Human Ecosystems at TEDxDanubia

Join us in Budapest for TEDxDanubia, where we will present the Human Ecosystems project, and some surprises about the digital lives of cities, the ways in which people express in urban contexts and on the possibility to create a new form of Public Space, in the era of Information, Communication and Knowledge: Ubiquitous Commons!

TEDxDanubia will be held on May 15th 2014,  at the Uránia theater (1088 Budapest, Rákóczi út 21., Hungary).

This year’s theme is “The Age of Uncertainty

From TEDxDanubia’s website:

We live in uncertain times, probably more so than ever before. The pace of change is accelerating, the amount of information and choices is overwhelming. A merging biological and technological revolution is transforming our reality. The gap between rich and poor has widened to unprecedented levels. Population growth and human induced ecological changes are creating unforeseeable risks on a planetary scale. The balance of power is shifting rapidly between East and West, North and South, while the whole planet is becoming defined increasingly by interconnectedness and interdependency, and our capacity to meet the new challenges is greater than ever.

At the same time we are losing sight of or even faith in our traditional reference points and guiding posts. New challenges, new threats and new opportunities await us behind every corner. Opportunities have never been greater and more widespread. But our world is also filled with the sense of crisis of all kinds, from financial to moral, from global to personal. What kind of world are we heading towards? Are we on the brink of a new phase of our evolution? How do we find our own way in this new world? How do we make wise choices in a new and uncharted territory when so much is at stake? How do we find meaning and purpose to our lives? What does progress mean? How do we turn the new and threatening challenges into opportunities?

Among the speakers and performers: Taghi Amirani, Orsolya Nemes, Anna Baróthy, Boggie, Pál Honti, Scott Summit, Gábor Forgács, József Baranyi, Miklós Antal, György Nógrádi, Bobby Sager, Márk Süveg Saiid, Krisztián Nyáry, Marge, Laurie Garrett, Annamária Kádár, Nikhil Goyal, Péter Pozsár, István Kenyeres, Freelusion, Andrew Hessel, Emily Levine, Sena Dagadu.

Human Ecosystems at the MACRO Museum of Rome for Aperitivi Formativi

What is the Human Ecosystem of the city?

How does it transform with the wide and accessible availability of ubiquitous and nomadic technologies?

How can we capture and visualize the Human Ecosystem of a city?

How can we transform this possibility to represent the Human Ecosystem into the opportunity to perceive its complexity and to perform it, to position ourselves within it and act creating new relations, new opportunities and new, yet unexplored possibilities?

These are some of the themes we will confront with on Tuesday, November 12 2013, at the MACRO Museum of Rome (in via Nizza 138) for a session of Aperitivi Formativi which will revolve around the idea (and project) of the Human Ecosystem.

Here is the Facebook Event of the day: Human Ecosystems at Aperitivi Formativi, at the MACRO Museum

About the Human Ecosystems project:

The Human Ecosystems Project

The Human Ecosystems Project

The main idea driving the philosophy of the project is that with the advent of ubiquitous and nomadic technologies (digital) information has become part of our landscape. The world is wrapped in an everchanging, liquid, emergent membrane of information which people have learned to use to take decisions, express emotions, communicate and, in general, to transform their perception of the world.

It has become, in more than one way, a new sense, a new tactility and a new possibility for performance.

We see this as a “new part of Nature” (or, possibly, an “updated part of Nature”), expressed along the models of the Ecosystem, the whole of the subjects, energies and flows of a certain environment, as described through the relational networks interweaving their lives. A new conception of the Body of the City, to which we will try to operate grabbing inspiration from the idea of Urban Acupuncture, as expressed by Marco Casagrande, and expanded to include the reality of the ubiquitous informational and communicational landscape.

And, thus, we are bringing up a series of projects which deal with both the progressive sedimentation of the ubiquitous infoscape, describing both its ruins, and its emergence. And, with them, the coagulation and continuous evolution/transformation of stories, relationships, emotions. Or, looking to the other direction of the time arrow, to possibility and opportunity.

With these projects we are trying to bring augmented sensibility to the Third Landscape of Information, the Third Infoscape, gathering inspiration from Gilles Clèment.

