Archive for June, 2007

PerGames 2007

Continuing with the mobile spatial theme, PerGames 2007 was held in Salzburg, Austria and ran in parallel with the ACM Computer Entertainment Conference. Sponsorship was provided by the EU Funded IPerG project which meant that the conference had more tracks than before and included a set of tutorials on specific aspects of pervasive games. These ranged from one covering patterns in pervasive game play through to how to commercialise the results. Some of the papers may also appear in the Journal of Virtual Reality and Broadcasting and the ACM CE magazine. One of the amusing demonstrations was Salzburg Cityball – which is basically baseball played over an entire city using GPS enabled phones. For more information on PerGames visit:

Rod McCall, Fraunhofer FIT

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CHI2007 workshop: Mobile Spatial Interaction

One of the major themes at this years CHI was mobile technologies, from mobile phones through to some more advanced concepts and devices. There were a number of sessions, with the mobile spatial interaction workshop providing a nice start to the conference. The workshop covered a whole range of topics such as: pointing and gesturing interfaces, geospatial modelling, context-aware systems, pervasive games and mobile augmented reality systems – which in turn brought people together from a range of fields including engineering, design, usability and GIS. For a copy of the workshop proceedings visit:

Rod McCall, Fraunhofer FIT

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CHI2007 Imaging the City workshop report

Antti Juustila (working with the IPCity at the University of Oulu Finland) participated the Imaging the City workshop, a part of the CHI 2007 conference. The one day workshop focused on the city as a special place for human-computer interation research and practice. The workshop explored the practices and technologies of imaging the urban environment, bringing together designers, HCI experts, urban planners and technologists.

The issues handled at the workshop ranged from how do we represent the city in HCI, what kind of technological devices, services and platforms support imaging the city now and in the future, and how these representations can be used for social and political ends. Also new methods for developing the technologies were discussed, along with the issues of what ca we learn from urban experience to design stronger representations and interfaces within HCI research and practice.

The workshop papers are listed in this website:, including our paper on the experiment using surveillance cameras to enhance the experience of the architectural design site in the design studio, conducted as part of the Studio’n’Site and IPCity research projects at our department. The papers addressed the workshop topic in a very wide scale, ranging from mobile tools which “seeks to articulate the performative relations between places and identities”, evaluating the popularity of an area by statistical analysis of online map usage to “method for mapping the inter-relationship of space, social and informational networks that increasingly co-exist in our cities”.

The actual workshop did not include presentations of the papes, but instead group work and common sessions, drawing together the topics handled in the group assignments and discussing the outcomes of the group work.

At the end of the workshop we discussed interesting future research topics on the imaging the city. We identified the following topics for research:

  • time, scales of time, representing temporality, also using sound, not only visual media
  • using comics in imaging time
  • film was not discussed in the workshop (only pictures), which was a bit of a surprise, considering that film is an important media for (at least some) architects
  • The importance of situatedness: light/day; sun/rain/fog,…
  • private spaces and interiors in imaging the city?
  • soundscapes, including sound in representation
  • construction of interpretations of the site; how would the space address us; talk to us with signs, symbols, audio,…
  • cycles of renewal, evolution of cities, degeneration of cities
  • many times a missing element in current research: people and conflict (not necessary violent) — how to design, not hide/ignore conflicts & conflicting views and debate (e.g. park renewal and homeless people)
  • embeddedness of research: go in and engage, not just shortly but long term engagement

In summary, the workshop was very interesting also from the viewpoint of the IPCity, us focusing on some of the issues mentioned above.

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Workshop of the Presence research projects

On May 30, a Workshop of the Presence research projects currently funded by the EU 6th framework programme was held at Scuola Superiore St.Anna in Pisa, Italy. The 1-day symposium featured presentations by all four Integrated Projects: Pasion, Immersense, Presenccia and IPCity, and covered a wide area of research topics all the way from neuroscience to architecture and psychology. The participants were able to network and discover common research interests.

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Hypermedia database released

IPCity internal news

A new version of the Hypermedia database has been released to be used in the IPCity development. The Hypermedia database was originally developed in the Atelier IST project by the University of Oulu team working now with the IPCity. The new version includes support for Atom Publishing Protocol (APP) and hierarchical keywords as metadata to digital media files and other data types. Additionally, performance has been improved as the code has been refactored during the last months.

Hypermedia database also includes a Java API for application programmers. It enables application developers to store and retrieve media annotated with metadata. Media files can also be hyperlinked.

For more information, contact the Oulu team.


