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Living the urban experience: Implications for the design of everyday computational technologies.

Bassoli, Arianna (2010) Living the urban experience: Implications for the design of everyday computational technologies. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This dissertation addresses the challenges of designing computational technologies that are used in a variety of everyday occasions. Specifically, it focuses on urban computing, the study of, and design for, the experience of inhabiting and traversing urban environments. Using a phenomenological perspective to approach lived urban experiences in terms of their situated aspects and the ways in which they are understood by both designers and users, this dissertation seeks to create a categorisation of urban life that reflects its richness while reducing its complexity, in order to guide the design of new everyday computational technologies. The dissertation will show how such a theoretical standpoint leads to a study of researchers and designers directly engaging with a variety of urban experiences - waiting in public places in London, being in transitional spaces in Orange County, visiting public toilets in Amsterdam and commuting by the London Underground - through fieldwork and design. The hermeneutic phenomenology-inspired analysis of the data collected from such activities will support the emergence of a new categorisation of urban life called "in-between-ness". This categorisation reflects the tensions proper to the urban experience, and acts as an actionable tool for reflection, which identifies both sites for design - awareness, engagement and legitimisation - and potential design approaches to those sites - integrate with, mirror and alter. This dissertation will conclude with a discussion of the ways in which this new categorisation of in-between-ness presents a starting point for researchers to reflect on the variety of trends emerging within urban computing, and inspiration for the design of new everyday computational technologies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anthropology, Cultural, Urban and Regional Planning
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2048

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