Archive for September, 2010

More Ducks and Atlantic Sta Thoughts 9/29

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

For Ducks Feed People:
-Would an infrared light motion sensor be a better way to detect the
ducks than using a computer’s camera-vision?
-Do we need to design a kiosk that would sit on the bridge and house
everything, or should the candy dispensing kiosk be separate from the
motion sensor and computer, and either connected wirelessly or by
-Will we install anything to video the people and the ducks? Or, are
there already cameras set up in the park we could get access to?

For Atlantic Station parking garage intervention:
-It might be helpful to try to find the blueprints of the garage, to
make very accurate sketches of layout and where our additions will be
-I really liked the idea of windshield cards, and a camera kiosk &
photo kiosk, and I’d still like to try to do the posters
-Let’s make people feel as if they’ve had a strange dream in the
garage … and perhaps they feel uncannily compelled to return to the
garage… but we try to keep the experience somehow a little subtle,
and keep it interwoven into the existing garage, so that it’s not overbearingly ridiculous.

Scribbles from meeting 09/29

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Here are the scribbles made from the studio class meeting:

in case you cannot decipher my characteristic handwriting, here are the To Do’s for next week:

Matt: “Parking as Performance” blog post

Laura: history of Atlantic Station parking lot

Amy (with Laura): the fiction of Atlantic Station

Nick: maps + photos of site

Laurie + Vignesh: Piedmont Park site update (including ducks) + do an update on robot catapults and candy

Andy: duck recognition update

Augmented Reality Games in the Atlantic Station Parking Deck

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Below are two possible augmented reality games which are suited towards playing in a parking deck. Players would experience these games through special headgear or through mobile devices like smart phones.

Dots and Squares

To break the boredom of the Atlantic Station Parking Deck, we could create an augmented reality version of the dots and boxes game. Players would use the columns as dots, and connect each column using a line of their color. Players win points by completing the fourth side of a square.


Players could navigate the parking deck as if they were Pacman. They would collect virtual speheres and dodge ghosts while running around the parking deck. Or, some players could take on the role of ghosts and attempt to cut off pac-men.

Northlake Tower Festival

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010


This shopping center in my neighborhood is an example of a space that does not make much sense.   The buildings and a large parking lot were built around a radio tower.  Originally it was called “Northlake Tower Festival” and now the signs just read “Northlake Festival.” 

Northlake Festival sign

Sign for Northlake Festival shopping center

 Below is what one sees when entering the shopping center at the west entrance:

Entrance to Northlake Festival

Entrance to Northlake Festival

The radio tower is in the middle of the very large parking lot, which has islands planted with trees throughout.  The tower is enclosed inside a brick wall, and its three anchors are set in planted areas with chain-link fencing around them.  The next four photos show the tower and the anchor points.

Northlake Tower

Northlake Tower in center of Northlake Festival Parking Lot

Anchor for Tower

Anchor for Radio Tower near Jason's Deli

Radio Tower Anchor

Radio Tower Anchor near Monkey Joe's

Radio Tower Anchor 3

Radio Tower Anchor in Large Planter

Very few people walk from one store to another along the walkways; most foot traffic is from parked car to one store and back.  The parking lot usually has a fair number of cars in it, but is never full.

Here is a video showing what the tower and parking lot look like from the east side of the parking lot:

This second video shows a 360 degree view of the parking lot and buildings on the east side of the parking lot:

I think you will agree that this is one amazing (excuse the pun) parking lot.

Caloric Bar Graph in the Student Center Food Court

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

The purpose of my idea is to create a method for making people think more about what they eat by altering the space in which they eat.  Customers would pay at specific registers based on the caloric content of their order. Above the registers, a light up led grid would display the number of transactions on that register. By the end of the day, or week, the grids would form a bar graph showing the average caloric intake of the Georgia Tech community. Over time, changes in the bar graph would show changes in eating habits.

Parking Garage: Studio Brainstorm Notes 9-22

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Atlantic Station Garage: the garage is a theme park: an ironic psychological repositioning
-would anyone notice?
-instead of posters, you could put postcards on people’s windshields so they pretty much have to notice
-playing with recognizable posters and subverting design (we want you … to visit the atlantic station parking garage)
-could also promote other parking garages? Phipps Plaza parking garage? Make attack ads – set up some competition between the cities parking garages … (replication … repetition …) Ikea, High Museum, on campus at GT, WalMart on Howell Mill
-You could have huge distribution – if you do multiple garages all at once – and it might seem to people that it was always there
-put up posters with wheat paste so they’re hard to take down
-maybe it’s a good thing that people don’t notice … you could film people not noticing
-make a “take your photo here” wood cutout so you pretend to be in the garage when you’re in the garage
-OR >> take photos of people on the ramp entering the garage (like the flash on the roller coaster) and ask them to buy their photos when they exit the garage. Maybe you augment the photos with people cheering and pointing, add a sense of wonder?
-Set up booth at top of stairs so when they are coming up out of the garage, you try to sell them photos of themselves you took one second ago

>>maybe we add characters, like Disney, to the parking garage?
Sir Parks Alot, etc …
You can get your photo taken with a character?

Atlantic Station Parking Garage: INTERVENTION

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Concept presentation attached here as a PDF.

