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Search results for 'ratti'
1 March 2009

Carlo Ratti, Dan Hill and Anne Galloway on the ‘long here’ at LIFT09

LIFT 2009
One of the best sessions of the entire LIFT conference took place on Thursday afternoon.

As half of the world is now living in cities, it’s undeniable that the recombination of our physical environment through technological advancements will lead to unexpected changes, problems but also new opportunities. Carlo Ratti, Dan Hill and Anne Galloway discussed how our relationship to space will change through various new technologies and examine the main challenges of this field.

Note: this post contains embedded video which might now not show up in your rss feed.

Carlo Ratti

An architect, engineer and agit-prop, Carlo Ratti (wikipedia) practices in Torino, Italy, and teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, where he directs the SENSEable City Laboratory.

The digital layer didn’t really kill the physical layer. They combined. Bits and data are coming together to provide new types of experiences in urban space. The challenge is to provide new ways of sense making by getting rid of all the information we don’t need.

To illustrate the point of information visualisation, Carlo showed a lot of work that has taken place at the SENSEable City Lab.
Cellphone activity during the World Cup Final in Rome
Real Time Rome
The world’s eyes (based on Flickr location data)
globe encounters
the world inside new york
Digital Water Pavilion for Zaragoza 2008

Dan Hill

(Note that the above video is actually in English, and not in French).

Dan Hill (blog) has been working at the forefront of innovative information and communication technologies (ICT) since the early ‘90s. He was one of the key architects of a BBC redesigned for the on-demand media age, launched Monocle magazine, organised the architecture and urbanism conference, Postopolis, in New York, and runs City of Sound, generally acclaimed as one of the leading architecture and urbanism websites. For Arup, Dan is helping clients explore the possibilities of ICT from a creative, design-led perspective, re-thinking how information changes streets and cities, neighbourhoods and organisations, mobility and work, play and public space.

Dan started off his talk “soft infrastructure” with a particularly vivid example of soft infrastructure attacking, i.e. not behaving as it should be, as he spent four days getting from Australia to Zurich.

It may not matter how good the hard infrastructure is, it is the soft infrastructure that affects how you feel, what the experience is like.

At ARUP, a hardcore engineering firm, Dan deals with interaction design, software design, IA, service design, looking at the wider context of the organisation, systems and people, urban design, urban informatics. But not only.

Soft infrastructure is also about business models, the legal and political context, the belief systems and the social and cultural fabric.

Dan then takes a step back and showed the movie “The City”, the Regional Planning Association of America’s plea for community chaotic cities and urban sprawl (watch it here: part 1 and part 2).

Another example of that mindset is the book New Movement in Cities (1966, featuring several pre-Archigram diagrams from Warren Chalk, Ron Herron and Dennis Crompton) that shows a city of arteries and tubes, and a clip from the magisterial 1963 film Hands Over the City, directed by Francesco Rosi.

What happened?
Why didn’t these visions of the future turn out differently?

People happened, not technology.
Social, cultural and political belief systems changed.
Industry moved out of cities, and finance moved in.
And the leisure society didn’t happen at all.
The city became valued by pocket calculators (something to slice and dice).

Soft infrastructure gives us a few possibilities though, and one of them is the possibility to bend the physical city, e.g. through informational approaches to transit (examples are MIT’s City Car project and the Volkswagen 2028 project).

Both these projects are based on freedom and availability, but not on ownership.

The city of the future is the walking city, the biking city – with human-scaled, walkable urbanism, augmented with informatics.

These interventions – e.g. bikesharing – change how the city feels without changing the physical infrastructure. Other ways of doing this is by providing people with real-time information about their city.

This makes you feel as if you are in control of the transit network and not the other way around, and pulls the transit network back down to the level of people.

Another change that informatics is bringing about is that work is becoming invisible. You don’t know anymore what knowledge workers are working on. So how can we make this invisible work visible again?

The latent promise of informatics is that things can indeed change in response to information, and we need to use user-centred design techniques in this context.

Read also this excellent post-talk reflection by Dan, which contains several of the videos he presented.
 

Anne Galloway

There is no video of the talk (yet) by Anne Galloway, which is too bad, because she is quite an engaging speaker and my notes are not too great.

