Home // Archive by category "Public space"

Robots in your sink, pouring your water, and sharing secrets.

At this point, this paper is almost 10 years old, but in my quest to learn everything on the topic of ecofeedback, one must do some digging. I’m assuming at the time of this paper’s presentation LED lit faucets were not a thing you could just order off the internet – such is the steady march

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Upstream: People don’t know what will motivate them, until it does.

The article “UpStream: Motivating Water Conservation with Low-Cost Water Flow Sensing and Persuasive Displays” by Stacey Kuznetsov and Eric Paulos presents the results of research in a number of approaches to water conservation encouragement in both public and private environments. The goal of the project was not only to decrease water consumption at the point of

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Real-time archaeology: Visualizing urban waste.

In the paper “Jetsam: Exposing our Everyday Discarded Objects,” authors Eric Paulos and Tom Jenkins propose an “urban probe” as a tool to solicit thought, wonderment, and contemplation. The project aims to solicit a conversation around the use of technology in urban environments and how this might influence our behaviour in cities. The project include an “augmented trashcan”

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Be moved by design – right up the stairs!

In the 2005 paper “Using the Environment as an Interactive Interface to Motivate Positive Behavior Change in a Subway Station,” Anijo Punnen Mathew proposes a series of changes to a subway station, with the aim to use the environment as an incremental persuasion tool towards more pro-social behavior, such as taking the stairs rather than the escalator. While

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The new normal: Shaping norms with real-time data.

I was really happy to discover the city of Montreal had installed an eco-counter for one of it’s bike lanes in the Plateau-Mont Royal borough earlier this year. It’s located right outside of the Laurier street exit of the Laurier metro station, which is in a residential area north of the city’s downtown. The space

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On the EcoPath to sustainable actions.

In the technical report “EcoPath: Adding Spatial, Social, and Gaming Contexts to Personal Tracking Systems” by Joel Ross, Nadine Amsel, Robert Beckman, Bill Tomlinson, we are introduced to “EcoPath,” a mobile game developed to help people track the location of  activities which can be thought of as sustainable, such as biking and recycling. In some ways

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Green Ticker: counting the number of water bottles NOT used.

Before class, I like to fill up a bottle of water so that I have something on hand in the event that my throat becomes parched from all the talking that one naturally does as a lecturer. Not so long ago McGill University‘s Bronfman building installed a new filling station to make it easier to

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GreenSweeper: Old game, new trait.

In the paper “GreenSweeper: A Persuasive Mobile Game for Environmental Awareness” authors Hui-chun Lin, Kah Liu, and Nithya Sambasivan present “a collaborative, mixed-reality, photo-based mobile game aimed at promoting environmental awareness” called Greensweeper. The aim of this particular game is to tie reflection to awareness raising, using play. Just as the name suggests, it has been modelled after the easily

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Poo Wifi (yes, Poo and Wifi, together at last).

As a responsible “owner” of a two dogs, I never leave dog poop anywhere other than the garbage can. As an environmentalist, I also do what I can to minimise the impact of of my dogs waste – using my partner’s patented multiple-poop in one biodegradable bag method. However, the problem persists that some people are not as

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A sign of the times: The Pollution e-sign

In the paper “The Pollution e-Sign” Ben Hooker, William W Gaver, Anthony Steed, and John Bowers, present something of a manifested thought exercise. What if in the future, with an increasing array of types of environmental sensors, information was broadcast in a way that allowed those with mobile devises to sample the environmental readings that surrounded them. It’s

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