We design and implement computer and living interfaces that introduce the framework of networks into everyday interactions.
It is well known that only a small fraction of information is communicated through words, the rest is conveyed through gestures, movements, sounds, symbols – through the visual, auditory and kinesthetic channels.
The ongoing expanse of digital technologies makes it possible for us to communicate more and more through images, videos, and informational units that can be comprised from a combination of texts, images, sounds and movements.
They all form a network of utterances that need a coherent system to be organized and communicated in a way that we would consider to be meaningful – just like natural languages have the grammar and syntaxis that ensure the correct and logical formation of sentences.
Our job is to develop the interfaces that would be able to present such information in a meaningful way. We use the framework of networks and superimpose it on a system of signs in order to offer a tool that can make connections between them and offer a simple and coherent way to navigate through the resulting network.
An example of that approach is This Is Like – an online mnemonic network that helps you retain and share your knowledge through notating its relations. It was initiated in 2007 by Dmitry Paranyushkin with the support of Nodus Labs and went live in 2009. This Is Like is an open system, which allows anyone to add content entities and make connections between them. For example, one can start with adding their favorite venue in Berlin and connecting it to similar venues in New York. This way someone who’s traveling from NY to Berlin can quickly discover their scene quickly and easily.
A more sophisticated way to use the system is to notate one’s research. One can enter a certain concept and create relationships between this and other concepts, describing how they are related. This way it’s possible to keep track of the material and to represent it in a more interconnected way. This Is Like allows one to have instant access to the whole history of research and share it with others.
Another product that we developed is a network archival system realized as a WordPress blog plugin and widget that allows one to navigate through content visually based on its interconnectedness. The actual relations are curated by the editors who make links between the content units that are related to each other. The degree to which the content is embedded into the context of the website is clearly indicated to help users gauge its relative importance within a wider ecosystem. Some examples of the websites working on that technology are the Creative Network for Neukoelln Area of Berlin – www.knnk.org (supported by EU and Bundesministeriums für Verkehr, Bau und Stadtentwicklung) and an online magazine PLAYBerlin – www.playberlin.com
If you are interested to use one of our products or try out this approach for your own products, please, contact us and we will get back to you with an offer.