Anne Galloway (site | blog) who teaches design and computation arts at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, recently completed a PhD in sociology and anthropology at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, which involved an ethnographic study of the design of mobile and pervasive technologies for urban environments. Interested in connections between technological, spatial and cultural practices, Anne’s current research explores how actor-network theory and critiques of everyday life can help people understand and shape emergent technologies.

When envisioning the future city, we also have to address people’s expectations, promises and hopes. These however are not qualities we have, but actions we do. We expect. We promise. We hope.

They make some futures and not others.
They guide our activities and provide structure & legitimation.
They attract interest and foster investment.
They define roles & clarify duties.
They offer visions of how to prepare for opportunities and risks.
They mobilise resources at global, national, institutional and individual levels.
They warrant the production of measurements, calculations and models.
They broker relationships between different people & groups.
They build mutually binding, obligations and groups.

What if we imagine the future city as a gift we want to give people?

Gifts are powerful, but gifting is tricky business.

The gift
– what is the relationship between the giver and the receiver?
– what can each expect of the other?
– how do you know she evens wants your gift?

Gifting
– how will you know if he appreciates your gift?
– what will you do if she dislikes your gift?
– how will you act if he misuses your gift?
Have you ever gotten a great gift you didn’t use?

Now let’s think again about gifted cities. Cities that provide us with ‘interesting information’ and feedback loops, for free, for us to use.

But what am I going to do with that?
What are we going to do with these presents?

Citizens, the argument goes, can use these data to take political action, to better map the environment around them.

But this requires first of all that we want to be data collectors and that we have the ability to make sense of the data we collect.

The new urban citizen in other words creates “gifted risks”
– when active citizenship requires access to technology, people without access effectively become non-citizens.
– when scientific data are the most appropriate types of evidence a citizen can collect, political action relies on conformity to existing structure of knowledge and power.

So in conclusion, when you are building the new city,
– what kind of future city do you hope to give?
– what kind of city do you hope to receive?

19 April 2007

Carlo Ratti and Régine Debatty featured in Ventiquattro magazine

Régine Debatty
Last Saturday (14 April), Carlo Ratti of MIT’s Senseable City Lab and Régine Debatty of we-make-money-not-art.com were featured in a six page article in Ventiquattro, the magazine of the highly regarded Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore (somewhat comparable to The Wall Street Journal).

Of course, this is delightful news. I have featured Carlo and Régine and their work several times on this blog and I know them both quite well. Each of them has a connection with Torino: Carlo who is originally from the city divides his life between Torino and Boston. Régine has lived in Torino for many years, and moved only recently to Berlin.

The article, with gorgeous photos, is really a double self-portrait featured in a section called “New lifestyles”. They each write about how they live their rather unique lives: Régine as a full-time blogger, and Carlo with a professional architecture studio in Torino and a research group and lecturing activities at MIT in Boston.

Download scan of article (pdf, 1.1 mb, 6 pages)

19 October 2012

Lugano conference on digital experiences in smart cities

uxconference_2012_logo_small

On Saturday 27 October, the Italian-speaking Swiss city of Lugano will host the 4th edition of the UXconference.

The 2012 edition of the conference, which is organised by the Sketchin team, will focus on the relationship between digital services and people’s lives, with particular attention on the home and the city.

Speakers this year come from Switzerland, Italy, US and UK, and include Carlo Ratti from MIT’s Senseable Cities Lab, Stefan Klocek and Chris Noessel from Cooper, and Experientia senior partner Jan-Christoph Zoels.

Jan-Christoph will discuss supporting sustainable lifestyles.

4 October 2011

New Master in UX in Rome, Italy – But only part-time and one year

Master UX
The La Sapienza University in Rome is organising the first User Experience Master for students who already have a previous degree.

Although a highly laudable initiative, this part-time programme points to an important gap, since Italy really needs a full-time, two year masters programme in UX to address the changing nature of the profession. The proliferation of 1 year or part time masters will not address adequately the lack of skilled user experience designers in Italy.

