telecommuting

mechanical turks at amazon

Surprise! Amazon.com employs people to do various data processing jobs that computers just aren't very good at yet. In classic amazon spirit, you too can be a Mechanical Turk and make money while you are at it. See Core77's blog post and visit Amazon's own page on the topic.

Network Architecture Lab Established

Why has this blog been so barren lately? Am I giving up on the Net? No! Far from it. I have, however, been a little busy lately. Now that the project is safely established, we can announce that...

AUDC Establishes Network Architecture Lab

@ Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation

Formed in 2001, AUDC [Architecture Urbanism Design Collaborative] specializes in research as a form of practice. The AUDC Network Architecture Lab is an experimental unit at Columbia University that embraces the studio and the seminar as venues for architectural analysis and speculation, exploring new forms of research through architecture, text, new media design, film production and environment design.

Specifically, the Network Architecture Lab investigates the impact of computation and communications on architecture and urbanism. What opportunities do programming, telematics, and new media offer architecture? How does the network city affect the building? Who is the subject and what is the object in a world of networked things and spaces? How do transformations in communications reflect and affect the broader socioeconomic milieu? The NetLab seeks to both document this emergent condition and to produce new sites of practice and innovative working methods for architecture in the twenty-first century. Using new media technologies, the lab aims to develop new interfaces to both physical and virtual space.

The NetLab is consciously understood as an interdisciplinary unit, establishing collaborative relationships with other centers both at Columbia and at other institutions.

The NetLab begins operations in September 2006.

goodbye, supermodernism

With a huge amount of work to do and some crucial transitions underway into next year, blog posts have been all too scant lately, unfortunately.

But if you're starved for reading material as a consequence, try my article "Goodbye, Supermodernism" in the July issue of Architecture magazine, dedicated to mobility. My brief piece””?part of my history/theory column for the journal, addresses the impact of telecommunications on architecture. If Hans Ibelings saw Marc Augé's Non-Places as the future of space and understood an acontextual modernism as the inevitable result, I suggest that both Non-Places and supermodernism have seen their day. Instead of the formally based movement that aimed to express the solitude and lack of meaning inherent in contemporary life, we need to develop a programmed architecture for the new place of today in which we dwell, floating, between virtual and physical spaces. The future of communication in architecture isn't semiology or its denial, but code and cable.

Networked Publics Book Draft On-Line

As a culmination to the Networked Publics program, the faculty research group that I have been working at for the last year, we will be publishing a collaboratively written group book with the MIT Press. Three of drafts of our essays are finished (on place, culture, and politics) and available online at the Networked Publics site.

Throughout the Networked Publics program, we have tried to employ collaborative scholarship whereever possible and effective. Readers, colleagues, and friends are invited to to contribute by posting comments at the end of each essay (note that easier to read versions of the essays can be also be downloaded from the appropriate pages). Our hope is to take the comments that we receive and append them to the essay in a virtual symposium to follow each chapter.

tracing the history of email

Talking Headers is a history of email. I was amazed by the account of Steven Lukasik, ARPA's director from 1971 to 1975, lugging around a thirty pound Texas Instruments terminal and an acoustic coupler to check his email once an hour. More about the terminal Lukasik was likely to have used here

Cubicle Culture

Fortune Magazine carries an article Robert Propst and the history of the cubicle. As moves away from physical offices toward more fluid, cybernetically conceived spaces, cubicles were an evolutionary step toward the networked workplace of our own day. Along with the fascinating history of this ubiquitous part of office design, the article makes some surprising observations about the present, most notably that 26 million Americans now telecommute via broadband. The article is, unfortunately, vague about whether this mean they just check their email once a day from home or whether they don't bother going into the office at all.
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the car is the new office

Today's New York Times reports on studies showing that the use of cell phones in automobiles is increasing at the expense of radio broadcasts. As reported by the Times, the study did not account for iPod usage, which makes the validity of the results a little questionable since in my personal experience, at least, the iPod receives about equal time with my cell phone with radio a distant third. Nevertheless, it suggests that busy commuters are continuing to extend their workplace from office and home-office into their transit time. Or maybe they're just trying to figure out what groceries to bring home. Intriguingly, the survey notes that cell phone conversations in the car are longer than outside of the car. Will "call you from my car" soon denote the most highly prized of conversations? Will it become important to live far from one's workplace in order to have longer, more sustained conversations without the disruptions of email, IM, co-workers, or family members?
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Broadband 2.0's Consequences for Cities

Over at my netpublics research blog, I have a lengthy post reflecting on the consequences of broadband 2.0 for cities.

If you are interested in the consequences of telecommuting, the future of wired and wireless connections, or have just bought overpriced property in a run down area of the city (read: get out now), take a look.

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