I&IC – Preliminary intentions


The following text was written as a description of our goals later in 2013, prior to the start of the project. The structure of the text follows the given guidelines. So to say, to get financing.

It is nonetheless a blueprint of what we intend to do and is published on the I&IC blog as a matter of documentation.


Inhabiting and Interfacing the Cloud(s)

An intredisciplinary design research project under the co-direction of Prof. Patrick Keller (ECAL) and Nicolas Nova (HEAD). With the support of HES-SO and the collaboration of ECAL, HEAD, EPFL (Prof. Dieter Dietz) and EPFL+ECAL Lab (Dir. Nicolas Henchoz).


This design research project explores the creation of counter-proposals to the current expression of “Cloud Computing”, particularly in its forms intended for private individuals and end users (“Personal Cloud”). It is to offer a critical appraisal of this “iconic” infrastructure of our modernity and its user interfaces, because to date their implementation has followed a logic chiefly of technical development, governed by the commercial interests of large corporations, and continues to be seen partly as a purely functional, centralized setup. However, the Personal Cloud holds a potential that is largely untapped in terms of design, novel uses and territorial strategies. Through its cross-disciplinary approach, our project aims at producing alternative models resulting from a more contemporary approach, notably factoring in the idea of creolization (Glissant, 1990). From a practical standpoint, the project is intended to produce speculative versions of the “Personal Cloud” in the form of prototypes (whether functional or otherwise) of new interfaces, data processing, reactive environments and communicating objects. To do this, the project will be built around three dimensions forming the relevant pillars of a cross-disciplinary approach: interaction design, the architectural and territorial dimension, and the ethnographic dimension.


What does it involve?


Since the end of the 20th century, we have been seeing the rapid emergence of a new constructed entity. This entity combines extensively information technologies, massive storage of individual or collective data, delocalized computational power, distributed access interfaces, security and functionalism: the “Data Center”, which itself constitutes the infrastructure and main vector of a renewed form of personal relationship to information, “Cloud Computing”, known familiarly as the “Cloud”. The term Cloud Computing thus refers to the modes of computer data processing where delocalized exploitation is performed via communication networks and interfaces, in the form of services provided by a service provider from remote “Data centers” and whose location and operation are not divulged to customers. The technological setup thus created produces a definite evolution in comparison with the now outmoded model of the personal computer, and forms the already vital infrastructure of contemporary nomadic lifestyles and decentralized communities.

Thus we see materialized before our eyes, on a grand scale, the very idea of “dematerialization” and ubiquity (Weiser, 1991) of networks, or of “spectrality”, concepts that generally accompany “cloud” or networked services from their inception. This is a concrete construction of course, but obviously a paradoxical one, being physical, proprietary and in point of fact heavily centralized.

Hence it is the accomplishment almost by default – a done deed apparently, with no definite intention – of the relationship between the distributed digital world (networks, data, paperless services etc.) and the world of the senses, and of the intense exchanges that now unite them. This materialization we can definitely view as one of the emerging icons of our modernity, but one that is conspicuous by its near invisibility or stealth.

From the organizational standpoint, above and beyond the technical aspects, a set of dimensions define the Cloud, the components of which then constitute its vocabulary:

-    Digital dimension: characterized by a design with a “universal” calling, leading nonetheless to individual uses producing a feeling of electronic deterritorialization, “dematerialization” (data, services, media), and even ubiquity, as well as remoteness in both the geographical and the technical sense. A digital setup composed of multimodal, reactive user interfaces, modular composition grids, automated algorithmic processes, aggregation and massive centralization of data, delocalized storage and computation, data mining, virtualization, permanent accessibility and various timeframes, etc.

-    Physical dimension: characterized by a desire for stealth, functional efficiency and neutrality in which one might detect a certain “modern spectrality”, the physical dimension refers back to issues relating to structure (security dimension, costs) and energy (production and loss of heat), but basically it leads to the restoration of the centralized pyramid model, in contrast with the network model, which is intrinsically horizontal. A physical and spatial setup composed of organization grids, modularity, normative approach, neutral, functional architectural typology, air conditioning, high tech, technology obsolescence issues etc.