Below some information in Italian:

Il Master di II livello UX-User Experience promuove un approccio al design di ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) centrato sullo studio degli utenti reali, sull’individuazione dei loro bisogni, delle pratiche e dei significati che guidano le loro azioni nei contesti di uso quotidiano.

Il Master avrà una durata di 12 mesi e si svolgerà nelle giornate di venerdì e sabato per un totale di 12 ore settimanali.

L’iscrizione al Master è stata limitata a 24 studenti, per garantire adeguate possibilità di collaborazione all’interno dei gruppi di lavoro, e chiude il 21 novembre 2011.

Il Master insegnerà conoscenze e competenze di tipo teorico, metodologico e pratico all’interno di 4 ambiti disciplinari:
– User Experience
– Ergonomia cognitiva
– Design (strategic design, communication design, design for all)
– Sistemi interattivi

La didattica sarà quindi diviso in formazione teorica-pratica per acquisire le conoscenze necessarie e in workshop per tradurre i concetti teorici in esperienze reali e tangibili;

Infatti il Consiglio Didattico Scientifico del Master sta stringendo accordi con aziende e enti di settore per poter permettere agli studenti di lavorare in team interdisciplinari su mission concrete assegnate dai partner del Master.

16 June 2011

Open Source Architecture (OSArc)

Domus
Domus Magazine has published an op-ed advocating a different approach to designing space – to succeed the single-author model – that includes tools from disparate sources to create new paradigms for thinking and building

The contributors included Paola Antonelli (MoMA), Adam Bly (Seed Media Group), Lucas Dietrich, Joseph Grima (Domus Magazine), Dan Hill (Sitra), John Habraken, Alex Haw (Atmos Studio), John Maeda (RISD), Nicholas Negroponte, Hans Ulrich Obrist (Serpentine Gallery), Carlo Ratti (MIT), Casey Reas (UCLA), Marco Santambrogio (MIT), Mark Shepard (Sentient City), Chiara Somajni (Il Sole 24 Ore) and Bruce Sterling.

“Open Source Architecture (OSArc) is an emerging paradigm describing new procedures for the design, construction and operation of buildings, infrastructure and spaces. Drawing from references as diverse as open-source culture, avant-garde architectural theory, science fiction, language theory, and others, it describes an inclusive approach to spatial design, a collaborative use of design software and the transparent operation throughout the course of a building and city’s life cycle.”

Read article

9 October 2009

Wired UK’s special feature on digital cities

Wired UK
Here are the five stories that appeared in the special “Digital Cities” feature of Wired UK’s November issue.

Words on the street
by Adam Greenfield
Ubiquitous, networked information will reshape our cities.

‘Sense-able’ urban design
by Carlo Ratti
Digital elements blanket our environment: transforming our cities, informing their citizens and improving economic, social and environmental sustainability.

London after the great 2047 flu outbreak
by Geoff Manaugh
After the Dutch flu outbreak of 2047 decimated greater London, the politics of the city began to change: everything turned medical.

Your neighbourhood is now Facebook Live
by Andrew Blum
When it comes to technology and cities, today’s thrilling development is that social networking is enhancing urban places [and this is] significant for the future of our cities.

The transport of tomorrow is already here
by Joe Simpson
The main impact on city planning will be mediated through transport infrastructures, freeing up road space as it does so.

23 June 2009

The rise of the sensor citizen

Sensor citizen
Anne Galloway was one of the excellent presenters at the recent LIFT conference in Geneva. So it is with much pleasure to notice that she has written the latest contribution to Vodafone’s Receiver Magazine.

In her critical contribution ‘The rise of the sensor citizen – community mapping projects and locative media‘, she takes a close look at community mapping and sensing projects, and points out both the opportunities and challenges for activism made possible by locative technologies.

“Community mapping and sensing projects that use commonly available consumer electronics as environmental measurement devices, enable people to collect and view a wide array of location-based data. As a form of public science, such projects stand to reinvigorate environmentally focused civic engagement. However, given public concerns around environmental risks and their connections to technological progress, I believe that this kind of active citizenship should promote more critical reflection on the values and goals of the very projects that expect to create such profound changes in these domains, and carefully consider the limits of its own power.”

