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Cocities: Urban Information Design



Sami Niemelä
Nordkapp
works with Greenfield
this guy works at "the fuzzy end of design"

Working on the now to the near future
screens in Helsinki Clearstream and the city together
They are supposed to give useful information
most screens are in pedestrian spaces, but they are not well
static maps on one side and ads on the other
the bluescreen of death is a common sight on screens like this in public spaces everywhere

design with the larger context in mind
chair in a room room is a building building in a city and so on

Also, design for the smaller context.

designing urban informatics is complex
there is never one single soilution, but several complicated solutions

paths edges districts landscapes landmarks
but also interfaces services data platforms connected objects infrastructures

And don't forget time.

Now-->daily-->never use

Maps can tell us where we are now. Can they tell us where we sill be in 10 minutes? How often I am going to be there?

How can locals get new value from their cities?

Shadow Cities--iphone game coming soon.
It's a layer on top of the city
gameplay happens on the map

Cybergeographic
How does the place I am now feel to me?

The Near Future
from the perspective of screens
the context of input
output is more variable, but input depends on the mobile device.
mobile phones are more personal
urban screens are not private.

How long you use different screens is also variable.
Street screens are not very inviting
computers suck us in
game play engages you over time when it is done well

Multiuser Proxemics
How can multiple users use the same screen simultaneously?

Where does the commercial information go? Can we mix public screens and commercial screens?
The UK Cross Rail service has been designed to make the difference between navigation, wayfinding, and commercial space clearly delimited.

Urban informatics, where to put them?
Project in a nature reservoir
Bad idea. Nobody wants that in a nature reservoir.

Polite and Curious
Design public screens that are polite.
Systems with a tone of voice
Systems with a personality
(me: systems always have personality and tone of voice, whether they are designed or not. Unfortunately when they are not explicitly designed, they often have shitty, asshole personalities)

Why does Watson have such a crap avatar?

Yahoo Talk Like a Person design template (me: I didn't know about this. My pet project at work!)

The Service Avatar

BASAAP
Be as smart as a puppy
The interaction shouldn't be human, but should be alive.

Party in Your Mouth

Nanotechnology is going to be a great enabler. Soon anything will potentially be a service avatar. screens will be everywhereç

When everything is connected, it might be time to do the opposite. Design systems that are only there when we need them, that are not in our way. Just enough is more.

(me: right on, brother. This is my favorite guy so far.)

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