Presence Design: Mediated Spaces Extending Architecture

Published Sep 13, 2010

On 1 October 2010 Charlie Gullström defends her doctoral thesis entitled ‘Presence Design: Mediated Spaces Extending Architecture’. Charlie Gullström is a Senior Lecturer in Architecture, Media, Interaction and Communication at the Department of Architecture, KTH. She headed CESC during its initial phase, in the role as Centre director 2006-2007; and lead the project Mediated Spaces 2008-2009.

This thesis is a contribution to design-led research and addresses a readership in the fields of architecture as well as in media and communications. Firstly, it applies the concepts of virtual and mediated space to architecture, proposing an extended architectural practice that assimilates the concept of remote presence. As a fusion of architecture and media technology, video-mediated spaces facilitate collaborative practices across spatial extensions while simultaneously fostering novel and environmentally sustainable modes of communication. The impact of presence design on workplace design is examined. As an extended practice also calls for an extended discourse, a preliminary conceptual toolbox is proposed. Concepts are adapted from related visual practices and tested on design prototypes, which arise from the author’s extensive experience in designing work and learning spaces.

Secondly, this thesis outlines presence design as a transdisciplinary aesthetic practice and discusses the potential contribution of architects to a currently heterogeneous research field, which spans media space research, cognitive science, (tele)presence research, interaction design, ubiquitous computing, second-order cybernetics, and computer-supported collaborative work. In spite of such diversity, design and artistic practices are insufficiently represented in the field. This thesis argues that presence research and its discourse is characterized by sharp disciplinary boundaries and thereby identifies a conceptual gap: presence research typically fails to integrate aesthetic concepts that can be drawn from architecture and related visual practices. It is an important purpose of this thesis to synthesize such concepts into a coherent discourse.

Public defence
1 October 2010, 13.15
KTH Main Campus, Lindstedtsvägen 26, room F3

Opponent
Professor Halina Dunin-Woyseth, Oslo School of Architecture)

Supervisor
Professor Katja Grillner, KTH, Architecture

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