Camera for the Invisible: Toward a Toolkit for Urban Exploration

Silver, J. "Camera for the Invisible: Toward a Toolkit for Urban Exploration"


We are disconnected from our environment. We can't reconnect because we can't even see the Nature within our urban surroundings. Inspired by urban explorers and Nature Awareness traditions, I will develop methodologies and design principles for coming into contact with the environment through direct observation of the previously unseen urban jungle. Building on the idea of revealing the imperceptible with a time-lapse camera, I will design both a new metaphor for sensors and a physical object: a synesthetic time-lapse "Camera for the Invisible" with implications for urban Nature Awareness, first person discovery/inquiry, environmental journalism, and "modernized poverty." Out of the struggle toward a toolkit for urban exploration, I will create a new categorization schema for perceptual scientific instruments, which will lead to a proposed new genre of tangible design called "skin2nature interfaces." I will write about the design process in a way that invokes intuition by engaging the reader in a semi-experiential process within the limits of this constrained medium. From my initial explorations, to the design and evaluation, I hope to engage myself, the users/explorers, and my readers in a process of reconnection with our respective local landscapes.

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