Anne Galloway (site | blog) recently completed a PhD in sociology and anthropology at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, which involved conducting an ethnographic study of the design of mobile and pervasive technologies. She is interested in connections between technological, spatial and cultural practices, and her current research explores design as a social and cultural activity and asks how social and cultural relations are designed. Galloway’s work has been presented to international audiences in technology, design, art, architecture, social and cultural studies, as well as published in a variety of books and journals. She currently teaches design and computation arts at Concordia University in Montréal, Canada.

Read full story

9 December 2008

The Situated Technologies project

Too smart city
A year ago I wrote about Adam Greenfield’s pamphlet Urban computing and its discontents.

Adam’s pamphlet was the firsts in a nine-part series that aims to explore the implications of ubiquitous computing for architecture and urbanism: How are our experience of the city and the choices we make in it affected by mobile communications, pervasive media, ambient informatics, and other “situated” technologies? How will the ability to design increasingly responsive environments alter the ways we conceive of space? What do architects need to know about urban computing, and what do technologists need to know about cities? How are these issues themselves situated within larger social, cultural, environmental, and political concerns?

Two other pamphlets have been published meanwhile:

Urban Versioning System 1.0
by Matthew Fuller and Usman Haque
What lessons can architecture learn from software development, and more specifically, from the Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) movement? Written in the form of a quasi-license, Urban Versioning System 1.0 posits seven constraints that, if followed, will contribute to an open source urbanism that radically challenges the conventional ways in which cities are constructed.

Situated Advocacy
A special double issue featuring the essays “Community Wireless Networks as Situated Advocacy” by Laura Forlano and Dharma Dailey, and “Suspicious Images, Latent Interfaces” by Benjamin Bratton and Natalie Jeremijenko.

They are part of Situated Technologies, a project by Omar Khan, Trebor Scholz, and Mark Shepard, is a co-production of the Center for Virtual Architecture, The Institute for Distributed Creativity (iDC), and the Architectural League of New York.

The project also organised a symposium and is planning a major exhibition in September 2009.

Architecture and Situated Technologies was a 3-day symposium in October 2006 that brought together researchers and practitioners from art, architecture, technology and sociology to explore the emerging role of “situated” technologies in the design and inhabitation of the contemporary city.

Participants at the symposium featured Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Richard Coyne, Michael Fox, Karmen Franinovic, Anne Galloway, Charlie Gere, Usman Haque, Peter Hasdell, Natalie Jeremijenko, Sheila Kennedy, Eric Paulos, and Kazys Varnelis. Videos are available online.

Situated Technologies: Toward the Sentient City is a major exhibition, curated by Mark Shepard and organized by the Architectural League of New York, that will imagine alternative trajectories for how various mobile, embedded, networked, and distributed forms of media, information and communication systems might inform the architecture of urban space and/or influence our behavior within it. It will examine the broader social, cultural, environmental and political issues within which the development of urban ubiquitous/pervasive computing is itself situated.

The exhibition will combine a survey of recent work that explores a wide range of context-aware, location-based and otherwise “situated” technologies with a series of commissioned projects by multi-disciplinary teams of architects and artists, including:

  • Too Smart City by Joo Youn Paek (artist and interaction designer, artist in residence, LMCC) and David Jimison (founder Mobile Technologies Group, Georgia Tech and Honorary Fellow, Eyebeam)
  • BREAKOUT! Escape from the Office by Anthony Townsend (research director, Technology Horizons Program, Institute for the Future), Tony Bacigalupo (co-founder, CooperBricolage), Georgia Borden (associate director, DEGW), Dennis Crowley (founder dodgeball.com), Laura Forlano (Kauffman Fellow in Law, Information Society Project, Yale Law School), Sean Savage (co-founder, PariSoMa) and Dana Spiegel (executive director, NYCwireless)
  • Natural Fuse by Haque Design + Research (led by Usman Haque)
  • Trash Track by MIT’s SENSEable City Lab (led by Carlo Ratti)
  • Amphibious Architecture by David Benjamin and Soo-in Yang (architects and co-directors, Living Architecture Lab, Columbia University), and Natalie Jeremijenko (artist, director, xdesign Environmental Health Clinic, New York University)

(via Fabien Girardin)

23 July 2008

In three years…

Experientia
Three years ago we founded Experientia. It has been a very exciting ride since.

