From Hybrid Spaces to Experiencing Augmented Places

by Matthias Korn at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, January 25, 2012 and Södertörn University, Huddinge, Sweden, January 27, 2012.

When mobile location-based systems interweave physical and digital spaces, augmented places emerge. I understand places as "the ways in which settings acquire recognizable and persistent social meaning in the course of interaction" (Dourish 2006: 299). Places can attain an augmented quality through the superposition of two modes of experience: physical and digital experiences. Technologies, I will argue, can help us to use this augmented quality for reflection and deliberation processes.

Based on case studies, I will explore how physical and digital spaces are brought into connection and how this connection is experienced by users: To which extent are augmented places viewed as integrated wholes? How does technology mediate interaction with augmented places?

In my presentation, I will address these questions drawing on examples from two participatory design cases in the domain of participatory urban planning and one study on the use of Foursquare, a location-based social networking service. The two participatory design cases explore questions of how 'being there' may facilitate reflection through the use of a mobile location-based discussion platform. The Foursquare study specifically investigates how the link between physical and digital is created and experienced by users.