YOUrban is a research project into social media, design and the city. It investigates tools and means to creating engagement and a sense of ownership and responsibility towards our physical, social and cultural world. YOUrban explores how social media may be used to help foster agency and power in both creating and transforming our urban surroundings. Our central research questions are: How may multi-perspective social media be designed and applied within a mix of urban contexts to enable and motivate par ticipation in our daily lives in cities? How might the ongoing design of social media be informed by the ways we communicate in them? In three sub projects we work collaboratively in design-research teams to use our different expertise in a co-design process, bringing together perspectives on performativity with cultural planning in urbanism and sociocultural approaches to interaction and communication design. The team includes designers and developers of communication and interaction design, and resea rchers from digital media performance, narrative, and urbanism. Overall, we engage in design-oriented, humanistic research with technologists into related layers of social media, including infrastructure, interaction and the social and cultural. Outcomes of the YOUrban project address explorations of technology through design, pragmatically and speculatively. These include: research articles across disciplines, visualisations, innovative mapping software, communication and engagement through in and online social media and other venues are an important part of the project. These cover a well-visited website, exhibitions, media, opinion articles and the international conference Digitalt Byliv, with Statsbygg. For more on films, web materials, our conference, publications, collaboration work practices, apps we've developed and outcomes, please see yourban.no.and designresearch.no/projects/yourban
Communication via social media is central to the design, research and participation in the YOUrban project. We aim to go deeper into two main issues: How may multi-perspective social media be designed and applied within a mix of urban contexts to enable a nd motivate participation in our daily lives in cities? How might the ongoing design of social media be informed by the ways we communicate in them? Today, we are familiar with digital applications such as FaceBook and YouTube. In this project we will inv estigate ones that challenge the ways in which we communicate and create different accounts of our own lives. Leisure offers one setting for experimenting with how to convey narratives that are not all about location as we know it from GPS but more to do with geo-communication. This is to take applications and services such as Jaiku and flickr and to experiment with ways in which they may be applied creatively to enrich our own understandings of living and moving in cities. In three sub projects we will w ork collaboratively in a design-research team to use our different expertise in a co-design process. The team includes designers and developers of communication and interaction design, and researchers from digital media performance, narrative, and urbanis m. We are interested in participation via social media in the city and about city life, that is as communication not only tools and structures. The narratives we support will be covered through a blog and in an ongoing reporting of our research. Composing in and through social media is important to us as a group. What is also important is developing new concepts and theories for understanding and teaching about digital narratives and social mediation. These narratives involve movement on our part for them to be realised. They occur on mobile devices and and allow us to shape multiple points of view through a mix of media. These narratives help us to inhabit our mediated cities and they provide spaces for debate.