In three years we worked with some of the best companies in the field and some of the best people too.

Here they are in alphabetical order:

Our clients
Alcatel-Lucent (France, Spain), Area Association (Italy), Arits Consulting (Belgium), AVIS (Italy), Barclays (Italy, UK), Blyk (Finland, UK), Cittadellarte (Italy), City of Genk (Belgium), Condé Nast (Italy), Conifer Research (USA), CSI (Italy), CVS-Pharmacy (USA), Design Flanders (Belgium), Deutsche Telekom (Germany), Expedia (UK), Facem (Italy), Fidelity International (UK), Finmeccanica (Italy), Flanders in Shape (Belgium), Haier (China), Hewlett Packard (India), IEDC-Bled School of Management (Slovenia), IKS-Core Consulting (Italy), Istud Foundation (Italy), Kodak (USA), LAit (Italy), Last Minute (UK), Max Mara (Italy), Media & Design Academy (Belgium), Microsoft (USA), Motorola (USA), MPG Ferrero (Italy), Nokia (Denmark, France, Finland), Research in Motion (Canada), Samsung (Italy, Korea, UK), Swisscom (Switzerland), Tandem Seven (USA), Torino World Design Capital (Italy), Voce di Romagna (Italy), Vodafone (Germany, Italy, UK), and Whirlpool (UK).

Our collaborators (interns, consultants and staff)
Sven Adolph, Ana Camila Amorim, Andrea Arosio, An Beckers-Vanderbeeken, Josef ‘Yosi’ Bercovitch, Enrico Bergese, Niti Bhan, Elena Bobbola, Janina Boesch, Giovanni Buono, Donatella Capretti, Manlio Cavallaro, Gaurav Chadha, Dave Chiu, Raffaella Citterio, Sarah Conigliaro, Piermaria Cosina, Marco Costacurta, Laura Cunningham, Regine Debatty, Stefano Dominici, Saulo Dourado, Tal Drori, Dina Mohamed El-Sayed, Marion Froehlich, Giuseppe Gavazza, Valeria Gemello, Michele Giannasi, Young-Eun Han, Vanessa Harden, Yasmina Haryono, Bernd Hitzeroth, Juin-Yi ‘Suno’ Huang, Tom Kahrl, Erez Kikin-Gil, Ruth Kikin-Gil, Helena Kraus, Francesca Labrini, Alberto Lagna, Shadi Lahham, Jörg Liebsch, Cristina Lobnik, Maya Lotan, Ofer Luft, Davide Marazita, Claude Martin, Camilla Masala, Myriel Milicevic, Kim Mingo, Emanuela Miretti, Massimo Morelli, Peter Morville, Muzayun Mukhtar, Giorgio Olivero, Pablo Onnias, Hector Ouilhet, Christian Pallino, Giorgio Partesana, Magda Passarella, Romina Pastorelli, Danilo Penna, Andrea Piccolo, Rachelly Plaut, Laura Polazzi, Laura Puppo, Alain Regnier, Enza Reina, Anna Rink, Michal Rinott, Silvana Rosso, Emanuela Sabena, Vera de Sa-Varanda, Craig Schinnerer, Fabio Sergio, Manuela Serra, Sofia Shores, Massimo Sirelli, Natasha Sopieva, Yaniv Steiner, Riccardo Strobbia, Victor Szilagyi, David Tait, Beverly Tang, Akemi Tazaki, Luca Troisi, Raymond Turner, Haraldur Unnarsson, Ilaria Urbinati, Carlo Valbonesi, Marcello Varaldi, Giorgio Venturi, Anna Vilchis, Dvorit Weinheber, Alexander Wiethoff, Junu Joseph Yang, and Mario Zannone.

Our partners
Amberlight, Design for Lucy, Fecit, Finsa, Flow Interactive, Foviance, Italia 150, Launch Institute, Prospect, Savigny Research, Syzygy, Torino World Design Capital, UPA, URN, Usability Partners International, Usercentric, UserFocus, User Interface Design, and UXnet.

