All posts filed under “Observation

The detail of everyday interaction

The detail of everyday interaction

Understanding what people really do when they carry out some ‘simple’ task, as opposed to what designers assume they do, is important. Even something as mundane as boiling a kettle to make a cup of tea or coffee is fraught with variability, slips, mistaken assumptions […]

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Thoughtful Acts

Thoughtful Acts

Above & below: ‘Push’ Table by Jennifer Hing. Jane Fulton Suri‘s wonderful Thoughtless Acts? chronicles, visually, “those intuitive ways we adapt, exploit, and react to things in our environment; things we do without really thinking” – effectively, examples of valid affordances perceived by users, which […]

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Normalising paranoia

Normalising paranoia

This is brilliant. Chloë Coulson, Erland Banggren and Ben Williams, three Ravensbourne graduates, have put together a project looking at the “culture of fear”, the media’s use of this, and how it affects our everyday state of mind. The outcome is a catalogue, WellBeings™ [PDF […]

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Smile, you’re on Countermanded Camera

Smile, you’re on Countermanded Camera

Image from Miquel Mora’s website We’ve looked before at a number of technologies and products aimed at ‘preventing’ photography and image recording in some way, from censoring photographs of ‘copyrighted content’ and banknotes, to Georgia Tech’s CCD-flooding system. Usually these systems are about locking out […]

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Shaping behaviour: Part 2

Shaping behaviour: Part 2

Speedometer, rev counter and fuel and temperature gauges on the dashboard of my 1992 Reliant Scimitar SST. Photo taken on B1098 alongside Sixteen Foot Drain, Isle of Ely, England. In part 1 of ‘Shaping behaviour’, we took a look at ‘sticks and carrots’ as approaches […]

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The illusion of control

The illusion of control

Scott Adams recounts an anecdote illustrating the ‘illusion of control’ and how important it is to many people – even to the extent that it is the single defining characteristic of mankind which one might use to explain human behaviour to aliens: “The maintenance man […]

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Nice attitude

Nice attitude

Someone from the UK just found this site by searching for “device to stop young people congregating” using a mobile phone provider’s search engine. Now, I know, I know, there may be an important backstory behind that person’s search. Some people apparently really do have […]

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Review: Everyware by Adam Greenfield

Review: Everyware by Adam Greenfield

This is the first book review I’ve done on this blog, though it won’t be the last. In a sense, this is less of a conventional review than an attempt to discuss some of the ideas in the book, and synthesise them with points that […]

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Spiked: ‘Enlightening the future’

Spiked: ‘Enlightening the future’

The always interesting Spiked (which describes itself as an “independent online phenomenon”) has a survey, Enlightening the Future, in which selected “experts, opinion formers and interesting thinkers” are asked about “key questions facing the next generation – those born this year, who will reach the […]

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Embedding control in society: the end of freedom

Embedding control in society: the end of freedom

Henry Porter’s chilling Blair Laid Bare – which I implore you to read if you have the slightest interest in your future – contains an equally worrying quote from the LSE’s Simon Davies noting the encroachment of architectures of control in society itself: “The second […]

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Policing Crowds: Privatizing Security

Policing Crowds: Privatizing Security

The Policing Crowds conference is taking place 24-25 June 2006 in Berlin, examining many aspects of controlling the public and increasing business involvement in this field – ‘crime control as industry’. Technologies designed specifically to permit control and monitoring of the public, such as CCTV […]

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An interlock example

An interlock example

It’s been a while since I posted about an architecture of control designed to assist/protect the user rather than to frustrate or intimidate, but just reading a great article about the MG SV-R supercar formerly produced by MG Sports & Racing*, a very simple interlock […]

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Changing norms

Changing norms

Via Steve Portigal’s All this ChittahChattah, a short but succinct article by John King, from the San Francisco Chronicle noting just how quietly certain features have started to become embedded in our environment, most notably (from this blog’s point of view), anti-skateboarding measures, traffic calming […]

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