This tag is associated with 27 posts

Reverse image search

Biologists have worked out how to use Google’s “reverse image search” to scour scientific papers for similarities between microscopic samples they have photographed and photographs reported in scientific papers by others — on the basis of image matching. This is very powerful. Can practitioners of art and design find equally useful applications of readily-available image matching technology? This weekend marks the … Continue reading

Network Nature

The blog medium invites disclosures about work in progress. So here’s the how the table of contents is shaping up for my new book: Coyne , Richard. Network Nature: Digital Technology and the Semiotics of Place. London: Bloomsbury.  The draft is due end of March, including 30 illustrations, and it is on track so far. Table of … Continue reading

One with nature

“Architecture answers to the human need to become one with nature,” headlines a blog post reporting a speculative project featuring houses covered in foliage. To be “one with nature” still has currency in this high tech age. The phrase has several uses, e.g. to indicate: an attitude and set of practices in which people recognise their co-dependence … Continue reading

Nature games

Can you learn about nature from computer games? According to one commentator, video games “remind us of how we create, and have always created, ‘nature.’ They signpost the virtuality of the real. They show our seemingly endemic proclivities to make over the natural” (411). That’s from cultural theorist John Wills writing about video gaming in 2002: … Continue reading

Champions of the Anthropocene

Modernism championed an image of the human as rational, in control, and improving. Now we human beings realise we are responsible for irreversible alterations to land, climate, and organic life on a geological scale. So we live in the Anthropocene, and those committed to its correction, rehabilitation and remaking are Anthropoceneans. Many geographers are counted in their number — but … Continue reading

The best there is

Working together inevitably involves compromise. But is compromise always less than the best? Finding the “best” in any situation involves many comparisons, trade-offs, and compromises. Sometimes when trying to find the best solution to a design problem even the most experienced and well focussed individual will alight on something that is better than all the other, similar … Continue reading

AI and imagination

Does society need machines that show intelligence, empathy or act like human beings in other ways? I think that we are best served by well designed computers and good interaction design that makes clear the distinction between the person and the machine. Much of the enthusiasm for AI-based human-computer interaction assumes that people desire a seamless blending … Continue reading

Am I post-digital?

Do you participate fully in post-digital culture? It’s likely that you do, even if you don’t recognise it. Here’s a light-hearted adaptation of a critical article, “What is post-digital?” by Florian Cramer. 1. You play down the special nature of digital technology According to Cramer, post-digital cultures exhibit “either a contemporary disenchantment with digital information systems and media gadgets, or a period … Continue reading

How to grow a project

It’s good to be ambitious, to aim for impact and to make a difference. Here are some ambitious project ideas: create an exhibition, build a pavilion in a city square, fabricate a dynamic sculpture in a workshop, produce an interactive computer app, make a film, run an elaborate experiment, conduct a massive survey, embark on a Kickstarter campaign, run … Continue reading

Introducing hermeneutics to an architectural audience

Hermeneutics is of course simply the study of interpretation — what interpretation is, and how it works. But to study hermeneutics requires you to come to terms with the philosophies of Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, and Paul Ricoeur. To gain entry into hermeneutical discourse the scholar needs to come to terms with a particular collection of books and essays (a … Continue reading