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id cdc2008_377
authors Conrad, Erik
year 2008
title Rethinking the Space of Intelligent Environments
source First International Conference on Critical Digital: What Matters(s)? - 18-19 April 2008, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge (USA), pp. 377-382
summary Technologies are not mere exterior aids but interior changes of consciousness that shape the way the world is experienced. As we enter the age of ubiquitous computing, where computers are worn, carried or embedded into the environment, we must be careful that the ideology the technology embodies is not blindly incorporated into the environment as well. As disciplines, engineering and computer science make implicit assumptions about the world that conflict with traditional modes of cultural production. Space is commonly understood to be the void left behind when no objects are present. Unfortunately, once we see space in this way, we are unable to understand the role it plays in our everyday experience. In this paper, I argue that with the realization of the vision of ubiquitous computing, the fields of computer science and engineering reify the dominance of abstract space in real space. A new approach to the design of computing systems is necessary to reembody space. The social nature of the interface allows us to situate it within Henrí Lefebvre’s notions of space, providing new tools for thinking about how computing practice engages space as well as opening avenues to rematerialize the environment through embodied interaction.
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