Locative Lab

researching locative media


Not all subways are created equal. What if technology designersrecognized this fact and attempted to create an interface that took adeeper look at what being mobile means to each of us? What if theytried to reflect and enhance your sometimes conflicting, but alwaysmeaningful and situated, experiences? What if they designed for your underground? They did. They created undersound.
is a new type of experience,an interface that is on your mobile phone and in the undergroundstations you pass through every day. It is part personal, part publicand all about the tube. undersound is a way of listening to,distributing and affecting the flow of music in the underground thatgoes beyond just the music itself. It allows you to see your journeys,the people around you, and the tube itself in a new light. There arethree key aspects of life underground that we tapped into in the designof undersound.

A sense of place

undersound will be spatially distributed at individualstations and throughout the wider tube network. I can add music to thesystem at upload points in the ticket halls , and I can download trackson the platforms. Architectural configuration of the stations affectsmy experience of contributing and downloading music as the proximalnature of the interaction with these situated points require s myselfand other undersound users to congregate at certain locations within the station for the purpose of interacting with the system.

Each track in the undersound system willbe tagged with its place of origin (the station where it was uploaded)and this information is visible as the track is being played. This maytrigger memories and musings around my personal relationship to thatplace. Is there also a correlation between the flow of people aroundthe tube network and the flow of music tracks around the undersoundnetwork? What might a sense of place for these digital artefacts be? Dothey care about geographical location too or might their sense of placerevolve around the quality and type of network and the technologicaldevices they pass through?



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Cityscape LocativeLab.org is Ronald Lenz's research website on locative & mobile media. This is mostly an archive of blogposts I find inspiring and interesting and an overview of my work. I'm a strategist, technologist and researcher in the field of Location-Based Mobile Services and work at Waag Society, a medialab in Amsterdam, The Netherlands where I head the Locative Media research program and at 7scenes, a platform for GPS games and tours as creative director. Picture 4 Find me at Twitter, LinkedIn or via ronald [at] waag [dot] org.

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