26/01/12Crafting urban camouflage, DIS 2012
Once again I've updated my website because it's hosting the website for a workshop I'm co-organising. This time it's the Crafting urban camouflage workshop that Ben, Matt and I will be running at DIS 2012 this coming June. You should join us! All the details and the call for submissions are on the
Crafting urban camouflage website.

The deadline for submissions is 16 March 2012. Here's a little abstract to tempt you..

As interactive systems become increasingly entwined with architecture and spaces become more able to detect the presence of individuals, should the need for control of visibility as a temporary personal state be a factor considered in interaction design? This one-day workshop will take a playful approach to exploring how low-cost materials and tools can be used to manage personal visibility in monitored public space by designing and testing prototypes for rendering people invisible, using craft and physical hacks to explore the limits of computer vision tracking systems (OpenCV). By explicitly engineering modes of failure, we can learn how visibility and invisibility can be managed, while also considering potential improvements in robust tracking for interaction design.

Karen Martin ( The Centre for Architecture and Sustainable Environment, Kent School of Architecture, University of Kent )
Ben Dalton ( Faculty of Art, Environment & Technology, Leeds Metropolitan University )
Matt Jones ( Department of Computer Science, Swansea University )

10/09/11New job - Unit tutor, University of Plymouth
This September I began a new role as unit tutor to the Inhabiting the Inbetween unit at the University of Plymouth. I'll be supporting unit leader Dr. Katharine Willis in guiding 2nd and 3rd year BA architecture students through the intricacies of the in-between. You can follow how we get on at the unit blog Inhabiting the inbetween.

03/09/11Presentation at Connected Communities, Culture Lab, Newcastle
I will be giving a talk about Makerhood at the Connected Communities symposium being held at Culture Lab in Newcastle on the 3/4 September 2011. I'll be talking about our process of setting up Makerhood and how we worked to balance online and offline features and communities.

UPDATE: You can see a video of my talk here: Makerhood at Connected Communities.

16/07/11Makerhood launches
This weekend we launched the Makerhood website. I am a co-founder of Makerhood along with Kristina Glushkova and we've had many lovely people working with us to get us this far including Andy Broomfield, Carolina Vallejo, Aoife Ní Mhoraín and Emily Wilkinson.

Makerhood is an online marketplace and community for Brixton, Camberwell, Clapham, Herne Hill and Stockwell. We started Makerhood because we loved shopping locally and were frustrated with how difficult it was to find goods from makers in the area. Inspired by traditional marketplaces, where sellers and buyers have a relationship that goes beyond their immediate transactions, and where you can not only find goods but also get a sense of what is important to people in the area, we began to create Makerhood Brixton, an online marketplace for those who live or work in and around Brixton, south London.

Take a look here.. www.makerhood.com.

01/10/10New job - Research Associate, Shades of Grey
I have a new job! In October I started an 18-month post as Research Associate to the EPSRC funded project Shades of Grey. The project is a collaboration between ten UK universities and I'll be based at the University of Bath working with Dr. Marialena Nikolopoulou. My role is to design interventions that explore 'flow' (movement patterns) in public space. I'll be working in collaboration with Ben Dalton at Leeds Metropolitan University who will create visualisations of the data I collect.

15/09/10Inspiring Digital Engagement Festival, University of Sheffield
Ann Light and I are co-organisers of the Inspiring Digital Engagement Festival being held at the University of Sheffield on 15/16 September. The speakers are artists and researchers who explore how to engage communities as an integral part of their work.

01/05/09CATCH UP
If anyone has looked at this site recently they will know it was badly in need of updating. As the website for our Ubicomp workshop is hosted here I have been motivated to do just that. Below you will find four posts telling you of events and publications I've been involved in since I last updated the site.

01/05/09Hybrid Design Practice Workshop, Ubicomp 09
Our proposal for a workshop at Ubicomp 09 has been accepted! It is on the subject of Hybrid Practices, focusing on play and leisure. I am a co-organiser along with Eric Baumer (University of California, Irvine), Johanna Brewer (Frestyl), Barry Brown (University of California, San Diego), Lucian Leahu (Cornell) and Silvia Lindtner (University of California, Irvine).

The deadline for submissions is 25 June 2009 and you can find out more on the workshop website. Here is a little abstract:

Hybrid Design Practice
The focus of this workshop is on hybrid design practices, approaches that draw on techniques from various fields to create novel methods of inquiry. The aims of this workshop are, first, to bring together a multi-disciplinary group of practitioners and researchers to learn from one another's expertise in choosing and evaluating methods of design practice, and, second, to discuss implications of the underlying methodologies and epistemologies upon which these techniques are built. Participants will actively contribute to the practical focus of the workshop; we will call for submissions detailing the practices participants leverage in their own work, from which we will select methods of research engagement that will further shape the workshop. Through hands-on field exploration of leisure activities in the public spaces of the Disney properties, design exercises, and brainstorming, participants will be actively involved with the application of a variety of methods to the study and design of ubiquitous computing systems from the ground-up. By leveraging methods and guiding theories that participants commonly use in their own work, we will explore the contrasts and intersections between the variety of approaches put forward by the participants. The goals of this workshop, then, are twofold; first, to open up a space for reflection on current approaches towards interdisciplinary research and design in Ubicomp, and second, to develop a new vocabulary, both practically and theoretically, for "making" interdisciplinary Ubicomp research, thus, marking the study of hybrid design practice as an area of community-wide inquiry.