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Home, Migration and The City: Spatial Forms & Everyday Practices

Home, Migration and The City: Spatial Forms & Everyday Practices in a Globalizing World

Guest Editor: Dr Ayona Datta, Cities Programme, London School of Economics,UK

Email: a.datta2 at

The study of globalisation as the increasing interconnectedness between all aspects of social, cultural, economic, and political space has seen an unprecedented interest across social and political sciences, humanities, and urban studies. Seen as the direct result of globalisation, migration is now at the forefront of this investigation of cross-border connections, but this interest has predominately focussed on poor migrants’ experiences in their host countries. Studies of globalisation have been silent on the connections between migration and built environments. On the one hand, it is argued that the unprecedented movement of people in a globalising world will put particular emphasis on cities (in ways that they seek to attract particular types of people); and on the other hand it is argued that such movement has led to a death of ‘home’ as a fixed place. Can cities be understood as dense agglomerations of built forms, which are also ‘home’ to those who live there? If so, what does the death of ‘home’ in a globalising world mean for the future of place, of built forms, and of cities?

In this call for papers, we would like to invite a range of interdisciplinary explorations from academics and practitioners alike, who can offer new perspectives and new insights, explore alternative theoretical models, and offer proposals that construct new meanings of ‘home’, migration, and the city in a globalising world. For this special issue, we lay particular emphasis on globalising cities of the South that are undergoing rapid social, cultural, and economic changes and can no longer be seen simply as the ‘lands of origin’ of migrants but increasingly as destinations. Similarly, there are those elite transnationals in the global South, whose mobilities challenge migration as a linear movement, and whose presence is increasingly felt in cities through the rise in luxury housing. On the other hand, the recent expansion of the European Union has meant the increased presence of post-socialist subjects in the global North, which has led to changes in the geographies and identities of public space in Northern cities. We want to ask how the everyday lives and subjectivities of such migrant subjects are represented in the cities through built forms. How are places and built forms re-appropriated, re-negotiated, and transgressed through such diverse forms of mobility? How does mobility produce spatialised struggles for migrant identities in cities? What are the various ways that built forms and spatial
practices become new markers of a globalising world?

We are interested in fostering dialogue between academics and practitioners and in spatialising the notion of home and migration in both the North and the South. Our goal is to contribute to a new articulation of theory, practice, and ethics that help us better understand and deal with the conditions of globalisation and mobility through an examination of place, built forms, and spatial practice in cities across the world.

The Special Issue guest editor is Dr Ayona Datta, Lecturer, London School of Economics, UK. Please submit a 1000 word abstract and a 150 word author bio by 31st July 2007 by email to a.datta2 at

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2nd International Workshop on Physicality

2-3 September 2007: Call for Papers: 2nd International Workshop on Physicality Workshop co-located with the British HCI 2007 conference, Lancaster University, UK

We live in an increasingly digital world yet our bodies and minds are naturally designed to interact with the physical. The products of the 21st century are and will be a synthesis of digital and physical elements and for the user, these will become indistinguishable. As we design hybrid physical/digital products we have to understand what we lose or confuse by the added digitality – and so need to understand physicality more clearly than before.

We invite contributions that address physicality including:

– design at the physical-digital frontier
– the philosophy of physicality
– artefact-focussed social interaction
– physically-inspired interaction in virtual worlds
– creativity and materiality
– interactive art and performance
– digital emulation of the physical

The two-day workshop will seek to construct a fundamental understanding of the nature of physicality: how humans experience, manipulate, react and reason about ‘real’ physical things and how this may inform the future design of innovative products.

This workshop will bring together researchers from industry and academia. We welcome product designers, interaction designers, researchers in ubiquitous computing, tangible interface and cognitive, social and philosophical fields, and indeed all excited by this new challenge of the third millennia.

Important Dates

Submission Deadline – 1 July 2007
Acceptance Notification – 27 July 2007
Camera-ready Deadline – TBC
Workshop – 2-3 September 2007

We invite submissions in the form of a 4-6 page position paper in ACM Format (see web site for more details). If you would like to produce a contribution in some other form (demonstration, artwork, performance, etc.) please contact us. Submissions and enquiries should be sent to .

The workshop will include invited talks, short individual presentations, and group activities. The contributions will be published in the workshop proceedings. Building from this and the previous workshop, we are planning a journal special issue and would hope that some of the workshop contributions will be expanded for submission to this.

This workshop is sponsored by the DEPtH Project, which is part of the Designing for the 21st century Initiative.

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Personnel changes

IPCity internal news

Stephan Kollmer has moved to work with other challenges. His colleague Ms Sidonie Holborn will take over Stephan’s tasks and he is very happy to be able to present such a competent successor.

Welcome Sidonie!

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