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  • Framing privacy: architectural representation in digital spaces

Koslowski, Benjamin, 2018, Thesis, Framing privacy: architectural representation in digital spaces PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

Individual privacy can be compromised in digitally mediated spaces, as networked communication has made scales of interaction and degrees of visibility difficult to grasp. This inquiry argues that privacy is a spatially-conditioned mental construct and tests architectural representation as a means of orienting the individual online through spatial design practice on three scales, from the miniature to the room and the neighbourhood.
Framed by the methodology of architectural representation, privacy online offers the narrative hook and driver for research. This identifies principles underlying architectural practice that can contribute to understandings of digital spaces of interaction, such as online social networking platforms, from the point-of-view of a designer-researcher. The research has been developed under the umbrella of the Creative Exchange, a national AHRC-funded knowledge exchange hub enabling interdisciplinary and inter-organisational collaboration between academia and industry.
Asking how different scales of architectural representation can help to orient the individual in digital spaces, ‘methods of spatialisation’ aim to render tangible and experiential a range of observations of the digital; they result in miniature artifacts, immersive installations and interactive hybrid digital-physical platforms. Through methods of inquiry, including Donald Schön’s methods of reflective practice and the ‘design situation’, these operate as a lens on to the digital. Instead of aiming to reconceptualise privacy itself, it is considered as symptomatic of the challenges brought about by digital spaces, and informs means of evaluation.
The original contribution the research makes to knowledge in the field of design research at the intersection of architecture and communication design lies in adapting architectural representation for digital contexts: it develops approaches rooted in architecture and aims to frame them for interdisciplinary design contexts engaging with digital spaces. The resulting framework brings together the key foundational architectural parameters of scale, distance and time, and three design methods of spatialisation: miniaturisation, immersion and mapping. These help to reframe challenges of digital communication – such as privacy online – from the perspective of the designer-researcher.
Through the practice-led inquiry, digital settings that are not easily grasped intuitively are framed as new contexts for architectural expertise, helping to establish the efficacy of architectural representation in addressing challenges of the digital through reflective design processes.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Architecture > K900 Others in Architecture
School or Centre: Research Centres > Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design
Funders: Creative Exchange, AHRC
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2018 10:29
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2018 10:29
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/3398

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