Civic Mutations

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Situated Technologies

Title snapshot from presentation

A 3-day symposium was held a few years back in 2006 on the subject of Situated Technologies. What’s Situated Technologies? I don’t have a clue,and I’m still fuzzy in that idea but I believe it has something to do with the technological tools we use everyday, like mobile phones, Blackberrys, PDAs as well as social networking web services such as Twitter, Facebook, Dodgeball etc. Here’s a link to a video presentation on What is Situated Technologies? by Mark Shepard, who’s an artist and an architect.

The video is about 20 minutes long, but for those impatient users, here’s a quote from the video.

Snapshot taken from the presentation

Snapshot taken from the presentation

… considering the mobile phone use in Japan … most are equipped with digital camera, sms text messaging, wireless email and internet browsers. Mobile phones have replaced computers as the de facto email terminal of choice for many Japanese who are not in technology, finance, engineering or other computer intensive occupation. In this context, the mobile phone becomes a device in organizing space, time and boundaries around the body in public space. Once constant connections within a close circles of friends has been referred to a personal territory device which regardless of the context of the physical built environment or its public conveyances creates a social space which in some way complicates our traditional category of public or private space in the built environment. 

Situated Technologies


Filed under: Inspiration, Random Thoughts

2 Responses

  1. Robin Tan says:

    I am practically clueless about architecture or urban planning etc, and I have to admit, and haven’t actually gone thru the mp4 link you’ve kindly provided,

    justa few quick comments here, things that came quickly off my mind, perhaps the whole discussion here has to do with the traditional concept of integrating functionality into a common space (with respects to architecture and site planning of course), which of course is analogous to how common technologies are creating new and practical ways its is used, i.e. mobile phone, pdas, emails, internet, 3G, HSPDA, etc. coming together into one “product” which expands the way a consumer uses this new “functionality”, either in as a public or private tool.

    Perhaps the challenge in architecture or layout design/planning, is how to create a space that can allow occupants/consumers to create new uses for the building/sites, which can be both public and private space. Hmmm… in this sense I would suggest perhaps a modular element into a design, or an overarching design that integrates both public and private space.

  2. Robin Tan says:

    hey! I just have a flash!

    its about this discussion of situated technologies and architecture, something that might work in that sense, picture this… glass domes of self tinting glass (at a touch of a button) within a public space,

    this is very much akin an actors/artist studio, each dome equipped with all the AV systems, internet connectivity, or whatever technologies or necessities required for functionality or creative use as an “individual or private” space,

    for a variety of uses, may it be for private gatherings, practising gigs, private study, alone time, corporate meetings, whatever…

    yet at the same time, its use is not limited or dictated by “private” as at a touch of a button, the dome is transparent, the AV is pointing outwards, meaning, all the necessary technologies for public broadcasting also becomes available for the user, it now becomes a public platform, may it be used for a concert, oration, public gathering… etc.

    food for thought

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