Caad Futures 2017 Workshop Session

Keywords: Interaction Design, Physical Computing, Uncanny Spaces, Public Space, Social Engagement.

Brief explanation: Interaction where?  Focuses on small interventions that can change the static spatial configurations of the uncanny spaces into more dynamic environments. Participants of the workshop are expected to observe and examine the everyday practices under the Besiktas bridge and to design a user-interactive platform which at the end provides new ways for social engagement.

The brief will ask participants to identify potential moments/situations etc. to turn it to responsive environments through physical computing by using Arduino Microcontroller and different sensors. With that in mind, our focus is to improve the moment; to get a person interested in crossing this specific bridge, to make the individual excited about the possibility of getting in interaction with other individuals.

Selection Procedure, Promotion and Program Committee: Any researcher, professional or student who is familiar with basic representation tools and is interested in interaction design and Arduino platforms may want to participate in this workshop session. A letter of intent (max. 250 words), which briefly explains the knowledge on related topics and overall expectations is requested from the workshop candidates. The number of participants might be around 15-20.

The call for workshop applications is to be disseminated from a website and different social media platforms. We intend to present the workshop results in a related scientific conference.

Context: Adding the layer of interaction to the spatial design promises occurrence of new kind of environments which can provoke a chain of unexpected events and actions. They can trigger collaboration among individuals and create different forms of communication between people. Thus they offer new ways for social engagement.

A bridge, which is designed for the purpose of overcoming a geographical obstacle like crossing from one location to another quickly and easily, generates inevitably a secondary empty space under its main structure. This place holds the potential of functioning as an active part of a public space. Yet, it is usually excluded from its surroundings, which at the end turns it into an uncanny space. People avoid crossing under the bridges and these places transform to non-public spaces which eventually becomes the places of social disintegration. How might we design interactions to transform these uncanny spaces into places where people socially engage?

Open source physical computing platforms, such as Arduino enable makers and designers to create interactive electronic objects and environments. Therefore, they hold the potentials to enable such transformations of uncanny spaces into more alive places only with few interventions. These platforms provide us with possibilities, that can realize Cedric Price’s once utopian dreams of interactive environments. With their ever-growing possibilities, such platforms are probably one of the widely discussed and researched areas of computational design and clearly belong to the “Future Trajectories of Computation in Design”.

Outcomes: Participants are expected to design and represent the interactive experience they will propose for the sites. At the end, they will have a general understanding of key elements of physical interaction design. Groups will have a video documentation of their ideation and prototyping process. In addition to their digital prototypes where they explain their ideas with visuals, they will also have a final physical prototype which presents the actual, physical experience and interaction in the space.