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robertogreco : tomarmitage   24

GitHub - infovore/pinboard-bookmachine: Generate paperbacks from your Pinboard links
"Bookmachine takes your Pinboard links and makes paperback books of them: one 6"x9" book a year."
pinboard  tomarmitage  via:caseygollan  ruby  books  papernet 
august 2016 by robertogreco
Infovore » First Read / Second Read
"Disclaimer: like so many of the so-called “smart things” I’ve ever said, this is basically a Matt Jones paraphrase.

Jones once explained, talking in the studio one day, a theory that had come from car design: First Read / Second Read.

What I remember him saying:

to design a really memorable car, you need a strong first read. A really strong first read. That’s the single shape, barely a single line that you remember at a glance. Like this:

You know what car I’m showing you already.

But: it’s not enough to have a strong first read. Then, when you’re closer, or double-taking, you need a strong second-read: that detail echoed, firming up the original shape, but making the coherence clear:

And then, on the third read, once you’ve encompassed the detail therein, you still need something to satisfy the eye: details to take in, subtleties and shapes.

The Beetle is an obvious way of showing this, but it really works: it’s not just that strong first read that makes the Beetle so beautiful; it’s the strong first, second, and third reads all co-existing at once that make it work quite so well. Detail that you never get sucked into won’t work; a striking first impression that goes nowhere won’t work.

And Jones, astute as ever, would point out this applied to many forms of design: often, getting the strong first read would be hard, sucking someone into the detail we’d made – but sometimes, you’d also have to focus on backing up that first read with detail."
design  tomarmitage  mattjones  layering  details  zoominginandout  2014  subtlety  engagement  games  gaming  attention  cars  via:tealtan 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Tom Armitage » Driftwood
"What this means is: I can check into a location and find myself, a year ago, standing there too. Does that make sense?

(The terms and conditions say I can’t imitate other people, but that doesn’t stop me imitating myself, right?)

So there’s me in the present, and also me-a-year-ago brought forward into the present.

What I learned from this is: you can very viscerally remember a year ago. I see old-me somewhere, and remember who I was in that pub with, or why I was at an event, or what terrible film I saw, or how sad – or happy – I was at any particular point in time."



"It’s interesting for me to look back on this body of work when considering the final – and perhaps largest – project I’d like to talk about today. It takes a lot of these impulses – the psychogeographic; the act of creating situations; the act of dérive; the use of leftovers; the barely-game – and pieces them together to create a new kind of interaction that played out in the city."



"And we wanted to do that in as accessible a way as possible: for the most people, at the largest scale. I’ve worked around ARG-like things before, and to be honest: it’s not that hard to create a cool experience for a few hundred people that’s not very good value for money. Making something fun and immediate for thousands – that’s far harder. But if we were to make the city playable, it had to be at the biggest scale possible.

Firstly, that meant making it super-accessible. An app for a smartphone might be cool and have GPS and that, but it limits your audience. Everybody understands SMS – every mobile phone has SMS – and it’s super-simple to implement now; Twilio does the legwork for us. Superficially unexciting technology made super-simple by web-based services.

And secondly, to use as much of the city as possible without incurring too many costs – we’d need to use things that were already there. We wanted instead to find a way of hijacking the existing infrastructure – we spent a lot of time scouring the city for opportunities. We noticed that a lot of street furniture – lampposts, postboxes, bus stops, cranes, bridges – have unique reference/ maintenance labels. We thought it would be interesting for these objects to be intervention points – something more tangible than GPS and quite commonplace. Just telling us where you are.

At the time, I jokingly said that the Smart City uses technology and systems to work out what its citizens are doing, and the Playable City would just ask you how you are.

What we ended up with was a playful experience where you could text message street furniture, hold a dialogue with it, and find out what other people had been saying."



"We heavily “front-loaded” the experience – the first experience of Hello Lamp Post has to be really good. It’s no good putting all the best content behind hours of play – most of it won’t get seen, as a result. So we chose to make the early interactions completely fully-featured – and then treat the players who continued to engage, to come back again and again, to more subtle shifts in behaviour that were still rewarding – but that didn’t hide most of the functionality from casual players. The Playable City had to be playable by everyone."



