Mediatising Place

In this section


Project 3

This design project is focused on an exploration of the ways in which various locational or locative media, which are becoming an increasingly pervasive presence in our everyday lives, affect the way we relate to our world, now and in the future.

We have developed three project areas, focused around news (news telescope), screen (interactive legend) and politics (Geo-Soapbox and Polis). In each area, we have designed devices/things that present novel arrangements and produce opportunities for new performances with media of different kinds:

  1. The News Telescope. This is a located device, which may be oriented and focused on different places and draw down different kinds of news from those places. It asks the viewer to relate their place in the world to other places and different constructions of news. The telescope accesses a wide range of feeds including YouTube, films, community news articles and twitter messages and organises the news as events presented in the spaces of their occurrence rather than in the spaces of interests that are the set format of most newspapers. The news telescope acts as a focus for critical reflection on the way we currently present and consume news.
  2. Interactive Legend. We have designed and built a prototype of an interactive city legend. The traditional legend is usually located at a vantage point where there is a vista in which key features of the city are visible. The legend we have designed is enhanced by the deployment of various technologies that allow different media transmissions to be brought into the legend. The legend is designed for continual construction and multiple authors (since all may contribute to it). It proposes different ways one can approach and inflect readings of place through the mediation of media.
  3. The Polis Project, in the process of being completed, is a web platform that provides a framework for the structuring of argument and a map in which one can place them. It is possible to embed rich media alongside one’s argument (for example, footage of a Parliamentary speech being referred to in in one’s argument). There is facility to comment on (and comment on comment) and add to any argument. There is also the opportunity to vote on arguments and stances in relation to various issues. We also developed a physical prop that works with the Polis. The Geo soapbox is a broadcasting and self-blogging device that works with and back into the structure of the Polis. The aim of this object is to encourage and facilitate the practice of public speaking.

The media-things that we have designed and are designing are propositional objects - props to help understand future opportunities of the new performance spaces of media and the technologies that produce them. They are designed to act, in a sense, as an ‘apparatus criticus’ looking critically and signalling choices to be made in future developments of media and it's places. In so doing, they also act as critical reflection on current practices in media production and reception and the technological apparatuses through which they are produced. For more details about the project please explore our research wiki.

Project Team:

Terry Rosenberg

Mike Waller

Project news

Symposium 2010 

Held on 19th November 2010, Symposium 2010: Mediating Practices: Design, Politics and their Publics focused on design as a mediating practice; both in the narrowcast sense of how it contributes to the production of new forms of ‘media’, and, also, in the wider sense that design is itself a mediatory practice; conditioning the spaces and objects of our everyday practices and, in and through this, effecting the way we are, and mediating the very sense of ourselves, as individuals and communities.

10-12 December 2009

ATACD Conference/Exhibition: Changing Cultures: Cultures of Change, University of Barcelona, Spain 


The research team held an exhibition entitled MAKEBELIEVE SHOW from 19th to 27th September 2009 at Kinnarps in Covent Garden, London

The show included a showcase of the Design Project 'Mediating Place' part of the leverhulme research programme, with working prototypes of future media devices. 

Project news