The project has already started in the city of Rome and, soon, more instances will start in many other cities, establishing conversations with city administrations, organizations and citizens.

Cultur+: an Office for the Ecosystem, for a Smart City and an even Smarter Community

Next steps for the Human Ecosystems project in Rome.

Together with the Council for Culture of the First Municipality of the City of Rome, on November 9th 2013, in Rome at Porta Futuro, from 10am to 5pm, we will be at Cultur+, the second meeting for the Cultural Ecosystem in the city.

Cultur+: the Cultural Ecosystem of the City of Rome

Cultur+: the Cultural Ecosystem of the City of Rome

After the first event, held at the Casa della Cultura in Rome, we have received an enormous amount of feedback, and we have also been doing some thinking on our own, integrating all of the ideas that have been popping up and also designing a set of new concepts.

The day will feature:

  • an official introduction by the the Administration, with Councillor Andrea Valeri that will lead us into the state of the art of the activities and into the discussion (at 10am);
  • Art is Open Source will introduce the recent updates of EC(m1), the Cultural Ecosystem of the City of Rome, with the new ideas that have come up from all the feedbacks, and from the results of different experimentations which we have been doing at local, national and international level; for example with the innovation-centered experiment that we have conducted at the Internet Festival with the Innovation Ecology installation; (at 10:30am)
  • then, at 11am a series of thematic, vertical groups will form around the tables, to explore the opportunities offered by the approach we are following, and by the creation of collaboration practices among all the operators, the citizens and the administration; groups will form on:
    • Performing Arts
    • Communication, Design and Architecture
    • Resources (including funding, European projects, public spaces, and the reuse/recontextualization of existing spaces)
    • Visual Cultures
    • Publishing
    • Multiculturalism
  • this is a first classification we formed for the groups, matching the specific focuses of the administration; we are imagining ways to create additional/different classifications/groupings, and ways in which to allow people to group around their own defined themes and interests, and share the results with the rest of the ecosystem;
  • this activity will go on until 3:45pm, with a break for lunch
  • during this activity a parallel Office for the Ecosystem will be present, through which we will demonstrate one of the possibilities for the Human Ecosystem: what if you city administration offered an Office through which you (or your organization) could position yourself in the Human Ecosystem of your city and learn how navigate, understand and use it to find collaborations, resources, participation and the possibility to confront with common issues? (from 11am to 3:45pm)
  • at 3:50pm a short presentation of the concept of the Office for the Ecosystem will be given by Art is Open Source;
  • at 4pm the groups will take turns in communicating the results they achieved and the objectives which they set forth for the next phases;
  • at 4:30pm the conclusions will be made and the setup for the next meetings will be arranged.

Here is the Facebook Event page for Cultur+

Here is the Facebook Group of the Cultural Ecosystem of Rome

The Real-time Cultural Ecosystem of the City of Rome

The Real-time Cultural Ecosystem of the City of Rome is a visualisation which captures all the interactions on social networks through which internet users discuss about the cultural life of their city. (it is the first part of the Human Ecosystems project)

Real-time Cultural Ecosystem of the City of Rome, Space

Real-time Cultural Ecosystem of the City of Rome, Space

Built with the support and collaboration of the Cultural Council of the First Municipality of Rome’s City Administration, it is the first of a series of Ecosystems which we will be publishing in the next months.

What is it?

The system captures in real time the public activity of citizens using social networks to express themselves about culture (Music, Theater, Cinema, Arts, Publishing, Traditions, History and Heritage, Sport, Tourism, Media).

The system:

  • captures the public activity of operators (publishing and communicating events and initiatives) and citizens (taking participating, storytelling and expressing along cultural themes in their daily lives);

  • understands the theme of the online discussions (for example contemporary arts, publishing…) and the emotional states which they express (for example an operator’s joy in communicating a new event; a citizen’s surprise and anxiety to participate; and his satisfaction or delusion afterwards);

represents information visually in three ways

  • space, the geography of culture, showing a real time map with the evidence of the places in which culture is discussed and made;

  • the time of culture, showing the online discussions as they emerge on social networks, across operators’ communication and citizen engagement;

  • the relations of culture, showing how operators and citizens relate by collaborating, participating, communicating and expressing opinions;

  • makes available a novel source of real-time Open Data with all the information captured and processed
  • contributes to the creation of a continuous and emergent census of culture, in real-time, including the operators creating and communicating events and initiatives, as well as the citizens and tourists which take part in them and publicly engage discussions.

