Coevolving Innovations

… in Business Organizations and Information Technologies

Place as a process rather than an object or container

I follow Paul Dourish‘s work because I find that his philosophy of science, combined with his corporate research background, puts him close to the way I usually think. In “Reimagining the City: The Cultural Dimensions of Urban Computing“, he and Amanda Williams say …

…. we argue for place as process rather than object or container. [p. 42]

The article is actually centered on mobile information technologies (e.g. the Internet on your phone, while you’re in a city), but the idea frames the idea of place in a different way for me.

Firstly, treating cities as generic (i.e. urban is not rural) doesn’t reflect that each city has its own merits, demerits and “feeling”.

… we view cities as culturally and historically specific, rather than homogenous, and are attempting to open up new perspectives on urban computing by exploring their cultural dimensions. [p. 38]

This rapidly send us into what is meant by “cultural”.

The word “cultural” can be interpreted in two different ways. The taxonomic view recognizes that cities in Britain are different from those in the US, Australia, or Asia. Though it allows for categorization and classification, the taxonomic view of culture obscures a deeper meaning.

We are more concerned with the generative or interpretive notion of culture, which recognizes that cities reflect and reproduce cultural values, and that encounters with cities represent opportunities for cultural work. [p. 38, editorial paragraphing added]

The way I read this, cities not only shape urbanites (the people in the cities) … but urbanites also shape the cities.

If I was to move this idea into virtual worlds, it’s clear that Second Life doesn’t give the same feel as Counter-Strike. To really get into the “place”, you can’t just know that the container exists; you have to go through the process of experiencing it. In addition, while you’re experiencing that place, you’re also shaping the place for other people sharing the same environment.

References


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  • RSS qoto.org/@daviding (Mastodon)

    • daviding: “In the #anthropocene, humans can impact less.…” April 17, 2022
      In the #anthropocene, humans can impact less.> The report shows that Canada's economy can grow without increasing carbon emissions. The country's GDP grew 22 per cent between 2005 and 2020, but carbon emissions declined by 9.3 per cent over that period.https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/climate-change-pandemic-emissions-canada-1.6420159
    • daviding: “With #CodeForCanada , a presentation + workshop guide for #C…” April 15, 2022
      With #CodeForCanada , a presentation + workshop guide for #CanadianDigitalService on "#SystemsThinking through Changes: An #ActionLearning guide" is available CC-BY-SA https://coevolving.com/blogs/index.php/archive/systems-thinking-through-changes/ . A milestone release by #SystemsChanges Learning Circle for practitioners, alongside publication in review
    • daviding: “When there is a larger threat from outside, attention is dra…” March 25, 2022
      When there is a larger threat from outside, attention is drawn away from internal struggles within. #RobertReich puts a historical perspective on current affairs in the USA. > Putin has brought a fractured Nato together. Maybe he’s bringing America back together too. It’s the thinnest of silver linings to the human disaster he’s creating, but […]
    • daviding: “For those who are critical about "design thinking", #KarelVr…” January 27, 2022
      For those who are critical about "design thinking", #KarelVredenburg makes the strong distinction between design and pseudo-design. https://www.karelvredenburg.com/home/2021/10/9/cr2h7dllvanrttb1tn8cfx1zjuhqol
    • daviding: “"Why Science Does Not Know: A Brief History of (the Notion o…” December 4, 2021
      "Why Science Does Not Know: A Brief History of (the Notion of) Scientific Ignorance in the Twentieth and Early Twenty-First Centuries" https://journalhistoryknowledge.org/articles/10.5334/jhk.40/?s=09
  • RSS on IngBrief

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • RSS on daviding.com

  • RSS on Media Queue

  • Meta

  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
    Theme modified from DevDmBootstrap4 by Danny Machal