"Now that I look back on it, I can see that Hello Lamp Post acts as a lovely summation of five years of toys and games built around cities. It’s an experience that doesn’t so much interrupt your experience of the city as it layers on top of it, letting you see the paving and the beach all at once. It builds ritual and new interactions into routine. It requires almost nothing to engage with it – and most of the systems it uses – SMS, Twilio, the city – are already built by other people. We just built the middle layer. (Which, in this case, is rather complex. But you get the picture.)

What can we learn from all this?

By building on top of other services, we also create a kind of sustainability. When Noticings closed, the photos were still on Flickr – just with an unusual tag. If the ghostbots break, their activity is still preserved forever.

We don’t destroy the value we’ve created the second we turn it off. Which is more like how a city behaves: it degrades, or is reused, or gentrified, but history becomes another layer of patina on top of it – it isn’t torn down instantly.

We’re not planting fully grown trees and then tearing them out: we’re building an ecosystem, and perhaps other games or tools will build on top of us. We hoped – once people twigged how Hello Lamp Post worked – they might start drawing codes on things, on posters, on street art, in order to attach messages to it.

If the city is a beach, it is littered in driftwood. When I think of driftwood, I think about flotsam and jetsam. Flotsam is that which floats ashore of its own accord; jetsam is that which is deliberately thrown overboard from a boat – man-made detritus, as opposed to natural wastage (or wreckage).

I think those two categories also apply to the materials I’m terming “driftwood” today. And I genuinely believe the things I’m about to describe are materials, just like wood or steel. That might be obvious with regards to some of these – but not all. If a material is something we manipulate and shape as designers, then all these things could be considered materials.

Leftover infrastructures – services like Twitter and Foursquare, more tactile infrastructure like transit networks or maintenance codes on objects. And leftover technologies, too; print-on-demand, SMS, telephony – all are now available over straightforward web APIs. These things have become commoditised and tossed overboard, made available to all.

In this way, we can spend our time working on unique experiences and interactions, rather than the underlying platforms.

If that’s our jetsam, what’s the flotsam – the stuff just floating around?
Data

The city is drowning in data.

I tend to describe data as an exhaust: you give it off whether you like it or not, and it follows you around like a cloud. People give it off; machines give it off; systems give it off. Given all the data we emit by choice – our locations stored in Foursquare, or Twitter, or Facebook; our event attendance tracked by Lanyrd and Eventbrite; as well as that we emit regardless of whether we want to – discount card usage; travelcard usage; online purchasing data – well, what are the experienes you could build around that? This is all there (with end-users permission) for the taking, and it can lead to unusual new ambient interactions.

Environments

What are the environments you can repurpose? Not just the City as a whole but smaller spaces – institutions, establishments, public spaces, parks, transit networks. All these are spaces and contexts to build within, and they all come with their own affordances. Even when they’re controlled or marshalled by others, they are spaces to consider reclaiming and repurposing.

Routine

And just as we can reclaim space, consider Time as a material to be reclaimed to: what are the points of the day we can design for – not just active, 100% concentration, but all the elements where there is surplus attention? We can’t create Debord’s focused, committed dérive – but how can we create a tiny fragment of it, without invading the daily routines we all have to live with?"



"I don’t think, ultimately, the city can resist the beach it sits upon. There are so many things we can build atop it, be it on semi-public, semi-private, corporate spaces – or the genuine publics of the city.

To build and make them, we don’t even need to invent architectures and infrastructures – we don’t even have to make it obvious they’re happening. We can use what’s already there - making new experiences out of the driftwood that lives in the city and across the network. Lifting up the paving slabs to reveal the beach underneath."
tomarmitage  2013  driftwood  ghostcar  hellolamppost  muncaster  noticing  noticings  foursquare  flickr  leftovers  playablecity  cities  derive  psychogeography  towerbridge  toys  play  fun  dérive  situationist  games 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Infovore » Towards a canon of “hypertext literature / interactive fiction / digital narrative”
Kim asked on Twitter:

“Is there a canon for digital narratives / interactive stories / hypertext literature yet? A list of accepted classics and forms?”
What followed was a lot of us going “we don’t know”. And I wasn’t exactly helpful, by pointing out that those three things are (in some ways) completely different.