Why is it Important?

It is the first time that such an action is made available to a public administration and, through Open Data, to operators and citizens, who will be able to use it to better know and understand the cultural landscape of their city, to support innovative phenomena to emerge, and to create services through the web and smartphones.

It is a replicable model, ready to be adopted by other administrations. And, most important, it is interoperable, allowing direct comparison among different territories, allowing to understand their characteristics and practices.

How is it done?

By using the possibilities offered by major social networks to harvest in real-time the public information generated by users and operators.

This information is captured as soon as it is generated in the geographical area of interest, and processed using a series of techniques and technologies (Natural Language Analysis, Emotional Analysis, Network and Relational Analysis), and are thus enriched and annotated with additional information regarding the themes and issues being discussed, the emotional states they express, and a best-effort guess of the location from which they have been generated and of which they are talking about.

All information is visualised practically in real time, and made available through a source of Open Data accessible through APIs.

When will it be available?

The official presentation will happen in the Cultur+ event, Sept. 28th 2013 in Rome‘s Casa delle Culture, via di San Crisogono 45.

An open beta version is available HERE for anyone to access. It is an early beta, and we’re asking all the community to support in making it work perfectly, helping us out to identify data and information which seems out of place and also getting the interfaces to work as expected. To have access to the Open Data source you might have to wait a few days more, but please contact us to know more and get early access.

Keep in touch for more posts right here, as we will unveil updates, additional information and knowledge we have collected about Rome’s Cultural Ecosystem.

AOS at 18th International Conference on Urban Planning and Regional Development in the Information Society GeoMultimedia 2013

AOS will be at REAL CORP 2013, the 18th International Conference on Urban Planning and Regional Development in the Information Society GeoMultimedia 2013.

20-23 May 2013, Rome, Italy

House of Architecture
Piazza Manfredo Fanti, 47, 00185 Roma

Our contribution:

Interweaving the digital and analog lives of cities: urban sensing and user-generated cities

Abstract

A research process lasting from 2009 to 2012 has conceptualized, designed and implemented multiple tools and strategies to experiment novel forms of technologically-supported urban interaction. The goal of this process has been to understand the rituals which have started to shape contemporary citizens’ perception and performance of urban public and private spaces. An ethnographic approach has been used to gather insights about these emergent rituals, affecting the ways in which people have transformed the ways in which they work, learn, relate, consume, travel and entertain themselves in the city.

With the active collaboration of public administrations, organizations, citizen groups, tourist operators and research teams these practices have been enacted in the cities of Rome, Turin, Trieste, Cosenza, London, Berlin and Hong Kong for variable amounts of time. Engagement and results have been formally gathered, observed, processed and measured, allowing the research team to both explore the current scenario and envision new ones.

Real-time content harvesting from social networks, natural language analysis, geo-referencing/geo-coding/geo-parsing technologies, expert systems and ubiquitous technologies such as smartphones, custom electronic devices and conceptual consumer products have been employed to explore the ways in which people are and will be able to: perceive and understand their urban surroundings; access services and information; co-produce knowledge and distributed intelligence; collaborate in the creation of shared projects and city-governance practices; create and maintain peer-to-peer infrastructures for connectivity, commerce, services and culture.

This paper will present the initial analysis – including previous research taken into account in the fields of urban sensing, citizen science, urban planning, urban infrastructure management, urban environment perception and more –; the methodologies, both shared and project-specific, used to conceive, design, implement the prototypes and to measure their effects; the reports about each project in the aforementioned cities, including their usage on-the-field as well as elements of urban and digital ethnographic observation and user experience analysis; a description of a scenario for further research and for the production of service and product concepts, some of which are already in-progress, in the areas of the arts, culture, tourism and city administration.

What emerges is the opportunity to create multi-layered interactive landscapes in urban contexts which allow city dwellers to communicate, collaborate, govern their city, exchange knowledge and information, consume, entertain themselves, produce and distribute services.