Digital Cities 8

This year, the Digital Cities workshop (co-located with the Communities & Technologies conference) took place in Munich and I finally managed to make it.

Digital Cities 6 happened in 2009 at Penn State University, and Digital Cities 7 was in Brisbane, co-located with Communities&Technologies 2011. Too far, too expensive!

Throughout its existence, the event followed the intertwined development of cities and digital technologies. My interest in urban informatics/Urban Interaction Design has continued to grow in the last 3-4 years. Back in 2009, I came up with the idea of a Connected Limerick project, that went through different incarnations- from workshops and curated talks through to active involvement and support for local communities.

In September last year, I started to work with a team of three students on a Connected Limerick-related project meant to explore opportunities for supporting citizen and visitors in adding digital information to the physical layer – in other words, annotating the city.

The three students who joined me were Laura Festl, a visiting master student  from the University of Siegen, John Slattery, a Music, Media and Performance Technology final year student, and Alan Ryan, a Digital Media Design student  doing an internship with us at the Interaction Design Centre at the time.

John continued his work in the new year and produced an excellent proof-of-concept for the application we had in mind  as his final year project.

From February on, we were joined by an Erasmus student from the Military Technical Academy in Bucharest, Cristina Dobrisan, who continued the work, producing a working prototype.

I was delighted to be given the opportunity to present our work in Munich. The paper is available on and will probably be developed into a longer article for a future Digital Cities 8 volume.

I enjoyed the workshop a lot – some very interesting attendees and papers. Martin Brynskov did an excellent job as workshop organiser and facilitator. I was delighted to meet Eleni Christopoulou, who joined our morning session. She had a paper in the main conference on Collective City Memory together with Dimitrios Ringas. I was aware of their project – CLIO, and indeed there were a lot of commonalities.

DC8 Munich  Martin Tomitsch spoke about an app  that aggregates real time data on the public buses’ locations contributed by the citizen. It made me a bit nostalgic – my son had the same idea for Bucharest during his PhD and he was told it wouldn’t work… Well, it worked in Sydney!

Ingrid Mulder spoke about Creating 010, an initiative based in Rotterdam meant to enable citizens to be involved as co-creators in the development of public services. Fiorella de Cindio spoke about participatory budgeting -a fascinating subject I’ve read more about since, and  Henrik Korsgaard  presented City Bug Report, an installation meant to explore transparency and Open Data readiness in Aarhus, Denmark. Alexander Wiethoff introduced his work and his efforts towards developing a method for the evaluation of media facades. Katharine Willis‘ paper looked at how online interaction could facilitate inclusion and support a sense of place.

We were also joined by Martijn de Waal (The Public Matters) whose insightful questions and comments brought a valuable contribution to our discussion.

It was a fantastic day and it opened new horizons for my future work in this field!


July 03 2013 04:52 pm | Events

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