A few ideas for brainstorming cooperative tasks that require minimal effort on the part of the individual, but result in a significant (or at least conceptually significant) cumulative effect over time. So task / interaction boundaries might include …
- Something that would be difficult for a computer to do … so something that humans are particularly good of doing … (image recognition, content recognition, and understanding of context, language, etc). This could involve organizing complex data … or optimizing systems. This could be data from STSS or the Weisman …
- Simple “input” to be either binary or on a simple scale. It would be great if it was something that people could reach out and touch / rub / press/ bonk, or perhaps if there was something they could incorporate into their path (i.e. step here or walk there depending on the task). Interaction in motion.
- Something that had a particularly local scope (or not? perhaps global?).
- Perhaps the bridge could become our own “mechanical turk” whereby people could submit simple tasks for the crowds to complete as they walk across the bridge?
Real-time Cooperative Games
Working together to get something done … with or without knowing who you are working with.
http://hotornot.com/ (a terrible website, but it demonstrates a simple collaborative interactive framework based on visceral responses, requiring very little “action” on the part of the voter)
When repetitive tasks are small but still to complex for a computer, the Mechanical Turk allows developers and researchers to pay people to do the tasks online.
There have been many scientific and marketing uses, but the most interesting artistic uses are likely those by Aaron Koblin and Clement Valla.
Making Energy (or simply harvesting it …)
Energy Harvesting : Piezo electric and others.More Passive
Rubbing icons as a community.
General András Hadik’s horse’s testicles in Budapest (engineering students rub them before exams).
Exquisite Corpse Drawing Game
As an interaction designer, I am thinking a lot about the kinds of interactions that this space will afford. No matter how much we try, the majority of the time, the majority of the people that inhabit this space will experience it as a thoroughfare. I don’t have the hard facts on this, but I do have a lot of experience walking and riding back and forth for the last 8 years. Based on this, I am assuming that the majority of the interactions with any static art piece will normally only be experienced for as long as it takes to walk by them. But, people will have these short interactions on a daily basis over and over and over and over again. What can we do with a huge quantity of short interactions that accumulate over time?
While we do have moving targets (quite literally moving), we do have a very captive and easily quantifiable audience — that is — they can’t get away. We can easily measure how long people are on the bridge, how many people are on there at any given time, and can make predictions about when they will reach the other side. During the school year, we could predict (with great confidence) when the bridge would be most active (i.e. between classes). Thus it seems reasonable that we imagine interactions that occur at a distance — interactions that allow connections between the two sides — interactions that leverage the potential for building anticipation — even suspense — during the (seemingly) long walk across the bridge. There is also an opportunity to play with the possible social interactions via lo-fi communication. Perhaps it would be possible to create a game or situation whereby travelers proceeding in opposite directions had to find each other and work together to some greater end, potentially meeting in the middle.
Finally, as a combination of the two ideas above, I am quite interested in seeing how we might use these strange, predictable migration patterns (and the associated boredom of the long walk) “create” something. What would be difficult to do as an individual, but could easily be accomplished in an accumulation of instances?
Categories of Data
This is just a copy of my raw sensor/data brainstorming list. None are prescriptive and most would need a very strong conceptual basis before I’d be interested in implementing them in a space like this.
Mark Shepard is doing particularly interesting work/critique on this topic with interventions like his “Sentient City Survival Kit” e.g. http://serendipitor.net/site/.
Self-reported “personal” data (or otherwise “given” to us). This data would require some amount of active engagement on the part of the traveller. Preferably, this could be done while “in motion”, i.e. SMS, a phone call, etc, and there would be an immediate payoff. Digital data might include: photos, digital documents, media, mp3s, notes. This kind of data would not always manifest visually, but would be “in the air” (or in the concrete), or otherwise encoded in the space (see sound encoding ideas). More subjective data such as mood could be encoded with simple sets of dials, switches, etc. I’m kind of interested in having something that everyone touches (like this: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c4/Slu_billiken.jpg/434px-Slu_billiken.jpg)
Digital data could be collected in a number of ways:
- SMS, MMS, Email, Voicemail
- NFC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_field_communication)
- QR code
Personally, I am most interested in this space really only having a physical presence. I’m not really interested in having a “website” for the site. This is different from having an online api that provides sensor data.
Passively Acquired Traveller Data: This data would be fairly direct, human flow data. #peds, # bikes, ped speed, bike speed, max speed, min speed, peak travel times, and other absurd derived statistics like, mean shirt color, height. Almost all of these kinds of flow items could be tracked using computer vision techniques and other passive technologies (break-beam sensors, PIR, etc).
Other Environmental Data: Weather data, wind, temp, humidity, and river information — flow o2 sat, volume, clarity, air quality, number of cars, busses, bikes, light rail time. Might also tap into data feeds from STSS (a la http://pachube.com) [would require more research]. … live campus bus route data. Live Metrotransit ridership data.
Spatial: sensors in seats, temp, breathing, etc.
More Ambiguous … how are the liberal arts (on the East side) and the sciences collaborating and going back and forth? What are the conversations and ideas ideas that are particularly salient?
Perhaps a way for bikers (or peds if we gave them some sort of stick to drag along the bridge the railings as they walked).
While technically challenging, perhaps these surfaces could be “tuned” using the data collected at the site. This would likely be much easier for the fences, and more difficult to do in-ground for the bikes.
Tuned Surfaces (asphaltophones, etc)
Otherwise Modulated and Tuned
(water umbrellas) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOakK59iKTA
(modulated fire) http://www.stanford.edu/~demarini/Firebirds.mp4
(Steve talking about Paul’s work, just because: http://blip.tv/zer01/paul-demarinis-1580507)
“SE Washington Bridge over the Mississippi River carries an estimated 71,400 travelers; the highest number of all the selected count locations.” (2010 Minneapolis Bicyclist & Pedestrian Count Report)
- Motor vehicles - 37.6%
- bus transit - 32.7%
- walked - 19.9% (14,220 peds per day cross the bridge… third highest of all count locations)
- biked - 9.6% (6,850 riders per day - a cycling ‘hot spot’, carrying more bikes than any other route in Minneapolis)
I’m putting together some infographics with some of this information about the campus…
TRAVEL MODES AT THE U
- Bike - 7% (6,500 cyclists per day)
- Carpool - 7%
- Bus - 24%
- Walk - 30%
- Drive Alone - 32%
- Students - 51,469
- Full-time Staff & Faculty - 16,305
- Estimated Visitors (per day) - 15,000
- Total of 80,000 people a day coverge to use University facilities
WALKING/BIKING Quick Facts
- Miles of campus sidewalks & plazas - 46
- Miles of Gopher Way tunnels/skyway - 6
- Pedestrian bridges/skyways - 7
- Miles of bike lanes/paths - 5.95
- Bike racks/hoops - 6,500
- Bike Lockers - 154
- 150,000 people visit WAM annually, half are from the University and the rest are from the community at large. About 13,000 are K-12 students.
- “WAM’s total attendance is lower than that of the Minneapolis Institute of Art & the Walker Art Center, but when calculated based on the number of visitors per square foot of museum space, WAM’s attendance is nearly twice as large as attendance for both institutions.”
CAMPUS MASTER PLAN (2009)
- Campus Master Plan identifies the WAM plaza site as one of twelve pedestrian conflict zones on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities’ campus.
- The volume of pedestran/bicycle traffic on Washington Avenue will increase substantially due to the absence of automobiles when the LRT is installed.
- The University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus is ranked as the 9th most bike friendly campus in the U.S.
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