TRACK

Oxford and Nottingham

Month: January 2011

The Tuning of Place

http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=12154

The Tuning of Place
Sociable Spaces and Pervasive Digital Media
Richard Coyne

Table of Contents and Sample Chapters

How do pervasive digital devices—smartphones,  iPods, GPS navigation systems, and cameras, among others—influence the way we use spaces? In The Tuning of Place, Richard Coyne argues that these ubiquitous devices and the networks that support them become the means of making incremental adjustments within spaces—of tuning place. Pervasive media help us formulate a sense of place, writes Coyne, through their capacity to introduce small changes, in the same way that tuning a musical instrument invokes the subtle process of recalibration. Places are inhabited spaces, populated by people, their concerns, memories, stories, conversations, encounters, and artifacts. The tuning of place—whereby people use their devices in their interactions with one another—is also a tuning of social relations.

The range of ubiquity is vast—from the familiar phones and handheld devices through RFID tags, smart badges, dynamic signage, microprocessors in cars and kitchen appliances, wearable computing, and prosthetics, to devices still in development. Rather than catalog achievements and predictions, Coyne offers a theoretical framework for discussing pervasive media that can inform developers, designers, and users as they contemplate interventions into the environment. Processes of tuning can lead to consideration of themes highly relevant to pervasive computing: intervention, calibration, wedges, habits, rhythm, tags, taps, tactics, thresholds, aggregation, noise, and interference.

About the Author

Richard Coyne is Professor and Chair of Architectural Computing, University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Designing Information Technology in the Postmodern Age: From Method to Metaphor (1995), Technoromanticism: Digital Narrative, Holism, and the Romance of the Real (2001), and Cornucopia Limited: Design and Dissent on the Internet (2005), all published by the MIT Press.

from website

http://ace.caad.ed.ac.uk/richard/

Tom Pow’s Dying Villages project

http://www.dyingvillages.com/index2.php

 

By 2030 it is estimated that Europe will have lost one third of its population. It is already an ageing population with a low birthrate. The effect of this demographic change – the greatest since the Black Death – will be felt most acutely in rural areas. In 2007,  I received a Creative Scotland Award from the Scottish Arts Council for a project aimed at responding in poetry and prose to the social, ecological and cultural effects of demographic changes on villages in Europe.

In 2007 and 2008,  I made trips to affected areas in Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Bulgaria, Russia and Greece. The Dying Village website reflects these trips in sound, image, interviews and artworks.

Dying Villages is an ongoing project. Related works of poetry and prose will appear elsewhere.

Tom Pow

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