Adam Greenfield, the founder of Urbanscale, a consulting firm concerned with “design for networked cities and citizens,” gave a fascinating talk at a symposium called Hyper-Public, convened by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
The conference was about “designing private and public space in the connected world,” and therefore focused a lot on how urban spaces and the Web ought to be designed so as to protect people’s privacy rights while enhancing public social life. Greenfield is the author of Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing, and former head of design direction for service and user-interface design at Nokia.
Unbeknownst to most of us, the steady advance of digital technologies is starting to make buildings, billboards, traffic barriers and other urban infrastructure “declarative” objects -- if not interactive, networked objects. For example, the Tower of London now has its own Twitter account so that it can now tell potential visitors, “I am opening at [name a time]...” and “I am closing after...” (The Twitter account @towerbridge, an unofficial one started by a fan, was displaced when the museum itself asserted a trademark claim on the name.)