These are publications from the research group. For more publications by its members, see their individual portfolio’s.
Many challenges that confront today’s society are complex and dynamic and require new perspectives to arrive at solutions that could not be found before. Finding such new perspectives is part of a process called reframing and one of its key stages is theme investigation. Understanding a problem thoroughly is crucial for creating effective solutions and theme investigation offers insight into human and social themes that underlie complex challenges. This article discusses how to investigate such themes, to deepen our understanding, to find a starting point for reframing and creating innovative solutions.
This work explicitly experiments with variation (conceptual, personal, and methodological) as a guiding principle for investigating human themes in real life cases. A process, best practices, instruments and tools for theme investigation are presented and discussed.
Keywords: design thinking; frame innovation; reframing; social design; theme investigation
Note: This work is a result from a previous collaboration with the research group on IT & Society, led by prof. Dick Rijken.
Designing an Intervention for Creating Awareness in Motorists about Vehicle Emission Consequences on Human Health
Jylhä, A., Harraou, I., Quanjer, A.J., van Leeuwen, J.P. 2019. “Designing an Intervention for Creating Awareness in Motorists about Vehicle Emission Consequences on Human Health.” In: Schnädelbach, H. and Kirk, D. (Eds.) People, Personal Data and the Built Environment. Springer Series in Adaptive Environments. Springer International Publishing.
Exhaust emissions from motorized vehicles are not only harmful to the environment but also to human health. However, motorists are not necessarily aware of the adverse health effects resulting from their emissions. In this work, we use the health aspect as a primary motivation factor in the design of an intervention targeted at reducing exhaust emissions. Based on research into the problem domain and the target group, we propose a design for a behavior-change intervention, consisting of an infrastructure of large public displays and a mobile application. In a design prototype, we incorporate two approaches, shaming and empowerment, designed to engage motorists with the intervention. An experimental evaluation of the prototype suggests that shaming can have a lot of potential in providing motivation for change, while empowerment is also needed inside the application for helping the drivers reduce their emissions by means of more efficient traveling. Based on the findings, we discuss the role of personal data in the intervention and outline possibilities for realizing the design as part of the built environment.
Quanjer, A.J., Jylhä, A., and van Leeuwen, J.P. 2019 “Early Concept Validation through Provocative Experience Prototyping.” In: User Experience & Urban Creativity, 1:2, p. 82-85.
This essay reports on a research project aiming at validation of a concept for an AI-driven speech interface for smart services in public spaces. The research team created a simple experience prototype that simulated the envisioned functionality and was used to experiment with subjects in dialogues. The interaction with the prototype invoked a provocative experience that allowed test subjects to better imagine the impact that such a concept for smart services would have in their neighbourhood.
van Leeuwen, J.P., Quanjer, A.J., Jylhä, A. 2019 “Envisioning Conversational Agents in Public Spaces – a case of talking lampposts” In: Beyond Smart Cities Today, 18-19 September 2019, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Beyond the potential of new layers of urban infrastructure – sensor-laden networks, big data, artificial intelligence – to optimize cities functionally, lay promising opportunities to also use these technologies for new forms of social interactions. In an ongoing smart city development project, we explore the potential of distributed conversational speech interfaces in the social context of local urban communities.
Quanjer, A.J., Jylhä, A., van Leeuwen, J.P. 2019. “Using Lo-Fi Prototyping to Envision Conversational Agents in Public Settings.” In: Proceedings of European Conference on the Impact of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Oxford, UK, Oct. 2019.
Speech interactions are often associated with virtual assistants and smart home devices, designed primarily for private contexts. A less developed domain is speech interfaces in public contexts. In a smart city development project, we explored the potential of distributed conversational speech interfaces in lampposts. Deploying a research-through-design method, we created a lo-fi prototype of the speech interface that test subjects could interact with during experiments in a lab setting. Our first exploratory prototype consisted of a loudspeaker that acted as the interface and preconceived dialogues designed to investigate the boundaries of desirable and acceptable experiences regarding issues such as privacy. Experiencing the interaction with this rudimentary prototype helped people envision potential use cases and reflect on privacy issues: the dialogues revealed subjective limits of what kind of (personal) information people were willing to share with the lamppost. They also elicited thoughts on possible consequences in the social context of citizens.
Using Lo-Fi Experience Prototypes for Co-Designing Conversational Speech Interactions for Public Settings
Jylhä, A., Quanjer, A.J., van Leeuwen, J.P. 2019. “Using Lo-Fi Experience Prototypes for Co-Designing Conversational Speech Interactions for Public Settings.” In: CHI 2019 Workshop on Speech Interface Interactions, 4-9 May 2019, Glasgow, UK.
In an on-going smart city development project, we are exploring the potential of distributed conversational speech interfaces in the public context of a city. By using the well-known Wizard of Oz method in combination with a lo-fi prototype, we involve participants in co-design with the focus on potential use cases, social acceptability, and privacy aspects of interacting with a speech interface publicly. The work taps into the gap of design-oriented work in the domain of speech-based HCI.
van Leeuwen, J.P., Hermans, K., Jylhä, A., Quanjer, A.J., Nijman, H. 2018. “Effectiveness of Virtual Reality in Participatory Urban Planning.” In: Proceedings of the Media Architecture Biennale, Beijing, China, Nov. 2018.