But. Nobody got anywhere but not being helpful, and to do so, I’m going to express (a bit) of an opinion, and hopefully something a little absolute. I hate list posts, but let’s put something down for people to argue about.

So, specifically: if I had to draw up a Canon – a canon of the interactive-story-thingies (we all know what they are – “things that the reader/audience interpret differently by interacting” is my best explanation) what would I include?

The rough goals were: not necessarily the best, but important pillars; no bias to high- or low- brow; trying to cover all media appropriately; interpret the question as broadly as you would like; don’t take too long over it. Here’s where I am:

Cent mille milliards de poèmes, Raymond Queneau, 1961
The Unfortunates, BS Johnson, 1969
Zork, Infocom, 1980
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, Steve Jackson/Ian Livingstone, 1982
Trinity, Infocom, 1985
The Secret of Monkey Island, 1990
253, Geoff Ryman, 1996
The Last Express, Jordan Mechner et al, 1997
Spider and Web, Andrew Plotkin, 1998
Planescape Torment, Black Isle, 1999
Galatea, Emily Short, 2000
The Beast, 2001
Half-Life 2, Valve Software, 2004
Gravitation, Jason Rohrer, 2008
Dear Esther, thechineseroom, 2008/2012
Fiasco, Jason Morningstar, 2009
Sleep No More, Punchdrunk, 2011
The Walking Dead, Telltale Games, 2012
30 Flights of Loving, Blendo Games, 2012

Things I wanted represented: pre-digital works; early, web-based hyperfiction; text-based IF, both classic and modern; things that are clearly videogames; an ARG (and the Beast still, in many ways, feels like the best); tabletop roleplaying; mechanical storytelling; a selection of Infocom writers (Moriarty, Meretzky)."
fiction  games  hypertext  interactive  narrative  literature  hypertextliterature  2013  tomarmitage  zork  monkeyisland  writing  stories  storytelling  srg  if  interactivefiction 
january 2013 by robertogreco
Spirits Melted Into Air
"Spirits Melted Into Air takes individual scenes or speeches - in this case, from the 2012 Royal Shakespeare Company productions of Richard III and The Comedy of Errors - and produces data-visualisations of actors' motion during them.

Produced by Tom Armitage for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the work is in parts a technology prototype, data visualisation, and artwork.

It explores stripping the text away from dramatic performance: removing the playwright, and leaving only the production elements - the actor, the director, and everyone else who influences a performance. The project seeks to highlight the work that the Royal Shakespeare Company does in bringing the written texts of Shakespeare's plays to life."
royalshakespearecompany  movement  visualization  tomarmitage  shakespeare  theater 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Making Friends: On Toys and Toymaking — dConstruct Audio Archive
"Toys are not idle knick-knacks: they allow us to explore otherwise impossible terrain; fire the imagination; provide sparks for structured play. They do not just entertain and delight; they stimulate and inspire. And always, they remind us of the value - and values - to be found in abstract play.

Toymaking is not an idle habit. Toys are a fertile ground for creators to work in. They offer a playful space to experiment and explore. They are a safe ground to experiment with new techniques, skills, or ideas. Though they emerge from no particular purpose, they expose purpose and meaning through their making. Toymaking ranges from making realistic simulations of life to producing highly abstract playthings. And everyone who makes things - out of paper, wood, metal, plastic, or code - has something to gain from making them.

Trying to draw a thread through what, it turns out, has been a lifetime first shaped by toymaking, and then spent making toys in idle moments, Tom will take in…"
playthings  making  simulations  meaning  purpose  delight  inspiration  play  srg  edg  glvo  practice  experimenting  prototyping  tinkering  2012  dconstruct2012  dconstruct  toymaking  toys  tomarmitage 
september 2012 by robertogreco
jaggeree /Blog : : User centric design and real stories in hobbies
“We should own less but with more value – Things we own need to perform better for us”– Assa Ashuach

"The stories that anyone apart from an experienced practitioner could tell are only ones of failure and disappointment, not a way to encourage more people into the hobby."

