Over the past decade, the increasing proliferation of technology has radically changed everyday urban life. Nowadays, no one leaves their home without bringing their cellphones – their portals to the online world of information and social contacts – in their pockets. Through the interfaces of our smartphones we understand our environment and, at the same time, it connects the local with the global.
Governments and tech companies have started collecting all kinds of data about urban life, ranging from air quality to traffic congestion. Software now organizes city life just as well as the program of urban planners. The experience of the city is no longer just that of a physical environment. Digital media are playing an increasingly important role in this.
Urban Interaction Design is an emerging discipline that focuses on designing hybrid environments in which digital and physical experiences are intertwined. It requires a design approach from multiple perspectives. UrbanIxD revolves around the question of how public values can be secured or strengthened with the application of new technologies. Making the underlying values explicit and visible is an important part of the design process.
Image Credits: AMS Institute and UNSense