Cipher cities

Polson, Debra (2008) Cipher cities. [Digital/Creative Work]


Cipher Cities was a practice-led research project developed in 3 stages between 2005 and 2007 resulting in the creation of a unique online community, ‘Cipher Cities’, that provides simple authoring tools and processes for individuals and groups to create their own mobile events and event journals, build community profile and participate in other online community activities.

Cipher Cities was created to revitalise peoples relationship to everyday places by giving them the opportunity and motivation to create and share complex digital stories in simple and engaging ways. To do so we developed new design processes and methods for both the research team and the end user to appropriate web and mobile technologies. To do so we collaborated with ethnographers, designers and ICT researchers and developers. In teams we ran a series of workshops in a wide variety of cities in Australia to refine an engagement process and to test a series of iteratively developed prototypes to refine the systems that supported community motivation and collaboration. The result of the research is 2 fold:

  1. a sophisticated prototype for researchers and designers to further experiment with community engagement methodologies using existing and emerging communications technologies.

  2. A ‘human dimensions matrix’. This matrix assists in the identification and modification of place based interventions in the social, technical, spatial, cultural, pedagogical conditions of any given community. This matrix has now become an essential part of a number of subsequent projects and assists design collaborators to successfully conceptualise, generate and evaluate interactive experiences.

the research team employed practice-led action research methodologies that involved a collaborative effort across the fields of interaction design and social science, in particular ethnography, in order to:

  1. seek, contest, refine a design methodology that would maximise the successful application of a dynamic system to create new kinds of interactions between people, places and artefacts’.

  2. To design and deploy an application that intervenes in place-based and mobile technologies and offers people simple interfaces to create and share digital stories.

Cipher Cities was awarded 3 separate CRC competitive grants (over $270,000 in total) to assist 3 stages of research covering the development of the Ethnographic Design Methodologies, the development of the tools, and the testing and refinement of both the engagement models and technologies. The resulting methodologies and tools are in the process of being commercialised by the Australasian CRC for Interaction Design.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 27820
Item Type: Creative Work (Digital/Creative Work)
Refereed: No
Additional Information:

Awards Details:

- Version 1: Valley Location Based Game Project. March 04-March 05 $105,785.00 Brisbane City Council and ACID

- Version 2: Location Based Game Platform. July-November 2005, Awarded CRC Grant $40,000.00

- Version 3: Creative Communities Project. 7 Jan-30 Sept 2006, Awarded CRC Grant $70,000.00 (portion assigned from the $250,000.00 awarded for the ACID Creative Communities Project)

- Version 4: Nov 2006 - July 2007 Awarded CRC Pre-Commercial Project Funding $60,000.00

Other Contributors:
Role Contributors
  • Yang L. Wong
  • Duzhi Sherwin Huang
  • Colleen Morgan
Funders: Australasian CRC For Interaction Design, Brisbane City Council
Material: Website, Mobile Authoring Application, SMS Communications Engine, Support Videos, Mobile Game Distribution System, Online Community Membership Services
Location: From date: To date:
Keywords: Web Design, Web Development, Mobile Content Design, User Experience Design, Social Network Design, Mobile Games, Serious Games, Design-Led Research, Participatory Design
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > INFORMATION SYSTEMS (080600) > Computer-Human Interaction (080602)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Visual Communication Design (incl. Graphic Design) (120307)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > OTHER INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (089900)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies (200102)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN CREATIVE ARTS AND WRITING (190000) > FILM TELEVISION AND DIGITAL MEDIA (190200) > Interactive Media (190205)
Divisions: Past > Research Centres > Australasian CRC for Interaction Design (ACID)
Past > Disciplines > Art & Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Debra Polson
Copyright Statement: Cipher Cities extends on the research findings of a previous project “SCOOT” and the underlying technologies of "SCOOT" form the basis of the Cipher Cities Technologies. SCOOT copyright and associated IP is owned by Debra Polson.
Deposited On: 07 Oct 2009 01:33
Last Modified: 20 May 2014 23:00

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