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Designing interactive objects and spaces for the digital public space

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Published
Publication date2018
Number of pages210
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Publisher
  • Lancaster University
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The Internet is evolving, both in form and function, at a rate which is becoming increasingly difficult to match. Through constructs such as The Internet of Things, our consumption of digital information and knowledge is slowly moving away from being primarily consumed through screens to one in which we are generators of data by interacting with the objects and spaces which surrounds us. Thus, the Internet is no longer a space we visit but rather the space we live in and experience in our daily lives. The Digital Public Space, a concept based on the democratisation of privately held knowledge, is intrinsically connected to the notions of Internet, especially around its delivery and reach. Whilst the two are arguably separated by different social and political motivational aspirations as the internet evolves so must our consideration of the Digital Public Space.
The AHRC Creative Exchange research project was set to explore the myriad of potentials of the Digital Public Space from understanding, facilitation and creation of digital public spaces to privacy and ethical concerns. I approached this space by considering how our own physicality means that there will always be a tangible aspect to the consumption and production of digital information; a duality in existence which needs to be understood in order to design better experiences. In particular, I am concerned with the characteristics and particularities around the creation processes involved in the design of mixed-reality objects and spaces which might contribute to the Digital Public Space in the context imposed by the juxtaposition of the digital and the physical worlds.
Therefore, this research presents the methodological framework required for the understanding of such design processes with a clear focus on the interactions and affordances mixed-reality artefacts make use of in their designs. Through the exploration of five different research projects, resulting from collaborative design-led research, conducted in close partnership between academia and the creative industries, I extract, rationalise and present ideas, individually, in order to present research insights for the design and construction of mixed-reality artefacts. The key aspects of which are summarised in a set of guidelines, taking the shape of a manifesto, to serve prospective designers in the production of mixed-reality artefacts.