-    Geographical dimensions: characterized by a territorial basis close to an abundant free supply of specific natural resources (fresh air, waterway, proximity to the cooling circuits), substantial surface area with access to cheap energy resources, accessibility to network nodes (backbone) for high-speed and efficient connections. Geographical and energy setup, thereby emphasizing unusual locations around the globe.

These three dimensions highlight the importance of dealing with the Cloud as a many-sided phenomenon with a multi-disciplinary approach corresponding to these various different directions[i]: interaction design (creation of original, innovative interfaces for managing and accessing data and services), the architectural dimension (creation of spatialities, infrastructures and taking the Cloud’s territorial dimension into account), and ethnography (study of usage, data exchanges and contemporary lifestyles). These three directions provide the framework for our project since each of these disciplines is represented in our research team.

Thus if the imagination and Cloud access interfaces do indeed speak of networks and horizontality in the sharing of digital content, purely electronic data and social communities/networks, the physical reality of its infrastructure, the “Data Center”, tells a different story. It is one of centralization, ownership and pyramid systems, of a heavy energy bill and of profiling. It is also one of design and functionalist organization mainly dedicated to machines, since this modular architectural typology, operating continuously, does not cater from the outset for any human presence within it[ii].


Problem and issues

With regard to current forms and uses of this “Personal Cloud”, we note the existence of a paradox between a set of extremely “horizontal” practices on the one hand (social networking), and on the other, the Cloud’s hierarchical infrastructure (centralization) gradually being built up. We further note what is happening as a result of this new operating mode: a relative loss of control for end users over their own output or data in favor of the corporations administering these “technological setups”.

Moreover, the term “Cloud Computing” is a wide-ranging notion that refers to a variety of technical realities and usages. Here we need to distinguish between the “Corporate Cloud” (data computation, storage and organization resources for large private companies) and the “Personal Cloud”, a service available to private individuals, often free of charge. The latter today includes proprietary solutions such as Dropbox, Cloudapp, Google Drive or iCloud (Apple), as well as those of most community sites, which, in their “dimensions” (cf. Background, above) remain relatively similar to services of the Corporate type, plus additional “issues” of privacy and data mining. On top of these, you also have “Personal Cloud” type services provided by longstanding external hard disk manufacturers like LaCie, Iomega (Lenovo EMC) etc., or again professional NAS (Network Attached Storage) solutions[iii].

In this project, we wish to work on this second personal version and not on the corporate version, at adjusted scales. We plan, in a spirit of criticism, to offer alternatives that restore a certain form of horizontality within this technological setup, and diversity (or “diversalism”), in contradistinction to de rigueur “universalism”) in interface experiments and design. We also want to develop the tools (contribution to open source solutions) and recommendations (documented collection of exemplary practices drawn from our research), which will enable the design community to take over the concepts as their own.

In concrete terms, on the basis of our reading of the situation[iv] and having clearly identified the issue that we wish to address within the technological setup that makes up the Cloud, we plan to work on the scale of global networks and data, on the physical level of the data center, but which we shall be viewing here as a “habitable” structure, one that we shall bring down to the smaller dimensions of the “shelter” or the “data processing cabinet”.

This is for obvious reasons of feasibility, but not only that: envisioning “inhabiting” the Cloud is our initial gesture of questioning within the setup and incites us to discover in it innovative, symbiotic operating modes (for both people and machines), by including the cultural and design dimension (for a new technological and cultural setup therefore). This leads us to imagine alternative, certainly more urban and lasting, locations for the Data Centers, as well as new interfaces. Envisioning the smaller dimension of the shelter or cabinet is our second gesture, a fragmentary one that may enable us to picture a potentially non-proprietary, networked distributed structure calling into question the currently centralizing approach of the Corporate Cloud.