In urban planning, 3D modeling and virtual reality (VR) provide new means for involving citizens in the planning process. For municipal government, it is essential to know how effective these means are, to justify investments. In this study, we present a case of using VR in a municipal process of civic participation concerning the redesign of a public park. The process included co- design activities and involved citizens in decision-making through a ballot, using 3D-rendered versions of competing designs. In co- design, 3D-modeling tools were instrumental in empowering citizens to negotiate design decisions, to discuss the quality of designs with experts, and to collectively take decisions. This paper demonstrates that, in a ballot on competing designs with 1302 citizens, VR headsets proved to be equally effective compared to other display technologies in informing citizens during decision making. The results of an additional, controlled experiment indicate that VR headsets provide higher engagement and more vivid memories than viewing the designs on non-immersive displays.
By integrating research into a municipal process, we contribute evidence of cognitive and engagement effects of using 3D modeling and immersive VR technologies to empower citizens in participatory urban planning. The case described in the paper concerns a public park; a similar approach could be applied to the design of public installations including media architecture.
van Leeuwen, J.P., Hermans, K., Quanjer, A.J., Jylhä, A., Nijman, H. 2018. “Using Virtual Reality to Increase Civic Participation in Designing Public Spaces.” In: Proceedings of the European Conference on Digital Government, Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Oct. 2018.
Municipalities increasingly seek to include citizens in decision-making processes regarding local issues, such as urban planning. This paper presents a case study on using Virtual Reality (VR) in a process of civic participation in the redesign of a public park. The municipality included citizens in intensive co-design activities to create three designs for the park and engaged the neighbourhood community in co-decision, in the form of a ballot. Through the civic participatory process, we studied the effectiveness of using VR technology to engage the community in participating in the co-decision process. The three designs were presented using highly realistic 360 ̊ visualisations and the effects on engagement were compared between various devices: VR headsets, smartphones, tablets, and computers. Viewing the designs in 2D paper plans was also included in the comparison. The study included over 1300 respondents that participated in the ballot. A statistical analysis of the collected data shows that participants viewing the 360 ̊ rendered images with VR technology expressed a significantly higher engagement in the co-decision process than those using their computer at home or viewing 2D paper plans. The paper describes the complete participatory design process and the impact of the e-governance used on the target group as well as on the actors organizing the e-governance process. We discuss how the use of new technology and active presence of a voting-support team inspired citizens to participate in the co-creation process and how the investment in this procedure helped the local authorities to generate support for the plans and strengthen its relationship with the community. The use of realistic visualisations that can be easily assessed by citizens through user-friendly technology, enabled a large and diverse audience to participate. This resulted in greater visibility of municipal efforts to enhance the living environment of citizens and is therefore an important step in increased civic engagement in municipal policy-making and implementation.
van Leeuwen, J.P., Quanjer, A.J., Jylhä, A., et al. 2018. Kunstmatige Intelligentie in de Publieke Ruimte – Projectrapportage. Den Haag: De Haagse Hogeschool, Okt. 2018.
Project report (in Dutch): Artificial Intelligence in the Public Space.
This document reports on the project “Artificial Intelligence in the Public Space.” The Hague University of Applied Sciences investigated, together with local creative entrepreneurs, the possibilities for applying AI and sensor technology in public spaces. The municipality of The Hague has the intention to create a Smart City Infrastructure, consisting of “Smart City Hubs” – WiFi stations with plugin-sensor technology – in light poles in the public space.
This project deliberately took a citizen perspective in identify desirable solutions and opportunities for innovation. Two prototypes were created and evaluated, that demonstrated the potential and social value of Smart City technology. The project was co-financed with a KIEM-subsidy from Regieorgaan SIA and the partner organisations.
van Leeuwen, J.P. 2018. Civic Technology Research & Design – Jaarverslag 2016+2017 & Jaarplan 2018 UrbanUX. Den Haag: De Haagse Hogeschool, Maart 2018.
UrbanUX lab year report 2016-2017 & year plan 2018 (in Dutch).
Jylhä, A., Harraou, I., Quanjer, A.J., van Leeuwen, J.P. 2017. “Using Behavior Data for Creating Awareness in Motorists about Emission Consequences.” In: Proceedings of the workshop on People, Personal Data and the Built Environment at DIS 2017. Edinburgh, June 10, 2017.
Personal data is increasingly used by cities to track the behavior of their inhabitants. While the data is often used to mainly provide information to the authorities, it can also be harnessed for providing information to the citizens in real-time. In an on-going research project on increasing the awareness of motorists w.r.t. the environmental consequences of their driving behavior, we make use of sensors, artificial intelligence, and real- time feedback to design an intervention. A key component for successful deployment of the system is data related to the personal driving behavior of individual motorists. Through this outset, we identify challenges and research questions that relate to the use of personal data in systems, which are designed to increase the quality of life of the inhabitants of the built environment.
van Leeuwen, J.P. 2016. Urban Experiences & Smart Citizens Social, Design in the City. White paper in Dutch for the initiation of a research programme, The Hague University of Applied Sciences.