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Crafting urban camouflage


Participants will explore how low-cost materials and tools can be used to render people invisible in monitored public space. The intention of the workshop is not to produce implementable designs instead we prefer to make speculative and exploratory concept design strategies that might act as future inspiration or critique.

By focusing on practical strategies for managing personal visibility we hope to extend designers thinking of presence in public space beyond the purely physical to include digital representations of inhabitation that are processed and archived remotely. With this workshop we aim to bring together a group of people around a common interest to foster dialogue and support further investigation.

Plan of Activities
This is a one-day hands on and practical workshop.

Following an introductory session and a rapid overview of computer tracking systems participants will divide into groups to explore the constraints and limitations of a computer vision tracking system (OpenCV) by designing and prototyping strategies for managing personal visibility in public space using low-cost everyday materials and tools.

Coming back together, the groups will present and test their prototypes with the OpenCV tracking system. These strategies and designs will form the basis for the discussion that follows, acting as critiques and commentaries on the relationship between interactive tracking systems and personal strategies for managing public visibility.

The workshop will end by drawing together the main themes and insights generated by the workshop.

The speculative design strategies and prototypes created by participants will form the concrete outcomes of the workshop.

Through this website and potential future publications we intend to share our exploration of what strategies for managing personal visibility might look like, how these strategies respond to the properties of visual tracking systems, and how we have considered the relationship between tracking systems and strategies for managing personal visibility in a critical and reflective manner.

We believe these outputs will provide a rich source of inspiration or critique for us as researchers as we engage with the emerging topic of personal visibility in technologically augmented public space.