Abstract

There is an emerging set of needs in our post-industrial society that require a contextual sensitivity and local flexibility that traditional industrial infrastructures seem to lack. As a response, distributed small-scale forms of production and collaborative services are being developed, providing the foundations for more resilient and responsive infrastructures. Using urban freight delivery services as a case, this paper presents a possible approach to accessing and expressing the back end functioning of a large formal industrial urban infrastructure in order to make it accessible to bottom-up innovation. The postal service has been used as a test bed for two small hacking experiments using consumer and do-ityourself (DIY) electronics: a GPS and micro cameras. Data visualization and videos have been produced in order to materialize and share knowledge about the infrastructure and its qualities. By tracing its underlying functionalities, we aim to reveal otherwise hidden opportunities for design intervention that could become the starting point for participatory design processes aimed at bottom-up innovation in the context of industrial infrastructures. As such, this project aims at adding to the tools and materials available for such design practices.

Keywords:

Infrastructures; Visualization; Co-Design; Service Design; Critical Practice

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Jun 16th, 12:00 AM

Hacking delivery systems: exploring design tools for user-led innovation in urban infrastructures

There is an emerging set of needs in our post-industrial society that require a contextual sensitivity and local flexibility that traditional industrial infrastructures seem to lack. As a response, distributed small-scale forms of production and collaborative services are being developed, providing the foundations for more resilient and responsive infrastructures. Using urban freight delivery services as a case, this paper presents a possible approach to accessing and expressing the back end functioning of a large formal industrial urban infrastructure in order to make it accessible to bottom-up innovation. The postal service has been used as a test bed for two small hacking experiments using consumer and do-ityourself (DIY) electronics: a GPS and micro cameras. Data visualization and videos have been produced in order to materialize and share knowledge about the infrastructure and its qualities. By tracing its underlying functionalities, we aim to reveal otherwise hidden opportunities for design intervention that could become the starting point for participatory design processes aimed at bottom-up innovation in the context of industrial infrastructures. As such, this project aims at adding to the tools and materials available for such design practices.

 

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