Raising the question of “living” in the Cloud and on a fragmentary physical scale, involves firmly distancing ourselves from the current offering, by studying usages, possibly by taking inspiration from peer-to-peer type technological approaches or by relying on the achievements of open source and by getting the various professionals who are necessarily involved to work together. Which is why we want to operate at the intersection of ethnographic issues (the study of user behaviors), interaction design, architecture and science on the basis of the following set of questions, which extends our first two questioning gestures (cf. above) and will enable us to deploy the problematic within the different work packages (workshops):

-    How to combine the material part with the immaterial, mediatized part? What functions are given concrete form through physical means and what others through digital means? Does physical concretization involve nearness to the Data Center? Can we imagine the geographical fragmentation of these setups? (Interaction design, architecture).

-    Might new interfaces with access to ubiquitous data be envisioned that take nomadic lifestyles into account and let us offer alternatives to approaches based on a “universal” design?[v] Might these interfaces also partake of some kind of repossession of the data by the end users? (Interaction design, ethnography).

-    What symbioses can be found by occupying the ground and the space between men and machines? Where and how is this ground, are these “expanses”, to be occupied? Are they to be camped in, to maintain mobility? Settled on a long-term basis? How do we factor in obsolescence factors? What setups and new combinations of functions need devising for a partly deterritorialized, nomadic lifestyle? Can the Cloud/Data Center itself be mobile [vi] (Architecture, interaction design, ethnography).

-    Might symbioses also be developed at the energy and climate levels (e.g. using the need to cool the machines, which themselves produce heat, in order to develop living strategies there)? If so, with what users (humans, animals, plants)? (Architecture, ethnography).


How is it clearly shown?

The obvious lack of alternative propositions to what we already have in terms of infrastructure and interfacing in the Personal Cloud evidences the need to explore fruitful new paths in this area. The current offerings are largely the work of large technology groups, proposing a mostly functionalist view. Despite a few original attempts (distributed storage among machines from Wuala), all in all, there is little to choose between the interaction models on offer, and their interfaces.

Moreover, these arrangements barely touch on the possibility of using ecosystems of everyday objects or micro-spatialities to offer innovative uses of the Cloud, be it from the data processing or the energy standpoint. The few existing examples involve turning power sockets into remote access mini-servers. Our project aims at taking such ideas further by addressing the wide range of household objects and factoring in their ecosystemic dimension. Think for instance of the way servers or computer cabinets might be diverted from their purely technical function by being connected to other items or spatialities requiring extra heat, an air or water flow (cooling circuits), air charged with positive ions, network access, etc.[vii]

Accordingly, to show the value of alternative proposals, the aim will be to produce a set of prototypes (whether functional or fictional) fuelled by the convergence of cross-disciplinary approaches (design, architecture/territory and ethnography)[viii], working with the current technical basis. This is why the making of these models will come from a series of workshops, underpinned by input from these various different disciplines: a review of the literature on design issues, theoretical bases, ethnographic study of usages, comparison with artistic projects in related fields etc.


Why must your project receive backing?

Cloud Computing as an infrastructure and interface for accessing our digital content is one of the everyday items that are employed massively and in a broadening range of uses. Moreover, relatively little thought has been given until now as to how the Cloud is organized in actual design terms, and to date, the logic behind it is mostly from a technical and economic standpoint (CLOG, 2012).

It is precisely this blinkered view of the situation that calls for a forward-looking, critical and creative contribution when suggesting alternatives in terms both of infrastructure and interaction and their ramifications: customized interfaces, environments or communicating objects, reactive architectures. By switching to a broader perspective, in a combination of applied art, architecture, engineering and social science, we see design as a way of achieving a unique creative convergence and thereby producing an original Cloud Computing mockup that makes more allowance for user-friendliness, the symbioses of various Cloud functions and approaches requiring its relocalization, fragmentary scale, a much-needed questioning of the centralizing method. This approach, combined with our intention to contribute to open source-type community-oriented efforts, places our project perfectly in line with a recent movement in design aimed at reappropriating engineering issues and putting forward relevant thoughts or solutions arising from designers’ own personal interests and practices. This is the background to the emergence of electronic platforms and interfaces like Arduino[ix] or Processing[x].