"There seem to be a group of people missing currently in the world of making kits for hobbies; the “user”. All too often the kits I encounter are designed for the manufacturer not the customer. We’d like through the project we’re starting to fix that.

The other thing we’re going to try and fix is designing for more than one. I want to build kits which are designed all around the experience of the customer and for them to tell a friend/peers/others what they’ve done. It is all about, to use a phrase from Matt Locke, about designing for at least two."
storytelling  stories  modification  needs  wants  possessions  value  qualityoverquantity  modelmaking  3dprinting  sharing  experience  designingfortwo  hobbies  design  user-centered  users  user  2012  tomarmitage  mattlocke 
september 2012 by robertogreco
Infovore » ghostcar
Lovely project by Tom - a Foursquare account that replicates his activities from a year ago. With some good points on the value of doing this on the service itself as opposed to for instance email, as Timehop does.
nostalgia  history  foursquare  timehop  TomArmitage  via:kaeru 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Treehouses: Online community for internet // Speaker Deck
Notes here by litherland:

“The ephemerality of speech [sic] in these tools better affords intimacy.” Revisit. /

“That speech is temporal also means someone can be absent, which makes presence meaningful.” Makes a lot of assumptions; needs to rethink (or think harder about) what speech is. Or what he means by it. /

Concept of “intransient group memory.” /

Interesting thoughts about playgrounds. /

“Conversation is an iterated game, so your pseudo can be a strong identity even if it isn’t your *public commercial web face*.” [my emph] /

“Hosts use soft power to influence. The group still governs itself.” /

“Recording is corrosive to candid sharing, so a private internet space must be transient.” /
2012  markpaschal  dannyo'brien  via:litherland  heatherchamp  self-organization  openspace  hackerspaces  autonomy  richardbartle  johanhui  johanhuizinga  play  groupmemory  availabot  ephemerality  muds  space  place  alancooper  sovereignposture  secondlife  personalization  tomarmitage  animalcrossing  ambient  presence  minimumviabletreehouses  minecraft  gaming  games  clubhouses  socialmedia  darkmatter  privacy  sharing  conversation  groups  onlinetreehouses  treehouses  organizing  activism  community  ephemeral 
january 2012 by robertogreco
James Bridle – Waving at the Machines | Web Directions
"These are sculptures by Shawn Smith. There’s going to be an ongoing problem with this, that if you sit way at the back, you might not see quite how pixelated these things are. There’s a whole different art-​​historical dissertation about what that means, the distance of the viewer."

"James Bridle’s closing keynote from Web Directions South 2011 was a a terrific end to an amazing couple of days, but don’t despair if you weren’t there. You can watch a full length video, read a transcript with the bonus of all the links James refers to, or even listen to a podcast.

So sit back, relax and enjoy Waving at the Machines."

[Video also at: http://vimeo.com/32976928 ]
newaesthetic  stml  artisyourfriend  vantagepoints  via:straup  art  future  robotflaneur  hawk-eye  gta  gregkessler  jenhesse  renderghosts  imaginaryplaces  carinaow  shawnsmith  maloescouture  minecraft  andygilmore  coll-barreau  gerhardrichter  helmutsmits  douglascoupland  beforeandafter  architecture  2011  fashion  camouflage  pixelization  waysofseeing  humans  design  8-bit  satelliteimages  googleearth  googlestreetview  tomarmitage  tomtaylor  thenewaesthetic  jamesbridle  jenshesse  marloescouture  gehardrichter  grandtheftauto 
december 2011 by robertogreco
Infovore » Blessed are the Toymakers
"Why not put technological skills to use making art (as I argued at Culture Hack Day)? Go one step further: rather than putting technology to use serving existing media – the books and films that Robin talks about – why not just invent new forms of media, as Jack Schulze and Timo Arnall describe? The new liberal arts are not on the edge of something big; they are on many edges, all at once. We get to decide where they tip over into; what’s at the bottom of those cliff-faces. Maybe those media will have the tiny audiences Sloan describes; maybe they’ll become huge. But we get to decide, and right now, there is space to play, and a need for those of us with weird skillsets – technological hands and flighty, artistic brains, or vice versa, ‘consecutive or concurrent’ – to go explore.

