Interactive City is a socially integrated and democratically vital city where information
and communication technologies are used to:
- connect people and encourage community and industrial networks
The aim of the studio is to realize the interactive city by making urban life more
participatory and pleasurable, and urban systems more convenient and comprehensible.
The aim is also to get a deeper understanding of how real and virtual worlds may be
combined and of creative, collaborative work involving scientists, artists and other
professionals, and ordinary people. The different kinds of projects form a matrix with
design- and art-oriented projects along one axis, and reflective and community-oriented
projects along the other. The studio work is based on knowledge and technologies in, and
cooperation between, the areas of:
- reduce social segregation
- make everyday life easier and more exciting
- foster a creative public and cultural life
- generate, simulate, visualize and publicly discuss visions for the future.
- virtual reality and virtual communities
- ubiquitous computing
- learning and interactivity
- art and new media
- modelling, simulation and representation of complex adaptive systems
- urban design
- participatory design.
Interactive City is organized by Chalmers Medialab, and the main activities will take
place in a studio localized in connection with the Medialab. Some of the project work will
also be carried out at smaller centers and public places around the city to get a deeper
involvement from people and companies. As a virtual equivalent to the studio, a central
hub will be developed and installed.
The central hub will consist on the technological side of a communication network with
internet access for all who are interested and higher bandwidth links to some places. On
the communication side, the central hub will consist of a virtual environment space that
serves both as a gateway to the studio work, and as a collective memory for all involved.
It will take the form of a virtual model representing the city of Göteborg with its
districts, transport and communication systems, public spaces, and so on. Information of
various kinds will be tied to the nodes of the model, in order to integrate technical,
artistic, and other forms of knowledge, as well as different technologies.
Three project areas have been identified: Communication City, Cultural City, and Kids´ City.
- Communication City will concentrate on social and economic integration by developing
new ways of connecting people and companies, and by improving qualities in
communication systems. Methods and tools to jointly discuss and mould the common
future will be developed and tried out, as will new networking devices for orientation,
information and communication.
Since most of the studio work will involve constructive research, it is important to secure
scientific quality by developing critical procedures and criteria for progress that can be
used, e.g., in formative and more final internal and external evaluations.
- Cultural City will consist of collaborative projects in the interface between art and
science and technology, bringing together artists, musicians, painters, and sculptors
with scientists and engineers. New media technologies for public events and
performances will be developed, with special emphasis on accessibility and interactivity.
Artistic projects that provide comments on urban life and cityscapes will also be part of
the work at the studio.
- Kids´City will concentrate on opportunities for young people to develop an
understanding for their environment by making their own models, simulations,
visualizations and games, and on tools for developing, communicating and discussing
visions for the future. Particular emphasis will be given to new ways of encountering
and using computers, and on giving children a deep understanding of information
In a multi-disciplinary project of this kind, an important part is also played by collective
reflection on the value and meaning of the enterprise, as well as on conceptual
development. For that purpose a number of reflective/critical and analytical activities
will be initiated. These will form an integral part of all the applied projects, cutting
across them and
contributing a common ground for discussion of common issues and problems.
In addition to these projects there will also be a permanent workshop for free
artistic activities involving all studio residents. This workshop will serve as a
social catalyst, and also as a generator for new ideas and projects.
An advisory board consisting of internationally recognized researchers and
industrialists will be established. It will meet two times a year to discuss the
aim, direction and priorities of the studio. The members of the board will also
be involved in a program of ongoing evaluations of the individual projects, and
in reviewing the annual report of the studio.
Several other initiatives within Chalmers and Göteborg University have an
interest in Interactive City, and will contribute to a productive environment
for the studio. These include the project Pedagogical IT, devoted to the
development of technological pedagogy at Chalmers, and The Human
Interface, which is part of efforts to create closer connections between art,
science and technology at Göteborg University. At Chalmers, new research
studios concerned with design and design processes are being set up as part of
the program Design at Chalmers. Studios on Work Place Design and
Technical Design will start in the fall of 1999.