Above and beyond the project’s specific aims, the issue for our field (interaction design) is to strengthen the skills that will enable us to be influential players in this sector with new partners, and later hand down these skills to peers and to students. In a general way, and in view of the almost geopolitical stakes of data management today, the design-oriented proposals will serve as exemplary indicators for the various private or government decision-makers, and as an example of what centralizing or proprietary methods are currently not providing. Indirectly, our project serves the interests of the general public and open-source approaches in the coming major “battle” over data ownership.

More specifically, the communities of researchers, designers in general and interaction designers in particular will have the benefit of our research results with a view to “gaining a foothold” in designing projects using Cloud resources.


What are its foundations?

While Cloud Computing, its infrastructure and interfaces are something that to date has been little explored from a design perspective, the same cannot be said for its architecture. A number of researchers in this field have in fact produced a relevant body of work, largely theoretical (most notably Varnelis, 2007; Varnelis, 2009; Shepard, 2011; CLOG, 2012; Donaghy, 2011), which can serve as our basis. Here we have a typology of these places coupled with a critical view of the energy, economic and esthetic issues they entail. For all that, very often these architects’ theoretical works remain focused on the issue of the Data Center as an architectural object and its insertion within a space, in connection with scales in the order of the building or the neighborhood. The issue of the design of the interface and interaction with the Cloud is thus deliberately overlooked. Moreover, this research does not address the question of usages, and approaches Cloud Computing as a generic object without taking the practices of users and other parties involved into account, whereas our project involves shifting the focus to a less massive dimension in order to tackle the issue of the different Cloud access interfaces, and their multiple, individual usages.

Then, in the field of digital design and creation, even though Cloud Computing is not a subject explicitly addressed, we can list the just a very few pieces of research on similar lines that have helped us. Thus “Dead Drops” by the German artist Aram Bartholl (USB smart drives inserted in walls or posts in the public space) may be considered as an occasional expedient for sharing data, with the street as an exchange venue. More adventurously, the “Sewer Cloud” critical design project by the designer Philipp Ronnenberg seeks to use the DNA of bacteria in sewers as storage space. It explores the symbiosis between various biological and computer infrastructures, while remaining largely impracticable as it stands. As regards the scientific method, we may also mention open source Cloud Computing approaches on which we could rely; these include OpenStack, OpenNebula, Reservoir and Ubuntu Cloud.

These few projects only serve to emphasize the need for a broader, more varied range of technically feasible projects that address Cloud issues in a holistic way, and do so while rooted in current usage and practice.

Lastly, from the standpoint of the theoretical basis, our main anchor point is the notion of creolization (Glissant, 1990). This term designates the unforeseeable outcome of placing in contact several distinct cultures in a part of the world that nonetheless remains conscious of belonging to the “Whole World”. It is used in areas as varied as artistic criticism, to refer to the birth of original movements not reducible to the sum of the elements under consideration (Bourriaud, 2009), and social science research in connection with the dissemination of information technologies (Bar et al., 2007). What makes this notion so rich with possibilities for our project is the fact that it offers a way of thinking adapted to current networking practices on the Internet and on the Web, on a global scale, in stark contrast with the centralized, hierarchical Cloud model. Both the circulation of cultural content (e.g. pieces of music, video clips, visual designs) and data produced by users and reassembled to create innovative digital interactions (e.g. displaying urban activity) are instances of such creolized hybridizations. The idea then is to take this reasoning further and use this concept and this “poetics of miscellany” as a guiding principle for outside-the-box Personal Cloud interfaces and spatialities.


What is the most appropriate approach?

In this project, which will look at the centralization at work in the production of these technological setups, we plan to study and reassess deterritorialized, nomadic lifestyles, with a view to devising alternatives to Personal Cloud “universal” interfaces and their underlying infrastructures. To do this, our methodology comprises the following two lines of thought:

An ethnographic approach rooted in an investigation into usage and practices. In concrete terms, in the manner of the current immersions within non-places (Augé, 1992), such as recent projects in connection with airports (Ulrberger, 2013), we propose literally to immerse ourselves in the Cloud, both in the physical sense (its infrastructure, the Data Center) and in a media-based manner (interfaces, networks, data). The project’s ethnographic dimension aims at gaining a more precise understanding of the place that these technologies occupy in individual people’s lives. By highlighting the diversity and complexity of usage, we shall be seeking to get away from the simplistic view currently encapsulated in existing infrastructures and interfaces.