Our friends (insofar not covered by the above)
Nik Baerten, Valerie Bauwens, Toon Berckmoes, Ralf Beuker, Marco Bevolo, Daniella Botta, Stefana Broadbent, Francesco Cara, Jan Chipchase, Allan Chochinov, Elizabeth Churchill, Gillian Crampton-Smith, Regine Debatty, Federico De Giuli, Jesse James Garrett, Adam Greenfield, Hubert Guillaud, Wilfried Grommen, Laurent Haug, Bob Jacobson, Marguerite Kahrl, Anna Kirah, Simona Lodi, Peter Merholz, Bill Moggridge, Donald Norman, Nicolas Nova, Bruce Nussbaum, Laura Orestano, Vittorio Pasteris, Gianluigi Perotto, Carlo Ratti, Hans Robertus, Bruce Sterling, John Thackara, Joannes Vandermeulen, Lowie Vermeersch, Judy Wert, and Younghee Yung.

Thanks to you all!

Pierpaolo Perotto, Mark Vanderbeeken, Michele Visciola and Jan-Christoph Zoels
The Experientia partners

PS. We are constantly looking for great talent! We currently have openings for interaction designers, communication designer, information architect, IT staff, usability consultants, etc.

7 October 2007

WikiCity, an MIT project

WikiCity
How can a city perform as an open-source real-time system.

Although the approach of this project seems to be driven quite a lot by a cultural engineering mindset, there are some interesting people-focused elements in it:

In the past decades, real time control systems have been developed in a variety of engineering applications. In so doing, they have dramatically increased the efficiency of systems through energy savings, regulation of the dynamics, increased robustness and disturbance tolerance.

Now: can you have a city that performs as a real time control system? This is the aim of the WikiCity project at MIT. Let’s examine the four key components of a real time control system:

  1. entity to be controlled in an environment characterised by uncertainty;
  2. sensors able to acquire information about the entity’s state in real-time;
  3. intelligence capable of evaluating system performance against desired outcomes;
  4. physical actuators able to act upon the system to realise the control strategy.

A city certainly fits the definition of point 1, and point 2 does not seem to pose particular problems. As an example, the Real Time Rome project used cellphones and GPS devices to collect the movement patterns of people and transportation systems, and their spatial and social usage of streets and neighborhoods. But how to actuate the city? Although the city already contains several classes of actuators such as traffic lights and remotely updated street signage, a much more flexible actuator would be the city’s own inhabitants.

Consequently, we are creating a new platform for storing and exchanging data which are location and time-sensitive, making them accessible to users through mobile devices, web interfaces and physical interface objects. This platform enables people to become distributed intelligent actuators, which pursue their individual interests in cooperation and competition with others, and thus become prime actors themselves in improving the efficiency of urban systems.

The project vision, which is driven by Carlo Ratti’s SENSEable City Lab, is currently being implemented in Rome, Italy.

Visit project website

4 September 2007

People regularly featured on this blog

In alphabetical order:

A
Marko Ahtisaari
Ken Anderson

B
Nik Baerten
Genevieve Bell
Chris Bernard
Tim Berners-Lee
Ralf Beuker
Nina Boesch
Danah Boyd
Stefana Broadbent
Tyler Brûlé
Bill Buxton

C
Jan Chipchase
Hilary Cottam
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Alistair Curtis

D
Uday Dandavate
Liz Danzico
Regine Debatty
Paul Dourish

E
Jyri Engeström
Richard Eisermann

G
Jesse James Garrett
Fabien Girardin
Anand Giridharadas
Bruno Giussani
Adam Greenfield

H
Laurent Haug

I
Mizuko Ito

J
Bob Jacobson
Matt Jones

K
Jonathan Kestenbaum
Anne Kirah
Dirk Knemeyer
Jon Kolko
Mike Kuniavsky

L
Loïc Lemeur
Dan Lockton
Victor Lombardi

M
Nico Macdonald
John Maeda
Ranjit Makkuni
Ezio Manzini
Roger Martin
Stefano Marzano
Simona Maschi
Bruce Mau
Grant McCracken
Jess McMullin
Peter Merholz
Crysta Metcalf
Bill Moggridge
Peter Morville
Ulla-Maaria Mutanen