The proposal to SSF on
Interactive Digital-Mechanical Systems also has connections to studio
activities. The open and creative environment of Interactive City will also
attract a large number of students working on their Master's theses or other
projects. Several new programs in the undergraduate education will provide a
flow of interested students. These include the new project oriented computer
science program D++, and existing or planned Masters programs such as
those in Technical Communication, Scientific Visualisation in Engineering,
and Complex Adaptive Systems, several of which are directed by members of
the project group.
The City of Göteborg (Göteborgs stad) will be an important collaboration
partner in the proposed activities. The ideas in the proposal have been
discussed with officials in leading positions in Göteborgs stad for some time.
They have shown strong support for and interest in the social and cultural
potential of our proposals. We expect to come to a preliminary agreement
about cooperation and support soon. Special emphasis will be given to creating
local centers in various parts of the city. The Region of Västra Götaland will
also be a partner in the project. An agreement with the new Science Center
(Kunskapens Hus) being developed at Korsvägen on collaboration and
localization of one center, will also be made in the near future. The Göteborg
International Science Festival, and Göteborg & Co, will also be collaborating
with the Interactive City.
Academic partners in Sweden include the Interactive Institute studios in
Stockholm and CID, the Interactive Institute studios in Malmö and Art and
Communication, and the Institute of Design at Umeå University.
International academic collaborations will involve the Santa Fe Institute
(Chris Langton, Jim Crutchfield), Los Alamos National Laboratory (Steen
Rasmussen), Dortmund University (Wolfgang Banzhaf), University College
London (Mel Slater, Alan Penn), Cornell University (Roger Trancik), CIT the
Danish National Center for IT Research (Morten Kyng, director), the School of
Architecture and Planning at MIT (Bill Porter, Turid Horgen), Domus
Academy, Milano (Marco Susani, research director), and Vienna Technical
University (Ina Wagner).
Corporate partners include Volvo, Silicon Graphics, Oracle, who are also
sponsors of Chalmers Media Lab. Discussions are also under way for example
with Telia Research and several smaller companies in Göteborg.
Henrik Ahlberg. Director of Chalmers Medialab and Chief Information
Officer for Chalmers University of Technology, and associate professor in
optoeletronics. Presently involved in development of new research areas and
Masters programs in virtual concretism and in scientific visualization in
engineering. Responsible for courses in Engineering Measurements and for
development of new pedagogical methods for interactive learning.
Sven Andersson. Associate professor (docent) in theory of science and, since
1998, senior researcher at Chalmers Medialab. Lecturer at the department for
Theory of Science, Göteborg University, since 1979 and researcher since 1985.
Head of the department 1992-1997. His previous research has contributed to
hermeneutics, critical theory, philosophy of science, science & technology
studies and musicology. Active member of 4-S (Society for the Social Study of
Science) and the European Association for the Study of Science and
Jim Berggren. Visual artist. Studied at Valand 1970-76. Head of the
program for Free Art and New Media at Göteborg University, where he also
Hans Bjur. Professor and Chair, Urban Design and Planning, and Dean of
the School of Architecture at Chalmers University of Technology.
Magnus Eldénius. Associate professor of music theory, ensemble, and
composition, and head of ARC (Artistic Research and Composition) the
Lindblad Studio at the School of Music. Eldénius studied theoretical physics
and mathematics at Göteborg University, and electronics and computer
technology at Chalmers. He is a graduate of the Göteborg Music
Conservatory, and obtained his PhD in Musicology at Göteborg University.
Mats Nordahl. Senior researcher in the complex systems group at the
School of Physics at Chalmers, PhD in theoretical physics 1988. Member of
the External Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute since 1994. Research in
nonlinear dynamics, evolutionary algorithms and artificial life, and complex
systems in nature and society. Responsible for courses in nonlinear dynamics
and neural networks at Chalmers. Member of the organization committee for
the first Göteborg International Science Festival 1997.
Peter Nordin. Assistant professor at the complex systems group at
Chalmers, PhD in computer science at Dortmund University 1997. Research
in genetic programming, artificial intelligence, and robotics, where he is
responsible for a project aimed at building humanoid robots (Chalmers
Humanoid Lab). Cofounder of the software consulting firm Dacapo AB.