A research-design approach (Léchot-Hirt, 2010) carried out on cross-disciplinary lines, associating the ideas and output of interaction designers (Ecal, Epfl-Ecal Lab, Head), architects (Epfl), scientists (Epfl-ecal lab) and classicists (Head, Epfl), thereby pursuing the collaborative method initiated in 2005 for the cross-disciplinary research project Variable Environment[xi], conducted jointly by Ecal and Epfl. So it is planned to have a series of workshops covering specific topics (see next section) and allowing alternation between moments for specialization and moments for cross-disciplinary work.

In addition to these two lines of thought, parallel to the project are two steps of lesser importance but which complement our approach: a) a read-only public blog documenting the progress of the projects and its outputs[xii] throughout the process (see below); b) an international advisory panel of peers from science and the arts[xiii] will be called upon from time to time to give us a critical appraisal of our own outputs. These peers are also free to respond to our blog by posting their comments, references and thoughts.

From the methodological standpoint, the first line of action will involve a field study aimed at highlighting cloud and deterritorialized mode usages. This study, and likewise, a review of the literature in the field, will provide the initial material to work with for the second line. The idea is then to create the below artefacts, giving concrete form to the different leads we are following from a creative design perspective:

-    The design of an inhabitable shelter/data center, developing potential for mobility (extensive camping) and combinable with other shelters, thereby pursuing this idea of territorial fragmentation. (Architecture, science)

-    The design of new interfaces and peripherals that develop the idea of travel and temporary roots (radicants), that reassess (or exorcise) the idea of “universalism” (as opposed to “diversalism”, creolization?). (Interaction design, science)

-    The selection of a set of exemplary combinations of these various propositions. (Interaction design, architecture, science, ethnography)

These artefacts will be produced in a succession of workshops both within our research team and students studying for a bachelor’s degree in “Media and Interaction Design” (ECAL) or a master’s in “Media Design” (HEAD). They will consist of various prototypes, fictions, demos and proofs of concept.

The project documentation to be produced on a blog page will be used both to overview the stages, summarize our process, put aside the main references and present the major outputs. The public, interactive nature of the blog will also help boost our productions while disseminating the work. This will be the first value enhancement of the project. In a second stage, the production of a print-on-demand book will provide a digest or overview of this documentation. This will then lead to the work appearing in a variety of publications (journal articles, conference papers, etc.)


What are the milestone stages?

-    Preamble, theoretical models, technical bases, orientations: “Data centers, data, cloud computing, nomadism, deterritorialization, creolization”

Target: adjustment of the theoretical tools, standards, various references and state-of-the-art update at project launch. Setting up of refined bases for further research. Setting up of a communication and watch tool (blog). During this phase, various design strategies will also be examined. In particular, the hypothesis of the Cloud as a way of assembling miscellaneous content (aggregation at multiple scales and on multiple timescales of services and/or spatialities, infrastructures and/or technologies) and its adequacy to creolizing thinking.

Output: Online blog, overview of the literature relating to Cloud usages and the alternative theoretical and engineering models left unexplored.

Participants: N. Nova (head), P. Keller (ecal), C. Guignard (ecal), C. Babski (developer), S. Carion (sysadmin), assistants (ecal, head)

Disciplines: ethnography, theory, design, science.

Duration: 6 months.


-    Ethnographic study and Workshop #1: “Deterritorialized”

Target: immersion, placement in a radical situation in a deterritorialized context. Observation.

For 5 days, surrounded by cloud services and immersed in deterritorialized artificial weather – Deterritorialized Living, I-Weather[xiv] –, a small group of participants live and document their fully deterritorialized lifestyle as evidence of utilization of the cloud and its infrastructures.) This team is the subject of an ethnographic study combining observation and interviews, with the aim of proposing a summary of usage issues, problems encountered and novel practices and social situations.

