, social experience;
  • Using social scientific methods, to study and develop a detailed understanding of the activities of members of the public as they engage with exhibited artefacts in public places such as museums and exploratoriums;
  • To deploy such an understanding, combined with techniques of participatory design, to develop actual public exhibitions demonstrating the project's technologies (two living exhibitions);
  • To reflect on the project's design methods and evaluate its technical products.




Royal Institute of Technology

Research Group,
Centre for User-Oriented IT-Design

SE-100 44
Stockholm, Sweden
Contact:John Bowers
Tel: +46 8 790 6698
Fax: +46 8 7909099.

University of Nottingham,
Mixed Reality Laboratory
Nottingham, UK

King's College London,
Work Interaction and Technology Research Group
London, UK

University of Limerick,
Interaction Design Centre

Additional Information:

The Disappearing Computer Initiative © 2002