I'm a Digital Media Specialist at The University of Melbourne and Science Gallery Melbourne. I have a passion for prototyping, engineering, deploying and evaluating technology in public space. Together with citizens, I transform neighborhoods into dynamic kitchens for cooking up social and situated technologies that solve contextual challenges and highlight local qualities.
As modern information communication technologies are increasingly integrated in our public environment, challenges arise to render them locally relevant and meaningful. In this paper, we describe the design and evaluation of StreetTalk, a set of situated public displays attached to house facades that were specifically designed to facilitate communication and interaction between households and their local neighborhood. We report on a participatory design process that resulted in a range of neighborhood communication concepts that reached beyond the traditional screen-based notion of public displays. Accordingly, three unique displays were deployed and critically evaluated during an eight-week in-the-wild field study, which aimed to describe the potential usefulness of making public displays more situated, such as by taking into account the individual preferences of households in terms of design and functionality, by exploring alternative means of public communication, and by facilitating content creation by lay households.