Inventing media is a big job. We could start by making toys."
tomarmitage  making  robinsloan  doing  tools  mediainvention  newliberalarts  berg  berglondon  mattjones  jackschulze  timoarnall  media  storytelling  toys  play  2011 
september 2011 by robertogreco
Infovore » Technology As A Material
"To make art with technology, one does not use it as a tool; one must understand it as a material. Technology is not always a tool, an engineering substrate; it can be something to mould, to shape, to sculpt with.

Materials have desires, affordances, and textures; they have grains. We can work with that grain, understanding what the material wishes to be, wishes to do – or we can deliberately choose to work against it. We must understand that grain and make a deliberate choice."
design  technology  art  culture  data  materiality  2011  tomarmitage  glvo  tools  howwework  howwethink  creativity  materials 
august 2011 by robertogreco
Week 27: Scattered, and rolling. | Urbanscale
"the course also included some reading…we decided that compiling and designing a newspaper with all the reading for the course would be a better route to success. We had a 20-page newspaper printed by…Newspaper Club…The very fact of having a physical artefact, laying around on the desks in the studio, is a constant reminder that there is related reading to be done, and it invites browsing in a way a list of links or open tabs does not. It also has the advantage of being print — there’s much greater control (albeit with commensurately more effort) over presentation, of curating a selection, of removing distractions, no links, of considering what sits next to what. Texts from blogs can sit next to more historical texts, forcing the ideas to bounce and spark off each other. Not to mention, it ends up being a rather nice object to keep around, to glance at or refer to later.

Find below a list of the content in the newspaper we handed out as a form of shortened reading list."
urban  urbanism  urbanscale  adamgreenfield  toread  readinglist  tomarmitage  jackschulze  timoarnall  greglindsay  janejacobs  italocalvino  copenhagen  denmark  big  bjarkeingels  georgeaye  mayonissen  rongabriel  muni  williamhwhyte  danhill  2011  networkedurbanism  networkedcities  urbancomputing  immaterials  urbanexperience  systems  layers 
july 2011 by robertogreco
Infovore » Waving at the Machines
"It sounds strange when you first read it: behavioural change to accommodate the invisible gaze of the machines, just in case there’s an invisible depth-camera you’re obstructing. And at the same time: the literacy to understand that there when a screen is in front of a person, there might also be an optical relationship connecting the two – and to break it would be rude.

The Sensor-Vernacular isn’t, I don’t think, just about the aesthetic of the “robot-readable world“; it’s also about the behaviours it inspires and leads to.

How does a robot-readable world change human behaviour?…

Look at all the other gestures and outwards statements that the sensor-vernacular has already lead to: [examples]…

Where next for such behavioural shifts? How long before, rather than waving, or shaking hands, we greet each other with a calibration pose:

Which may sound absurd, but consider a business meeting of the future… [described]"
gestures  machines  tomarmitage  2011  kinect  waving  behavior  technology  sensors  interface  robots  sensor-vernacular 
may 2011 by robertogreco
Totems and City Avatars – Blog – BERG
At one point during City Tracking, I commented that I still felt a connection to London during my time in San Francisco through the bike-key on my keyring (above)…

The bike-key has no functionality without the service: it’s just an RFID tag inside a piece of plastic. The service itself is unavoidably located in London. The computer systems that run it do not have to be, but the bikes themselves – the critical hardware within the service – cannot be located anywhere else.

The city and the service are tied together.

And so, for me, that keyfob that I pass through my fingers when I pick my keys up, or fidget with them in my pocket, is not just a service avatar; it’s an avatar for a city…

On my keyring, everywhere I go, I carry a piece of London."
tomarmitage  berg  berglondon  avatars  cities  london  inception  memory  totems  objects  socialobjects  memoryobjects  keyfobs  connections  physical  representation 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Patina – Blog – BERG
"I’m not sure patina can be designed. After all, it’s a product of the relationship between product and owner.

The form it takes can be shaped – by the materials used in a product, by the nature and frequency of operations that an owner might perform. I suppose that a product can be designed to age gracefully, to wear attractively; it’s just the exact nature of that wear that’s out of a designer’s hands.