Bengt Olsson. Dean of the Faculty of Fine and Applied Arts and PhD in
musicology. Professor in Music Education and Research at the School of Music
and Musicology, Göteborg University. Previously Director and Head of the
School of Music in Göteborg 198088. Presently involved in the research
projects on Music as Knowledge or Knowledge of the Arts and Higher music
education and professional training.
Ralph Schroeder. Professor in the Department of Technology and Society at
Chalmers University of Technology. He has been carrying out research on the
social implications of virtual reality technology since the early 1990s. He is
the author of "Possible Worlds: The Social Dynamic of Virtual Reality
Technology" and a number related articles. He has also been involved in
several research projects developing virtual reality technology.
Peter Ullmark. Architect and Professor of Work space design at CTH. Peter
Ullmark has been engaged in research, education and consultancy work with
a main focus on work place-oriented design processes. His work is based on
knowledge within Architecture, Design Theory, Work Science and Applied
Information Technology. Together with Pelle Ehn he was responsible for one
of the proposals that led to the Interactive Institute that from Art and
Communication at Malmö Högskola, where he is now chairman of the board.
Karl Ola Warnhammar. Architect and Executive Chairman of the Board,
School of Architecture, Chalmers University of Technology. He has been
managing director in a number of consultancy and construction companies
and now also works as a consultant.
Chalmers University of Technology offers Ph.D and Licentiate course
programmes as well as MScEng, MArch, BEng and nautical programmes.
The University was founded in 1829 following a donation by William
Chalmers. Chalmers became an independent foundation on July 1, 1994.
Around 9,200 people work and study at Chalmers, including more than 7,000
undergraduates. Each year around 195 PhD and Licentiate degrees are
awarded as well as 800 MScEng and MArch degrees. Chalmers' turnover is
approximately SEK 1.5 billion per year, more than two-thirds of which is
related to research.Research at Chalmers ranges from mathematics and
natural sciences through to engineering, industrial sciences and community
development. At nine schools, divided into 100 departments and divisions,
research and education are conducted within natural sciences and all the
engineering science disciplines.
Chalmers Medialab is the resource and research centre for Chalmers
University of Technology in the area of applied information technology. The
Medialab is intended to support multidisciplinary research and education
within the use of information technology. Chalmers Medialab is sponsored by
Volvo, Silicon Graphics and Oracle. Further info at:
Göteborg University offers a comprehensive selection of study programmes
and the largest number of single courses of any Swedish university. 34 000
students are enrolled at GU; about 4 600 teachers, researchers and
technical-administrative staff are employed by the University on a full-time
basis. The University's budget for the financial year 1996/97 amounted to
appr. SEK 2.9 billion.
Göteborg University can display a greater diversity of programmes in fine
arts than any other university in Northern Europe. There are undergraduate
programmes for musicians, church musicians, music teachers, actors, opera
singers, performers in musicals, designers and artists in handcrafts,
photographers and film-makers. These programmes are offered at five
different schools: the School of Music and Musicology, the School of Theatre
and Opera, the School of Design and Crafts, the School of Film and
Photography and Valand School of Fine Arts. The Schools form a Faculty of
Fine and Applied Arts and this has made it possible to draw up an
overarching, long-term development programme. One of the results is a
research-based creative postgraduate training with possibilities to create
mixed artistic and research projects in collaboration with the different arts as
well as traditional research disciplines within Göteborg University and
Chalmers University of Technology.
The School of Music and Musicology is situated in the centre of cultural life of
Göteborg. About 500 students enrolled at the School of Music pursue
undergraduate and graduate studies in music. The conservatory approach to
musical performance is complemented by studies in composition, music
education, music and new technology, music history, and performance
technology. The interest in contemporary music at the school is for example
represented by the research at ARC (Artistic Research and Composition), the
Lindblad studio and CNM (The Centre for New Music).
The program for Fine Arts and New Media, located at Valand School of Fine
Arts, is intended to bring new media-techniques in the hands of free artists.
The goal for this program is to provide the students with an opportunity to
develop their skills in the use of advanced information technology to support
both creativity and reflection.