Thesis Info

Exploring experiences of global awareness and holistic overview in interactive environments
Michael Hohl
2nd Author
3rd Author
Diploma, Digital Media Design
Number of Pages
Sheffield Hallam University
Thesis Supervisor
Simon Biggs
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Chris Roast, Chris Rust, Mike Press
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Fine Arts & Computer Sciences, interdisciplinary
Languages Familiar to Author
English, German
URL where full thesis can be found
unencumbered, immersive, natural interaction, global awareness, insight
Abstract: 200-400 words
This practice based research project has two basic concerns: Creating and understanding experiences of global awareness, holistic overview and interconnectedness incorporated in an immersive interactive environment that involves participants in a vivid cultural exploration; And engaging constructively in the disciplines of Fine Arts and Computer Sciences for their mutual benefits. The vehicle for the research is an unencumbered interactive artwork called “radiomap”. Participants walk about a projection of a photorealistic live map of the earth (8x4m), showing day & night regions. Depending on their location participant’s tune into live radio broadcasts from the corresponding place on earth. The selected stations usually have a strong local colour and program format. These broadcasts together with the unusual, disorientating viewpoint create Gestalt effects that enable people to perceive the earth and other cultures from a different perspective. It is a collective and holistic experience of exploration, surprise, longing and belonging, mediating between the individuals (in the installation) and the cultures of the broadcasting places, creating an intense presence that is expected to last beyond the active participation itself. The outcomes that we are looking for include: - a framework of design principles that enable researchers from both disciplines to talk about these experiences. - a new perspective towards Telepresence which is not about “going there” but bringing properties of “there” here. - raise awareness that Telepresence-qualities can function as innovative, cultural medium - new perspectives for the cultures of arts and computer sciences - novel methods to capture the “experiential quality” of unencumbered, interactive environments. Although functionally informed by HCI principles[1,2] the actual artistic content of the environment strongly relates to artistic predecessors as Sensorium[3], Buckminster Fuller[4], Stewart Brand[5], among others. Methodologies and methods We will use the “7 Rhetoric’s Of Play”[6] from Brian Crouton-Smith as foundation for explanation to which sense of play the environment is applying and what the underlying sociological mechanisms may be. This allows assumptions over its effects upon participants that are difficult to explain otherwise. Benford, et al. “Sensible, Sensable & Desireable”[7]: The framework defines three different HCI methods of constraints, forming three, partly overlapping circles. Methods will include among others video observation, semi-structured video interviews, among others, iteratively informed by a grounded theory approach. This theoretical and practice based research is serving as the conceptual basis that forms part of a practice based inter-disciplinary research program encompassing fine art and human-computer interaction. It started in November 2002. References [1] Steve Benford, Chris Greenhalgh, Gail Reynard, Chris Brown, and Boriana Koleva: Understanding and Constructing Shared Spaces with Mixed-Reality Boundaries, ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, Vol. 5, No. 3, September 1998, Pages 185-223 [2] Bilinghurst, Marc, Buxton, Bill (2002): “Gesture based interaction”, ACM Paper [3] Shin'ichi Takemura. : “The Internet as a Sensory Medium for Rediscovering Ourselves and Our World”, [4] Fuller, Buckminster (1981), “world peace game” in “Critical Path”, Griffin, p. 198 – 226 [5] Brand, Stewart (2002) “earth buttons” in an interview at the Stanford Humanities Lab website: [6] Sutton-Smith, Brian (1997, 2001), The ambiguity of Play, Harvard University Press Benford, S., Schnadelbach, H., Koleva B., Gaver, B., Schmidt, A., Boucher, A., Steed, A., Anastasi, R., Greenhalgh, C., Rodden, T., and Gellersen, H.