04/11/08Urban Sense Workshop
I've been doing some work with Probosics over the past months and as a result George Roussos from Birkbeck invited me to attend UrbanSense 08 in his place when he was unable to go. The full title of the workshop is International Workshop on Urban, Community, and Social Applications of Networked Sensing Systems - UrbanSense08 and the workshop was held in conjunction with ACM SenSys 2008 Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems that this year took place in Raleigh, North Carolina. I was nervous about attending as I believed that I might be out of my depth with such a technical sounding focus. However, it turned out to be one of the most interesting and stimulating workshops I've attended. In particular I found the work of Deborah Estrin's group at the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing at UCLA to be very interesting as it begins to explore participation and involvement in large-scale participatory sensing.\ Thanks George for giving me this opportunity, made all the more exciting as it meant I was in the US on election night!

18/01/08Presentation at MediaCity Conference, Weimar
A paper on the in-between-ness workshops was accepted for the MEDIACITY: Situations, Practices and Encounters Conference in Weimar, Germany. I presented the paper and had the chance to hear other people talk about their work in this field. I enjoyed the event hugely, especially having the chance to meet and talk to Mark Shepherd and Omar Khan from the Media Architectures programme at Buffalo. The conference was held in the original Bauhaus building and we had a chance to look round the reconstructed, and original parts of the building. I have some pictures of this on Flickr here

26 and 27/10/07A Public (In)Convenience Workshop, Amsterdam
The third in the series of in-between-ness workshops I co-organised with Arianna Bassoli and Johanna Brewer was held in Amsterdam in October 2007 on the theme of public toilets. Fourteen participants took part in observation, intervention, discussion and design activities to try to understand the social, cultural and spatial role of toilets in Amsterdam. Find out more about it on the workshop website.

27/07/07Maverick Machines Exhibition
Giles Lane and I have created a set of StoryCubes for the Maverick Machines exhibition. Curated by Richard Brown, Maverick Machines shows work by artists who have been inspired by Gordon Pask, a cybernetician he worked across disciplines from learning, art, architecture, theatre and analogue computing. Images on the StoryCubes are courtesy of Richard Brown, Paul Pangaro and Jasia Reichardt

Pask StoryCubes

Maverick Machines runs from 24th July to the 10th August at the Matthew Gallery, Edinburgh School of Architecture, Minto House, Chambers Street; opposite the Royal Museum. Opening times are 10am-4pm, Monday-Friday.

27/07/07IEEE Pervasive Computing; Urban Computing Special
Our paper 'Underground Aesthetics; Rethinking Urban Computing' is in the latest edition of IEEE Pervasive Computing, an Urban Computing special. Here is the abstract:An ethnographic study and design proposal for a situated music exchange application suggest how explicitly foregrounding the experiential qualities of urban life can help rethink urban computing design. You'll need a login to read the article.

15/02/07Woo! New site online at last
I finally put this site online. There's no info on the projects here yet. Which some might say is the most important part, but I'm working on it..

13/02/07CHI 2007 Submissions Update
Arianna, Johanna and I have had our experience report accepted for CHI 2007 in San Jose. We wrote about the workshops we ran last year, 'Why Wait' and 'Betwixt' in a paper titled 'In-between Theory and Practice: Dialogues in Design Research'. We got a 5, a 4, two 3's and a 1 from the reviewers so it could be a lively discussion. Come and hear us. Giles Lane and I also had a submission accepted for the Shared Encounters workshop in which we wrote about public authoring in Urban Tapestries. Finally, Arianna and I had our submission to the Imaging the City workshop accepted. (Ari will go to Imaging the City, I'm going to Shared Encounters. In case you were curious about the practicalities..)

21/11/06Shared Encounters Workshop
I've been invited to take part in the Shared Encounters workshop at CHI 2007 as a member of the programme committee. The organisers are Katherine Willis, Konstantinos Chorianopoulos, Mirjam Struppek and George Roussos. See the call for participation

30/10/06undersound Blogged
Our undersound project has been picked up by literally hundreds of blogs in the last week. I was most excited by being featured in New Scientist and Rhizome.

16/09/06Betwixt Workshop in California
I am a co-organiser of this workshop which will explore the transitional spaces of Orange County and consider how they are shaped by cultural practices, values and attitudes.

17/09/06Accepted for Exurban Noir Workshop
Arianna and I were accepted for this workshop with a submission called 'Exploring the In-between-ness'.The workshop is run by Ken Anderson, Eric Paulos and Amanda Williams and participants ' will collectively undertake this challenge of understanding the relationship between future technology comforts and social discontent.