Posted on August 23rd, 2009 in collaboration, project news and tagged action mill, activism, design, game theory, presentation, social media, uarts
I will be traveling to Belfast on Tuesday to attend ISEA2009, the International Symposium on Electronic Art. I will also be giving a short presentation on the Social Media for Social Change project. As a refresher, SMSC is a design research collaboration between me, three undergraduate students, and members of the Action Mill that is funded by the Philadelphia Applied Research Lab at the University of the Arts. The fundamental question we are asking is: how can we reimagine civil discourse in the context of social media and networked communication? Our objectives are: 1) to learn more about human interaction (online and offline); 2) to create structural changes (as opposed to merely tweaking existing tools); and 3) to build environments that accommodate divergent perspectives, mediate disagreement, and encourage civil debate.
Quite unexpectedly, the deliverable we have produced at the close of this first phase is a haptic board game called The NIMBY Game. Using real-world land use and zoning dilemmas often faced in cities, players must negotiate these in order to collectively plan their city while balancing the pressures of self-inerest and common good. We think it’s quite useful for understanding better structures for civil discourse — and it’s also pretty fun to play. We’d like to release the game as a limited edition multiple once the final glitches are worked out. (As Rob from the Action Mill says, “Board games are the new indy film.” Works for us!)
Anyway, if you’re going to be in Belfast for ISEA and trying to determine which of the myriad presentations and panels to attend, please do come. I present on Saturday, August 29 at 14:30 in a location called “Waterfront Hall Bar I and II” at the University of Ulster. See you then.
UPDATE: Here are the slides of the presentation I gave:
Posted on March 17th, 2009 in of interest, project news and tagged architecture, research, social media, web
I don’t have the energy for Twitter. Or rather, I don’t wish to expend the energy Twitter requires proportional to any value my use of it might return. However, I will continue to keep a regular presence on Twitter without any effort on my part whatsoever! With the help of a server-side cron job and a PHP script adapted from the Booktwo Swotter Project, I will “perform” my dusty ol’ graduate thesis (in real time!) on Twitter. Every two hours, an approximately 140-character fragment of the text will be broadcast for the benefit of any twit — er, tweetie, er twot, er, how’s that? — so why not follow me and enjoy a little piece of Meaning Building: Aldo Rossi and the Practice of Memory throughout the course of your twittiful day?
Posted on February 7th, 2009 in activism, collaboration, project news and tagged action mill, activism, civil discourse, democracy, public sphere, research, social media, uarts, web
I’ve just begun working on a design research project with my colleagues and great friends, Jethro and Nick, of the Action Mill and three undergraduate students at the University of the Arts. The project, Social Media for Social Change, investigates how networked technologies and social media may be used to create hybrid public spaces where civic discourse and meaningful participation are facilitated, organized, and nurtured at a grass-roots level. We see this work as vital if we are to harness the potential of networked communications in creating spaces for discussion, disagreement, and community, especially when so many of our everyday interactions with others are circumscribed by social media. I invite you, readers, to follow along at the project blog and join the conversation.