Atl Sta Intervention_Concept



Some Tactics for Medical or Hospital Visits

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010


Upon Rebecca’s recommendation on T-square, I looked at the Non(Place) blog for ideas for digital subversion.  The web address for this blog is

This blog has a subtitle, “Using interactive media to add meaning to functional environments.”  There is a description of transforming a non-place, such as an airport, into an anthropological place, by making places for tired people (otherwise categorized as “passengers”) to sleep.  Airports are designed to move passengers through, to get passengers from one destination to another, to do the opposite of what a real anthropological “place” does.  By making sleeping spots, the participants in this project subverted the non-place  to create a new meaning within the environment.

The blog mentions two important methodological ideas for this type of activity: strategies and tactics. Below is the text from the blog:

Tactics and strategies (Pierre Bourdieu, sociologist) are very important in our project.

Strategies are planned rules coordinated by a central authority. These rules are meant to influence big groups of people and efficiently guide them to their goals. The rules are universal and are void of all cultural expression.

Tactics are isolated actions made by people in a non-place, that make use of the possibilities that gaps in strategies offer. They are meant to surprise and shock and are used by people to create an autonomous place in a non-place. These tactics are important for us to temporarily transform the airport as non-place into a place.

The key ideas expressed here are that strategies are used by organizations to assert their authority over the individuals who interact with the organizations, and that tactics are ways individuals or groups of individuals can subvert the dehumanizing aspects of the strategies and re-create a sense of anthropological place.

Perhaps for the sake of efficiency, spaces like airports have been designed to minimize or prevent the formation of any feelings of attachment.  An airport is not a place to dwell in; it is a space to move through. ” Moving through” is facilitated by signs that indicate the direction one must take to arrive at one’s intended destination.  It is rare (perhaps by design) that anything will occur in such a space to which one might attach any special meaning.  

The space is designed also to deny that there is any danger involved in traveling.  Risk has indeed been minimized so that statistically it is safer to travel by air than by automobile.  The denial of danger is also the denial of the possibility of meaning in the space, since meaning is frequently developed by facing and overcoming danger.

Medical offices and hospitals are structured in a way similar to airports in that they have become spaces that are designed to be moved through and not dwelt in.  There are triage systems to determine the order in which patients are to be seen, there are time management systems tooptimize a physician’s time, and in hospitals there are protocols to release patients as early as possible after they have been admitted.

This system prevents both medical professionals and patients from developing any emotional attachment to the space or to the process or to the other persons involved.  Further, the script especially for “informed consent” to procedures, is designed to downplay if not deny the presence of danger.  Again, the overall statistical picture often is that there is less risk of death or permanent damage in undergoing a procedure than there is in letting nature take its course.

In both air travel and medicine, then, there is both a life-and-death situation and a systematic denial of danger.

The group who performed the sleeping experiment in the airport made a point of not moving through the space, but dwelling in it.  Sleeping there, allowing it to be part of their dream world, pioneered the kind of emotional attachment that transforms a space into an anthropological place.

What kinds of tactics could be used to transform medical or hospital spaces into anthropological places?

Because a “patient” is usually in pain or experiencing some kind of illness at the time of a visit to a medical office or hospital, his or her ability to execute tactics to make a medical office or hospital into an anthropological place is compromised to a certain extent.  How can meaning be generated when one is in this space usually not by choice and there is a chance that the outcome may be a lower quality of life?

One tactic involves making ironic responses to the scripted interactions with personnel.  One example that I can give occurred earlier this year when my son was being admitted to the hospital for surgery.  The nurse interviewed our family, quizzing us about how did we understand the procedure, what kind of medications would be appropriate post-surgery, what kind of learning style did each of us have – “how do you learn best – are you a visual learner, an auditory learner, a kinesthetic learner, etc.”   My husband’s response was that he learns best by yelling.  There was probably no tick box on the form the nurse was filling out for this response.  A smile and a laugh were generated, a sense of being comrades in arms rather than” institutional representative with all the answers” vs. “powerless individual.”

Another possible tactic to respond to the experience of a nurse filling out forms is to bring forms of one’s own and interview the nurse or any other medical professional in the same way.  The forms should be something compiled by a patients’ organization and could include anything that a patient might be concerned about.  It could even ask if the doctor performing the procedure has had a good lunch that day, for instance.

This type of query system could be done digitally with iPhones or Droids.  Daily updates on patient concerns might make better decisions possible for patients.  If you knew, for instance, that a doctor recently stayed up all night, you could decide to opt out of a procedure on that particular day. 

If a systematic practice of using this tactic developed, it would then be a strategy itself.  The question would still remain how to create meaning in these spaces that are designed to deny its possibility?

Assignment for 9/22

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

To clarify: the assignment for next week is to

1) find a space you can identify as a non-place or even Junkspace; have an argument why this space is so “dead”

2) look into the “scripts”, the “processes” at work there; be able to tell us about them (e.g. what do people really do there, how do they behave)

3) suggest a project based on an new, erased, or modified “script”

Treat it as a project pitch and please document your pitch. That means: include pictures you took at the site, sketches of the proposed project, a short description of how it would work.

Post all of that here (your usernames should reach you tonight)