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Designing Critical Creative Technologies to Support Collaboration in Public Spaces

Jennings, Pamela L.
Carnegie Mellon University

This proposal develops and evaluates a specific example of a critical creative technology as an exploratory research platform. Using this research platform, the project has an environment for designing and evaluating information technology applications that provide a common-ground for collaborative creative activities shared among people co-located in public spaces. This research focuses on the development technologies that enable a user to see the implications of his or her choices and negotiations with others and their impact on a collaborative design task. The Constructed Narratives block game is the first exploratory design of a critical creative technology. The game is designed to aggregate and analyze user profile data and collective design decisions made by a collaborating group of people. This data is used to generate a lexical overlay that appears on a real-time three-dimensional rendition of the physical block construction. Participants collaborate in constructing a world where they provide the dynamic narrative structures that form that designed world. This research, anchored in digital media and design, social networking, and perceptual user interface systems design, provides a foundation for future critical creative technologies.

The intellectual merits of this exploratory research include the development of generative design methods based on the theory of shape grammars for the tangible interface design; the integration of rules structures from visual semiotics into the game software; and the exploratory use of evaluation methods typically used in creative practices to augment traditional empirical evaluation methods of IT applications that focus on hard to quantify attributes of human communication (e.g. emotion and intention).

The broader impact of this exploratory research is the facilitation of discourse in public spaces with a game environment that integrates advances in creative practices, computer science and human computer interaction.

Last modified 16 August 2007 at 6:39 am by haleden