Interactive Instruments: Situated Technology, Intelligent Terrain, and Design Commons

By Nick Dunn.

Published by The International Journal of Design in Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 11, 2014 $US5.00

Today’s urban situation is a constantly shifting one—a nexus of material and immaterial flows, systems, and processes. While much has been made of the reprogramming of city spaces, little attention has been given to the deprogramming of them and who participates in this process. Furthermore, the transformation of the urban realm does not necessarily take account of its citizens. To address this, we need to engage with the provision of a framework to evolve “intelligent terrain” that is participatory, social, and enabling. Key to this trajectory is technology of a situated nature, to facilitate a local design commons and thereby affect change in the city. While much has been claimed regarding the emancipatory powers of digital networks, it is apparent that in order to make sense of their endless data we need to consider the manner with which we engage with it. Thus, the development of “interactive instruments” becomes primary if we are to enable the public to get involved and develop a design commons. This points toward the durative nature of meaning making, using the urban condition as an operative situation for collaborative, participatory, and sociable design. This paper therefore examines the implications of such a framework upon design practices and modalities.

Keywords: Design, Society, Participation, Commons, Networks, Technology, Urbanism

The International Journal of Design in Society, Volume 7, Issue 2, April 2014, pp.111-119. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 11, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 318.088KB)).

Prof. Nick Dunn

Professor, Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster, UK

Prof. Nick Dunn is a professor of urban design at ImaginationLancaster at the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, Lancaster University, UK.