In considering the patina a product might develop, you of course have to ask a series of interesting questions: about longevity, about sustainability, about materials, about manufacturing. Going beyond “peak X” and towards “resilient X”, as Matt J said. But I think the most interesting questions – at the very heart of that consideration – are emotional ones. “What if someone adores your product? What if someone really does want to make a product a part of their life? What will your product look like when it’s been worn into the ground by virtue of its own success?”"

[Don't miss this too: http://berglondon.com/blog/2006/11/22/the-life-of-products/ ]
patina  beausage  berg  berglondon  tomarmitage  wear  materials  longevity  productsasverbs  relationships 
september 2010 by robertogreco
Full Interview: Tom Armitage | Spark | CBC Radio
"This afternoon, I interviewed Tom Armitage. He’s a software designer who recently came to our attention because of a talk he gave recently, called “If Gamers Ran the World.” In it, he puts forth the idea that in another 10 years, leaders who are the same age as Barack Obama or British Conservative Party leader David Cameron are now, will be children of the 1970s, and as such, more than likely the first leaders who grew up with video games as a core part of their way of interact with the world around them. What would that mean for how they would behave as leaders?"
tomarmitage  games  gaming  gamedesign  interviews 
january 2010 by robertogreco
noticings
"Noticings is a game of noticing things in cities. Snap a photo of something interesting you happen upon, upload it to Flickr, tag it with 'noticings' and geotag it with where it was taken.

The game happens in day long turns, and you have until 3pm GMT to upload your noticings from the previous day."
tomarmitage  noticing  flickr  games  observation  tcsnmy  cities  play  tagging  api  via:preoccupations  glvo  classideas 
august 2009 by robertogreco
The British Experimental Rocket Group « Matthew Sheret Online
"Last night I had the pleasure of attending Schulze & Webb’s ‘complimentary re-branding seminar’, as the design firm entered a new phase and blossomed into BERG: the British Experimental Rocket Group. Decked out in customised lab-coats, the team looked and sounded excited, terrified, enthusiastic, and nostalgic. To a man they also wound up being inspirational. ... To place a distance, a logo, an idea between the conception, execution and reception of a product means, for the first time in five years, that he [Matt webb] no longer lives or dies on his name alone. What an incredible thing. He and The British Experimental Rocket Group have become ideas – vague, powerful concepts that have all the potential to change the world or dissipate trying. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?"
berg  mattwebb  schulzeandwebb  berglondon  warrenellis  tomarmitage  mattjones  jackschulze  design  future  identity  indeas  gamechanging  worldchanging  tcsnmy  glvo  branding 
august 2009 by robertogreco
Infovore » If Gamers Ran The World
"So what does a future run by games look like? Well, if they can handle complexity, and they’ve stocked up all the magic item chests ready for when scarcity hits, and they’ve failed enough times at the low-stakes games that they know they can make it at the high-stakes ones, and if our environment is one carefully planned out for effective growth rather than rammed together for efficiency, and if they understand how to handle the ever-more complex forms of communications necessary to deal with the large, distributed teams of people necessary to understand complexity - and if they can create a world that supplies and consumes the data necessary to make smart, informed, decisions - then they might just make it awesome."
tomarmitage  complexity  sustainability  education  learning  culture  future  generations  games  gaming  play  failure  via:blackbeltjones  systems  data  politics  change  gamechanging  communication  management  consumption  hypermiling  prius  information  lcproject  problemsolving  design  technology  society  futurism  thinking  barackobama  videogames 
november 2008 by robertogreco
Infovore » Playing Together: What Games Can Learn from Social Software
"And what do you discover about Nike+? You discover there’s a metagame to it. People start syncing late - filling up their run data and then only syncing at the last minute - to disguise how much they’re doing. They mess around! Nike+ is ticking so many of our boxes: it’s asynchronous; it’s designed perhaps best for small groups; it turns running into a social object, putting it online. It’s a really great example of future for social play. And it goes where I am: it’s a game that I don’t have to learn how to play. I already know how to run"
via:blackbeltjones  gamedesign  games  play  videogames  gaming  nike+  running  socialsoftware  socialobjects  socialmedia  tomarmitage  psychology  software  design  culture  interactiondesign 
august 2008 by robertogreco

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