Archive for September, 2006

Quality: An international architecture conference

Quality: An international architecture conference (4-6 July 2007) will be held at the Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff, Wales, UK.

Variously controlled, assured and managed, ‘quality’ has become ubiquitous in Western societies. In consequence, the word’s familiar usage has grown slippery. Formerly grounded in ethical values or skilled craftsmanship, ‘quality’ is now commonly associated with the management of administrative or technical
processes. Whereas the appreciation of quality was founded in the exercise of individual judgement and taste – of connoisseurship – organisations now seek to ground its assessment in supposedly objective systems of evaluation. Practitioners are under pressure to quantify quality, but it remains questionable whether it is possible or even desirable to do so. This important and highly topical issue will lie at the
heart of these proceedings.

The conference will consider how – in cultural practices, in making and designing, in emerging technologies and in education – ‘quality’ is defined and appreciated, managed and produced.

Abstracts of 300 words are invited on any topic relating to notions of ‘quality’ in architecture or related fields. These should be submitted for refereeing by 1st November 2006. Additional information can be found on the conference website, which may be accessed at

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Manhattan story mashup – urban game

Manhattan Story Mashup is an urban game, taking place on September 23rd 2006 in Manhattan, New York City. During the event, approximately 250 players will move around Manhattan, taking photos which match a given target. Targets are words from stories, written by you and other visitors on this web site collaboratively while the game goes on. The resulting illustrated stories are shown on large public signs in Times Square in real-time and on this web site.

Manhattan Story Mashup is organized by SensorPlanet, a Nokia Research Center -initiated research program on large-scale sensor networks. This game is a cool way to test our tools and theories in practice with a large number of people. Naturally we’re also interested in sharing fun with other people in the Come Out and Play Festival, which gathers together many games like this in September.

More on and

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Performing places seminar in Helsinki, Nov 7th-9th 2006

Performing Places seminar on media and embodiment in the urban environment is held in Helsinki, November 7-9, 2006.

The Performing places seminar will bring together researchers, artists and developers whose work touches on the experiential, affective and political aspects of urban and technological life, and who share an interest in inventive artistic and technical practices of the urban environment. The seminar addresses the current urban situation, where lived environments are undergoing major experiential and social changes, driven mainly by technical and economic pressures. Our aim is to create a forum for critical, transdisciplinary exchange by bringing to resonance a set of relevant themes:

  1. Urban space, in its current versions, blends embodied and mediated forms, orchestrating everyday actions to an invisible score of signals and software. With ubiquitous computing, devices pervade our physical environments to trace and modulate behaviour, enabling new modes of service, surveillance and intervention.
  2. Cities are increasingly shaped by the formation of ‘creative clusters’, according to innovation strategies which target an evolving experience industry and seek global competitiveness for a particular region or place. These strategies typically neglect embodied, affective or everyday aspects of the production of space – even if they often include programmes to advance citizen participation and social inclusion.
  3. Artists and media developers have the possibility of addressing urban space in ways that prioritize its experiential, social and political contexts. Strategies of site-specific, community and performance art are complemented by the activity of media artists and designers, producing interventions and applications that can capture the collective dimensions of our experience and render them palpable.
  4. Recent theories in human geography and the cultural study of technology highlight the affective and relational qualities of the urban/technological environment. In their focus on the performative and collective aspects of use and production, these theories challenge dominant views of representation and innovation, proposing more event-based and mobile accounts of inventive agency.

The seminar invites participation from all relevant disciplines, especially from practitioners and researchers in

  • media, performance and urban arts
  • IT design and and urban planning
  • urban and media studies.

The aim is to build conceptual links and exchanges between disciplines, in order to produce a critical framework with real relevance for urban practice, research and policy. For this reason the seminar will take the form of parallel workshops, with short presentations and a collaborative development of issues. Project demonstrations are warmly encouraged – but the main objective is to move beyond presentation and arrive at a problematization of practices. Of special interest are contributions discussing, for example:

  • Performativity and performance – embodied, affective and non-representational practices in media, arts and sociality;
  • Ubiquitous interaction – collective, participatory agency in urban interactions;
  • Affected places – art and media interventions in the physical and virtual environment;
  • Urban media experience – audiovisual, mobile and network media in the production, consumption and experience of places;
  • In/visibility – techniques and practices of representing and making visible, from infrastructures to surveillance to performance;
  • Critical urban practice – critical artistic and technical practice in the urban sphere; perspectives on production, coding, design, planning and development.

For further information, contact Minna Tarkka: minna [dot] tarkka [at] m-cult [dot] org.

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City community information collecting and sharing

Prof. Naoki Ueno from Mushashi Institute of Technology, Yokohama visited University of Oulu on September 1st, 2006. He gave an interesting presentation and demo on various experiments to use a web tool named NOTA to gather and share city location related information among various communities, like within a group of citizens trying to improve traffic safety, or graffiti-makers trying to get their art socially accepted.

Unfortunately the demos are mostly in Japanese, but one can get a glimpse from here. This demonstration shows how location based tools have been used by graffiti makers. Click the topmost grey button with japanese text, and the map will be populated with balloon symbols showing locations of graffiti art utilizing the Google map service. Click the second topmost button to get new symbols on the map. Click the balloon symbols for details on the graffitis.

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UbiComp 2006

Ubicomp 2006, the Eighth International Conference of Ubiquitous Computing, will be held in Orange County, California, September 17-21, 2006, hosted by the University of California, Irvine. Ubicomp is the premier international forum for research in ubiquitous computing, bringing together designers, computer scientists, social scientists, and artists, to discuss recent developments and future advance.

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Mobile HCI 2006

8th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services
12 to 15 September 2006, Espoo, Finland

MobileHCI provides a forum for academics and practitioners to discuss the challenges, potential solutions and innovations towards effective interaction with mobile systems and services. It covers the analysis, design, evaluation and application of human-computer interaction techniques and approaches for all mobile computing devices, software and services. The official language of the conference is English.

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CHI 2007

CHI 2007 invites you to take the next step, to reach beyond; beyond our comfortable methods and praxis; beyond our exciting and innovative technology; beyond our established scientific frameworks and reputations; beyond the common ground of professional and national cultures; and beyond our far-flung social networks.

Join us as we reflect on our amazing accomplishments over the past 25 years while we look forward to those we haven’t yet tried to imagine. Join us as we redirect our everyday concerns toward the problems we didn’t know would be relevant. Join us as we break down our habitual mindsets to welcome the concepts and ideas of colleagues we never knew we had.

Submission Deadline for papers and notes is 29 September 2006.

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Pervasive 2007

Pervasive 2007, the Fifth International Conference on Pervasive Computing, will be held May 13-16, 2007 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The annual conference provides a premier forum in which to present research results in all areas related to the design, implementation, application and evaluation of pervasive computing as it integrates into our lives. Building on the success of previous conferences in this series held in Zurich (August 2002), in Linz/Vienna (April 2004), in Munich (May 2005) and in Dublin (May 2006), Pervasive 2007 will include a highly selective single-track program for technical papers, accompanied by posters, videos, demonstrations, workshops, a doctoral colloquium, invited tutorials, and an invited plenary speaker.

Important Technical Paper Dates:

  • October 13, 2006: Deadline for Technical Paper submissions
  • December 15, 2006 : Notification of acceptance/rejection

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