28 October 2008

Simultaneous environments – social connection and new media

Be the first to share

The Big Sort
Kazys Varnelis, director of Columbia University’s Network Architecture Lab, has written a very nice essay for Vodafone’s receiver magazine that explores how mediated communication has changed our notion of place, created non-places and now has us darting between simultaneous environments.

“A century of modernity was undone as fast as it came, as new technologies supported new ways of relating between individuals. Networking is now not just marked by the flow of media from the top down – it is, above all, a vast social phenomenon. This is our world, and it is a radically different place from the condition we once knew as modernity (or postmodernity for that matter).” […]

“We live in a state of simultaneous environments. We are here and there, in multiple places at once. For many of us, this is our condition almost all the time.

The intimacy of the family is now replaced by the “telecocoon”. Coined by anthropologist Ichiyo Habuchi, a telecocoon refers to the steady, ambient conversation over SMS that keeps us together even when we are apart. Providing intimacy at a distance, the telecocoon provides the shared feeling of what Mizuko Ito calls “co-presence”.”

In his essay, Varnelis highlights some dangers though: the fact that we have collectively given up our right to privacy, the splintering of the web in micro publications and micro publics, the tendency to associate ourselves with increasingly homogeneous communities (pictured: The Big Sort: why the clustering of America is tearing us apart, by journalist Bill Bishop).

Within this experimental department of the university’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Varnelis investigates the impact of computation and communications on architecture and urbanism. Together with Robert Sumrell, he runs the non-profit architectural collective AUDC; their first book, “Blue Monday“, was published in 2007. In 2005/06 Varnelis was a visiting scholar with the “Networked Publics” program at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Center for Communication. This fall, MIT Press will publish the results of this program as “Networked Publics“, edited by Varnelis.

Read essay

Be the first to share
2 September 2015
What do people really do at airports?
A few days ago researcher Ben Kraal gave a talk at UX Australia 2015 describing four years of research done by him and his colleagues on what people do in airports and what airport …
2 September 2015
[Book] The Silo Effect
The Silo Effect: The Peril of Expertise and the Promise of Breaking Down Barriers by Gillian Tett Simon & Schuster - September 1, 2015 304 pages > Extract Abstract From award-winning columnist and journalist Gillian Tett comes a brilliant examination of …
15 August 2015
What is the ‘sharing economy’? A perspective from Seoul
As a Fulbright grantee, Emily Hong spent part of the last year researching the sharing economy in Seoul. One of her main findings? Korea actually has two. The first is small-scale, hyper local and socialist in …
14 August 2015
Jon Kolko: Design thinking comes of age
How should companies think about design centricity? For Jon Kolko, vice president of design at Blackboard, an education software company, design thinking can define the way an organization functions at the most basic levels—how it …
11 August 2015
Thingclash: putting human values in the IoT
The Internet of Things (IoT) is forecast to be one of the most far reaching and fundamental shifts in how people interact with technology and their environment since the advent of the Internet. But, the rush …
11 August 2015
[Book] Aging and the Digital Life Course
Aging and the Digital Life Course Edited by David Prendergast and Chiara Garattini Series: Life Course, Culture and Aging: Global Transformations Publisher: Berghahn Books (June 30, 2015) Hardcover, 289 pages Abstract Across the life course, new forms of community, ways of …
1 August 2015
Nissan’s place-based design process
Megan Neese is a senior manager in the Future Lab at Nissan Motor Ltd., a cross-functional team tasked with uncovering new business opportunities for the future of automotive. In an article for EPIC, she explains how …
31 July 2015
[Book] Excited to announce the new book by John Thackara
How to thrive in the next economy by John Thackara Thames & Hudson August 2015, 192pp Abstract Drawing on a lifetime of travel in search of real-world alternatives that work, I describe how communities the world over are creating a …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

2 July 2015
Getting citizens involved in protecting fragile energy environments

A new project funded under the FP7 European Commission framework is getting citizens involved in testing new tools for reducing energy consumption during peak loads, in the hope that its pilot program will set the new state of the art for protecting locations with fragile electricity supplies. One of France’s most fragile regions The Provence-Alpes-Côte […]

5 May 2015
Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록 in Design 4 Disaster

Design 4 Disaster features an engaging illustrated safety manual for ship passengers, a personal project by Experientia designer Dohun YuLuck Jang 유록. After the Korean ferry accident last year, Yuluck (who is Korean) wanted to find a way to make safety manuals more interesting to read. He spent one year designing an interactive safety guide […]

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

See all articles