Sunday, April 12, 2009

a conversation with mark tovey

carleton university PhD candidate mark tovey came to the school march 6, 2009 as a lecturer during the living large colloquium hosted by the 3a studio. his presentation, titled "many minds make might work: open source, mass collaboration, and social innovation", asked the audience to "look for areas to open up" proposing open-source architectural design as an addition to a whole slew of existing mass collaboration and open-source initiatives. i wonder if there is a possible role within the "application" part of my thesis for the concept of open-source architectural design? two possibilites occurred to me: 1. a brief business or project coordination proposal for the application of open-source architectural design, or 2. a projection into the future of an open-source-design-bsed architecture profession. after mark's talk i sat down with him to pick his brain...here are my notes on our conversation: the wisdom of crowds: what is the mechanism of the "wisdom of crowds"? (in sociology a mechanism is a set of rules designed to bring about a certain outcome) social movement laboratory: (derek lomas - UCSD) the social movement laboratory's social architectures course asks: how does the design of an architectural space affect social dynamics? can art stimulate social engagement and social movement? students in the course designed a mobile video tower with a 170˚ field of view for the recording of crowd movement, proposed social aggregators in order to activate social spaces, among other projects. also, through the social architectures website i learned about "the social life of small urban spaces" video and book. (a 1980s study of the plazas of new york) how do you navigate 3d environments: (david kirsh - distributed cognition) this is a paper on human-computer interaction...i haven't read it yet, but here are a couple of excerpts from the summary which i found interesting:
"design and support human computer interaction...understanding interactions between people and technologies" "whole environments: what we really do in them and how we coordinate our activity in them"
ethnography:
"a genre of writing that uses fieldwork to provide a descriptive study of human societies" (wikipedia, april 12, 2009, 5:12 pm)
*"a system's properties cannot necessarily be accurately understood independantly of each other" (dr. michelle addington, from arriscraft lecture during living large colloquium)
a vocabulary: 1. distributed cognition (david kirsh, ed hutchins): think about a navy ship as a cognitive system - no one person knows everything that needs to happen to dock a navy ship, but it happens. 2. situated action: ski -> tree -> avoid (no plan required) 3. ecological cognition (j.j. gibson, donald a. norman): affordances - the properties of an object afford actions (i'm currently reading "the psychology of everyday things" by donald a. norman) the oracle of delphi and affinity diagrams: mark suggested this as a method of drawing out "rules" 1. ask a question to a group and have each person write out an answer on a post-it 2. group similar answers according to semantic domains 3. summarize each group to one paragraph/post-it 4. group... 5. summarize... 6. repeat until only one post-it is left a method for feedback: the orbs from UCSD are a set of simple lamps which are set to glow or dim in response to the number of occupants/power levels/etc. in the building. the simple act of feeding back information to building occupants gives them the opportunity to respond by going for a walk to see who is around/turning off a light/etc. *(i couldn't find a reference for this...though i did plug "orb feedback building occupants" into google and found several articles on energy conservation and "using feedback to influence occupants"). a method of collaboration: barcamp
"BarCamp is an international network of user generated conferences — open, participatory workshop-events, whose content is provided by participants. The first BarCamps focused on early-stage web applications, and related open source technologies, social protocols, and open data formats. The format has also been used for a variety of other topics, including public transit, health care, and political organizing." (wikipedia, april 12, 2009, 8:57 pm)
a method of classification: the music genome project (see my soundtrack post) this method of classification (analysis of attributes/expert classification) is in contrast to a preference-based system such as iTune's genius function. pandora (which is only available in the u.s. at the moment) uses 30 musical analysts who analyze 400 distinct musical attributes, described by mark as the "primary colours" of music, with which they classify music - the goal is to expose a listener to music from a wide range of styles which have similar attributes to the user's stated preferences. an example of the attributes analyzed: the voice has 30 attributes - bravado, range, ornamentation, pitch, tamber... *i just found the pandora blog - curious that they have recently added more weight to user feedback to correct faults in the "genome" system... a (very important) question: ***can space respond differently to different people at the same time?*** (thanks mark...that's a brilliant question!) thalience: from sci-fi writer karl schroeder - entities are considered "thalient" if they succeed in developing their own categories for understanding the world. could architecture become thalient???

1 comment:

s2chen said...

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