N
Jakob Nielsen
Donald Norman
Nicolas Nova
Bruce Nussbaum

P
Steve Portigal

R
Carlo Ratti
Howard Rheingold
Louis Rosenfeld
Stephen Rustow

S
Dan Saffer
Nathan Shedroff
Jared Spool
Yaniv Steiner
Bruce Sterling

T
John Thackara

V
Marco van Hout
Rob van Kranenburg
Mark Vanderbeeken
Joannes Vandermeulen
Jeffrey Veen
Timo Veikkola
Michele Visciola
Eric von Hippel

W
Tricia Wang
Luke Wroblewski

Z
Paola Zini
Jan-Christoph Zoels

2 June 2007

Web 2.0 is the web as it was originally envisioned – the internet of things is the real departure

The interactive city
The term Web 2.0 was dreamed up to describe community-driven phenomena such as blogs and wikis and the enormously priced businesses they inspired. But not everyone is buying into the label, writes David Reid of BBC News.

Participants at a recent Web 2.0 conference organised by Nomades Advanced Technologies Interactive Workshops (NATIW) [blog] in Geneva, Switzerland were scratching their heads as to what it all means.

Among them were some pretty wily web veterans, including a member of the team from Europe’s Nuclear Research Centre (Cern) that actually invented the web.

Web 2.0 may not be the different species some claim, but sort of what they had in mind from the start.

“The original slogan was always to have a web that was easy to write as it was to read,” said Robert Cailliau of the World Wide Web Consortium.

“We went through a sort of dark ages where the ideas survived, but the technology needed to catch up, so where we are now is indeed the point at which the people take control of the web, make their input, which is what we originally wanted.

“Our idea was for a web that was as easy to write as to read.”

The article then continues on how the concept of user-generated content is also having an impact outside the internet, and particularly on architecture, with some designers now “putting the people in charge of changing the look of buildings”, with the “internet of things” becoming “the real departure from the original vision of the web’s founders.”

Examples of this approach featured in the article are:

Read full story

19 July 2006

Real Time Rome: MIT reveals Rome’s live traffic info via mobile phones

Real Time Rome
In a two-page article, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica reports on “Real Time Rome“, a project by Carlo Ratti, director of MIT’s Senseable City Lab that “uses aggregated data from cell phones, buses and taxis in Rome to better understand urban dynamics in real time. By revealing the pulse of the city, the project aims to show how technology can help individuals make more informed decisions about their environment [in the hope that] it [will] be possible to reduce the inefficiencies of present day urban systems and open the way to a more sustainable urban future.” [Text from project website]

[The text below is from La Repubblica, freely translated by the author of this blog]

“In large cities millions of mobile phones constantly communicate their exact location to the mobile operators. Nothing surprising: these phones function precisely because companies like Tim, Vodafone, Wind and H3G can locate them at any moment and provide them with a clear signal. MIT will use the mobile phone location data from Rome that it obtains from Telecom Italia (obviously under anonymous aggregation), to proces them in its computers in Boston, and to return them to Rome in a map that shows the movements of the inhabitants of the city.”

“The results of this processing, which involves the use of complex algorithms (that for instance can figure out the difference between a very slow mobile phone located in the pocket of a pedestrian from one of a driver stuck in traffic) will arrive nearly instantaneously, so that the city will have real time updates on its traffic situation.”

“With the availability of such a tool, people cannot only choose the least busy street to go to a restaurant, but also the least busy restaurant itself. By analysing the location of mobile phones with a particular country code, it is even possible to analyse the flows of tourists: where are the Germans going? How are the Japanese getting around? By combining the traffic data with those of public transportation, one can immediately understand if the bus distribution in a city corresponds to user density, therefore user needs. People can use their mobile phone at any moment to check the presence of the closest taxi and call it, or they can find out where they can find the nearest (and next) available parking space.”

“The “Real-time-Rome” will be presented in September at the Biennale of Venice 10th International Architecture Exhibition.” [...]

“The project also involves Google, (the Rome public transport company) ATAC, Samarcanda Taxi and the City of Rome, which will provide mega screens during the testing phase so that Romans can follow their own movements throughout the city.”