A participatory mobile urban intervention for interactively discovering and visualizing citizen consumption of energy-related urban infrastructures
Trying to address the issue of making infrastructures understandable, being it consumption, transport, telecommunications or legislative, is a complex, if not sensitive issue. There has been recently an increasing activity from public institutions, non-governmental organizations to inform and raise the awareness of our consumption of energy-related resources by revealing online numbers and statistics, by activist and artists staging urban artistic interventions, designers developing ambient devices or even the major energy supplying companies providing automatic electricity meters measuring home consumption.
However, publicly available data on energy-related urban infrastructure like water consumption, green house and CO2 emissions and other environmental aspects, is barely understandable to the normal citizen: terminology is highly specific and rather technical, and interrelations among measurement numbers and the resulting statistics and tendencies on one side, and our daily routines and activities on the other, remain difficult to correlate (ie. what does a carbon emission mean in terms of me using the metro twice a week?). Furthermore, on an urban level, data related to public use of energy related resources, is generally not easy to obtain and requires a dedicated search by a person, clearly motivated to acquire a specific information.
Reveal-it! envisions the idea that this data is literally publicly available AND publicly discoverable. The project proposes a participatory mobile intervention for interactively discovering and visualizing the data via on-demand projection on "sensitive" urban surfaces. It involves developing interactive infographics for a mobile device equipped with an integrated mini projector and a collaborative website. The objective of Reveal-It! is to provide citizens with ways to discover and reveal data about their use of ubiquitous energy networks by playfully displaying attractive and insightful visualizations in their shared environment, encouraging understanding and reflection.
A concept video about the project can be seen here:
Reveal-It! Concept Video
+ Information design. What are the possible information design strategies which can create effective and meaningful visual patterns? What data is interesting, useful, insightful to people?
+ Interaction design. What mobile interaction strategies can support the discovery of information? How should we incite participation?
+ Data aquisition. Both conceptually and technically - how should we collect, interpret and summarize in a most appropriate way the citizen data about consumption?
+ Mobile app programmers; people with experience in using free software for iPhone or Android applications like openFrameworks or iProcessing and barcode and/or image recognition
+ Web programmers; people with experience in DB and connectivity and knowledge in free tools for its development
+ Graphic designers and artists with interest in infographics and/or generative graphics and/or data art, ideally with some knowledge of processing or other tool for creative coding
+ Data journalists and data “hunters”
+ Interaction designers
+ Everybody who is motivated and willing to contribute with a conceptual or technical advice
+ Nina Valkanova. Interaction designer, media artist and programmer. PhD Candidate interested in urban interface design. Researcher in the Interaction Group of the University of Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. Born in Bulgaria.
+ Juan Pablo Carrascal. Electronic engineer, sound designer and musician. PhD Candidate interested in new interfaces for musical expression and interactive media. Researcher in the Interaction Group of the University of Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. Born in Colombia.
+ Penelope Maldonado. Graphic designer and visual artist. Freelancer for graphic design and illustration in Barcelona. Born in Mexico.
(Soon, we will publish a link to a dedicated project web blog)