March 22, 2019 ―
March 26, 2019

Participatory Steering of Complex Adaptive Systems @ ASU Phoenix USA

22-26 April 2019

 Participatory Steering of Complex Adaptive Systems @ ASU Phoenix USA

Workshop Conveners: Brandon Mechtley, Sha Xin Wei, Synthesis@ASU

Bringing partners from the CECAN network working around the world on diverse participatory projects (see list below) –

At Synthesis, we’ve built techniques for composing responsive media spaces for improvisatory events in which people can collectively steer richly structured visual, sonic, or tangible physical media.   Synthesis @ ASU and its predecessor Topological Media Lab @ Concordia / Montreal  have created rich movement-modulated media spaces in which we could freely invent and coordinate sense-making activity via gesture, voice, images, sounds, or generally physical activity in large or intimate spaces.

We have made a kit of theater-grade scenographic technologies with realtime media and are developing techniques for composing not pre-scripted events, but for conditioning live events in which people can act freely without constraint on their intention or mode of expression. The goal is to augment and enrich the range of expression available to the “inhabitants” of these events. It’s important to add that our free-form multi-modal environments include all the usual “off-the-shelf” tools of representation and interaction (web browsers, Skype, Matlab, whiteboards, charcoal and paper, post-its, role-playing games, body- storming, and so-forth.

Some relevant research streams include:
• Embodied / immersive steering of dense complex systems like weather physics or ocean dynamics .  (Also studies of place and atmosphere.)
• Multi-scale rhythmanalysis, from time-based media to cities
and more fundamentally
• Individuation, Emergence, Ontogenesis
Some videos showing some of the wide range of events and activities we have hosted:
In collaboration with CECAN’s international partners, we will evolve our techniques and our systems toward meeting different models and scenarios of participatory engagement with social impact around the world.  CECAN participants’ projects include:
  • Humber, a region of heavy industry in the North of the UK, on developing whole systems approaches to understanding their aim of development of a regional bio-based economy;
  • Mekong / Bangkok / Hanoi: hydropower on the Mekong River, transboundary water management, forest management, protection of coastal zones, fish stock management, food security and poverty alleviation;
  • Monsoon Assemblages, environmental humanities with spatial design, in three cities around the Bay of Bengal: Chennai, Dhaka and Yangon
  • Planning, construction and renewable energy sector
  • HIV prevention in Africa
  • Flooding and water scarcity in Megalopolis (such as México City) and the degradation of eco-cultural system of Xochimilco, the last urban wetland in México City, using diverse methods, including  ethnography and phenomenological interviews
  • Mexico´s rural territories and peasant communities: intercrops and of agroforestry and silvopastoral  processes always learning from and with the rural people
  • AI, Blockchain and Machine Learning by the Insurance Financial Services.  Research activities include novel participatory approaches with multiple stakeholders including Jaguar Land Rover, Lloyds of London, Compare the Market
  • Indonesia, northern Thailand  and in the atoll of Tarawa