De Routing
The De-Routing mobile application supplies urban researchers with a workshop tool to find out about the spacial aspects, which influence the urban experience. It allows the exploration of the atmospheric, social presence of urban environments, which is created by the interplay of architecture, geography and social microclimates. Inspired by the Situationist’s “Theory of the Dérive”, the workshop’s participants are set into the role of explorers.
The De-Routing tool allows the exploration of a delimited space by following a random route through the area. A mobile app guides the participants to the urban environment, asking them to perform certain site specific tasks, which makes them engage with their physical and social envrionement in a playful way. This provides an informative and playful way of discovering a local space. The tool collects the answers of the participants and connects them with the location-based coordinates of their tour through the neighbourhood.

The Tool was developed in collaboration with Michele Christensen abd Florian Conradi and the Design Research Lab at the Universtität der Künste Berlin.

Figure 1: De-Routing app, showing an exemplary task of an exploration

The collected data can be explored with the De-Routing web tool. It overlays the participants route on top of a map, allowing the participants to analyse the data of all the explorers in a collaborative analysis session. Depending on the subject of concern and the nature of the environment, the task catalogue can be easily changed.

Figure 2: De-Routing Visualisation Tool, the collected data is visualized on a map of the environment. The dots represent tasks, which can be explored by clicking at them.

Figure 3: After the exploration is completed, the participants meet up to discuss their findings in a collaborative analysis session, supported by the visualisation tool.

The tool animates to a playful, but also serious reflection on the urban environment. It lets the locals interact with their social and physical environment in a unique way, identifying and verbalising issues and problems within the urban communities. The tool helps gathering materials that can support urban planers and other stakeholders with information on how the locals perceive their environment, helping to identify key issues within the physical and social structure in a neighbourhood. The geographical localisation of these issues may help to identify spacial domains that are critical within the area of research.

Gallery: Initial Wireframes, Setup process, Exploration process

The project is now hosted under derouting.community-infrastructuring.org.
The Project was done in collaboration with Andreas Unteidig, Jennifer Schubert, Bianca Herlo, Florian Conradi and Michelle Christensen at the Design Research Lab Berlin.