Author Archive

By Eozin, Neil, Adarsh, Ran

By using the RFID module, we made a Mario-theme, Simon-like game to simulate the situation that users follow the recommended patterns or not, which will affect the operation and the end of the system (game).

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In ME++ Mitchell talks about “electronic nervous systems” of intelligent urban environments. Discuss an example of an intelligent urban system you are familiar with and discuss the elements of the feedback loop, how its form of governance works, and who are its stakeholders (goals, decision makers, evaluators, etc.).

Before I came to ITP, I did some research and design practices on design for social innovation and sustainability. In my opinion, keep city as sustainable as possible is a vital way to make urban environment intelligent. However, in old time, politicians, designers and engineers paid more attention to making the system bigger and more systematic, as they thought this stands for being intelligent. But applying more technology is definitely not the whole pic.

After social innovation idea becoming a hit, more and more people have realized that only let people becoming motivated in the system and willing to donate and share their intelligence with other people and such system can be the only way to make larger system becoming intelligent. All the technic aspects should be created and innovated for bridging people and building mutual trusts.

I did an urban farming project back in China before, called Next-Door Veggies. Based on nearby communities, we created a platform for residents to share their veggies and fruits they planted to people need the most (like kids and pregnant women) as a way to explore the potential possibility, in somehow, to solve the food safety problem.

During the process of project developing, we found out the point is about how to enable people instead of how many technologies we could apply and introduce to people. One of my most admired design principle is “design nothingness”. The fact is, in most cases, the more technologies introduced in, the more possible that users get lost.

So the Next-Door Veggies project ended up as barely technology involved and residents love it. I think the key is how to let users exchange information more effectively as well as enjoy themselves in such a system. Plant provider gives veggies to servers, and then they collect and send them back to company; label them; ship them to community store; residents purchase them; provider gets rewarded.

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Compare different models of sharing that exist (or you can think of) in MoD systems (e.g. vehicle sharing, parking sharing, ride sharing, etc.) What operation/control problems do they have? What would the ideal form of sharing be for you and how would its resources be controlled?

In a large scare, the largest operation/control problem would be how to manage the resources in the system. As traditional management thinking, it is natural to come up with the idea that more techs involved and more stuff involved would solve this problem, however, the fact is not and making the system more costly and less sustainable. For the thinking of design nothingness and social innovation, the question and answer would be totally different: why wouldn’t we turn users as managers? In that way, the more users involved, the more intelligent the system would be.

If we take human body as example, not every part of our body is managed by our brain, for example, cardiac muscle works automatically.

Like in CityBike system, when people are riding around to look for an available spot to park bike, they feel like themselves like a fool, they have no idea about weather they could find one in the next station, the only thing they could do is just keep riding in the darkness after one-day long hard working, which might be the worst experience ever.

So I think how to inform people and make them more informed and intelligent to encourage them communicate with each other (I believe everyone is willing to communicate with others, if we could minimize the cost of communication, people will be willing to share with others, as a higher level of communication). The more communication there would be, the more intelligent and sustainable the system would be.

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