Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Data Changes Behavior

From Seoul, of all places. The beginning of a new way of how the built environment engages people, gives them information and then responds to their patterns. Sort of like audience interaction at a jam fusion gig at House of Blues.

It's about experimentation with intelligent structures and furnishings allowing feedback between the occupants and the space, which then provides information about the cost of using the space to the owner. This information can also interact with distant networks and provide opportunites to learn from disparate environments and cultures. The article goes on to say:

"We're at a very special point in design when a counter-revolution is about to happen, very similar to the 1920s, when [Swiss-French pioneer of Modern Architecture] Le Corbusier wrote that machine civilization was looking for its architectural expression," Carlo Ratti, director of the SENSEable City Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) told CNN.

"Today it's a digital civilization that is really about to find its architectural expression."

There's also the concern that this expression will fall victim to the corporate culture and dictate behavior, if it's not protected by freedom of choice and access to real information. Look what happened to the Internet, and subsequently the hard news media. Nobody knows what information to trust anymore.

Sort of like a ride at Disneyland - there's only one experience, and it's pure manufacture designed to consume money. The only feedback loop here is people voting with their feet, and buying Disney merchandise or not. Perhaps immediacy, transparency and individual responses will change the nature of this transaction, given that ownership is a real buy-in for individual behavioral change. Examples of how this works is here in an article about responsive building elements. Also check out a great site, Form Follows Data.