Urban HCI : understanding and conceptualizing urban situations through media interventions

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2015
Thesis identifier
  • T14276
Person Identifier (Local)
  • 200990114
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • Computer technology is weaving into the fabric of our city and becomes a pervasive medium, which accompanies our daily life. New mediums such as public displays and media fac╠žades expand the range of technology already part of the city. They also become more interactive and researchers investigate alternative uses of these technologies, which lie beyond efficiency. HCI researchers turned their interest from information displays towards more playful applications which foster social interaction or strengthen identification with the city. However, little is known about how these situated interfaces shape public space. Defining and making space is the task of urban designers and architects, but as HCI invents novel types of interfaces for the urban environment, spatial thinking also becomes necessary for this research domain. In this thesis I utilized self-built media interventions with novel interfaces to explore in which way they shape certain spaces in a given architectural environment. Throughout the analysis of the multiple interventions in different architectural configurations it became clear, HCI lacks a common terminology to describe spatial phenomena. Thus a number of concepts were developed to support the analysis and synthesis of novel public interface. Most important, the space type model, which summarizes the most common spaces present in a media intervention infused urban situation. Furthermore a number of dynamic patterns have been identified common in and around these interventions. To deepen the understanding of the mutual influences of the environment and the technical setup, fine grained detail about situated content is analyzed and novel interface prototypes are discussed. All is summarized under the umbrella term Urban HCI which might stand in future for a more sensitive development of ICT for urban situations as it adopts a similar spatial thinking for human-computer interaction as architects are trained for.
Advisor / supervisor
  • Hornecker, Eva
Resource Type
Embargo Note
  • The electronic version of this thesis is currently under moratorium due to copyright restrictions. If you are the author of this thesis, please contact the Library to resolve this issue.