The Interactivos?12 workshop

It has been a while since the end of the workshop, but it’s been a busy summer!

Back in July (11-26 July) I joined the Interactivos?12 workshop , organised by MediaLab Prado and the  Science Gallery , as part of the Hack The City exhibition.

The Interactivos?12 workshop brought together about 30 engineers, artists, architects, developers interaction designers, activists and hackers from around Europe to work on six topics that had been selected from a huge amount of submissions. The six projects focused on a wide range of topics, from making energy consumption visible and raising awareness about recycling, guerilla gardening  and collaborative cooking and eating in public spaces to encouraging inhabitants to unveil the city’s hidden potential or report cycling accidents/incidents.

I decided to join the Mobile Cityscapes team when Corelia Baibarac, whom I had met at the Local and Mobile conference in Raleigh earlier this year, told me that her proposal had been accepted. Cora is an architect doing a PhD in Trinity taking an interesting angle on encouraging mobility. We were joined by Kathryn Maguire, Christine Gates, Alessio Chierico and Eulalia Guiu.  I commuted for most of the workshop, although I spent a couple of nights in Dublin. The representatives of MediaLab Prado insisted on continually documenting our work, and I took responsibility for the daily accounts, helped by Eulalia. To give you an idea about the daily activities, here is the account for each day of the workshop:

Mo Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun

x      x     11      12    13  14   15

x      17   18      19    20  21   x

23    24   25      26

On the 25th of August, the space we were occupying in the exhibition was altered to display the results of the workshop, and we had a big launch party. We were amazed to see how many people came in and spoke to us about what we had done!

During the workshop, we used random walks in the area selected as testbed to involve potential users. We developed scenarios, a rough video prototype (thanks to my collaborator Alan Ryan who made it possible in the short amount of time we had!) and a prototype for the web-based platform (thanks to Tim Redfern, our team’s mentor, and to Max Kazemzadeh, who worked with us as technical assistant).

It was really tough work, but I had the privilege to work with some great people and to get to meet the mentors, people working on the other projects and the staff of the Science Gallery.  Teresa Dillon, the curator of Hack the City, did a great job pushing us the whole time to find better ways of describing what we were doing.  Jane Chadwick minded us during the 3 weeks, making us to feel at home at the Science Gallery. And it was not an easy job, with the hundreds of people coming in every day!

Being “an exhibit” in the gallery and doing work at the same time is quite a difficult task, but it had its advantages: I met friends I hadn’t met in a long long time passing by and saying hi!

I also had the chance to re-discover an area of Dublin I thought I knew well – with its hidden corners, contrasts, mysteries and great people who stopped to talk to us.

In short, it was a fantastic experience and  I enjoyed it , although my body cried for rest after a busy year!

As Corelia is continuing her work on the Mobile Cityscapes project as part of her thesis work, and I am working on developing Connected Limerick further, we decided to continue our collaboration. The InfiniteCity native mobile app will be the next step, replacing the one that we have used for generating data during the workshop (EveryTrail).

For more up-to-date information, you can check the Mobile Cityscapes website. The future platform is called Infinite City – this is the temporary website (credits Andrei Avram), and you can find us on Facebook and on Twitter as well. For an insight in the process that led to choosing this particular name, you can watch this short video.

A project description in the form of a wiki article is also available on on MediaLab Prado’s Studiolab.


August 26 2012 05:58 pm | Events

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