Participants: fabric | ch (speaker, guinea-pig), P. Keller (ecal), N. Nova (head).

Output: summary report on Cloud usage and living-related issues, while specifying promising design leads and problems.

Disciplines: interaction design, architecture, ethnography.

Duration: 1 to 5 weeks.


-    Workshop #2: “Radicant interfaces, functional and dysfunctional situations – (at HEAD-Geneva)”

Target: on the basis of the material gathered during Workshop 1, and that developed in the Preamble and the precise description of a context, the students develop individual screen and physical interfaces for the Personal Cloud.

Participants: speakers X, P. Keller (intro, ecal), N. Nova (intro, head), C. Guignard (intro, ecval), assistants (ecal, head), N. Henchoz (epfl-ecal lab), assistants (epfl-ecal lab), BA MID students (ecal).

Output: series of usage scenarios and prototypes.

Disciplines: interaction design, science.

Duration: 1 week.


-    Workshop #3: “Radicant interfaces, functional and dysfunctional situations – (at ECAL)”

Target: on the basis of the material gathered during Workshop 1, Workshop 2a, and that developed in the Preamble and the description of a context, the students develop individual screen and physical interfaces for the Personal Cloud.

Participants: speakers Y, N. Nova (intro, head), P. Keller (intro, ecal), C. Guignard (intro, ecal), MA Media Design students (head).

Output: series of usage scenarios and prototypes.

Disciplines: interaction design.

Duration: 1 week.


-    Workshop #4: “Living in the Cloud(s) – (at EPFL)”

Target: Focus on the reassessment of the data-center and its mockup, work on the scale of the “shelter” or “(computer) cabinet”, taking territorial issues into account, according to the principles under study, creation of a “cloud” data infrastructure that is habitable both physically and media-wise.

Participants: P. Keller (ecal), N. Nova (intro, head), D. Dietz (enac-epfl), C. Guignard (intro, ecal), N. Henchoz (epfl-ecal lab), assistants (ecal), assistants (epfl-ecal lab), MID students (ecal), architecture students (epfl)

Output: series of usage scenarios and prototypes.

Disciplines: interaction design, architecture, science


-    Workshop #5: “New setups”

Target: a week in which the outputs of the first four workshops are reviewed, assembled, disassembled, discussed.

Participants: P. Keller (ecal), N. Nova (head), C. Guignard (ecal), D. Dietz (enac-epfl), N. Henchoz (epfl-ecal lab), assistants (ecal), assistants (epfl-ecal lab), MID students (ecal), Media Design students (head), architecture students (epfl).

Output: series of usage scenarios and prototypes.

Disciplines: interaction design, architecture, science

Duration: 2 months.


-    Prototyping: “Prototypes, development, demos, proofs of concept”

Target: further elaboration of 3-4 prototypes up to the working level.

Participants : P. Keller (ecal), N. Nova (head), D. Dietz (enac-epfl), C. Babski (Computed· By), X (ecal-epfl lab), assistants (ecal), MID students (ecal), MID students (head)

Output: series of usage scenarios and prototypes.

Duration: 6 months.


-    Valorization #1: “Publications, conferences, exhibitions”

Targets: documentation, internal symposium, scientific publications, publications, lectures, exhibitions.

Duration: 1 year.


What are the outputs you hope to achieve?

The aim is to produce a selective body of proposals for alternative infrastructures, spatialities and interfaces for Personal Cloud Computing (PCC). It will be made up of usage scenarios with various different levels of expression (films, storyboards, small-scale model). Despite the speculative nature of these outputs, the most significant proposals will be taken to the stage of functioning prototypes, demos or scale-models that will be expressed in interfaces (tangible), micro-architectures, communicating objects, or even offerings on the territorial scale.




[i]      Above and beyond the engineering dimension that will provide the basis for our project.

[ii]     During our conversations with Prof. B. Falsafi (EcoCloud, EPFL), we were struck on noticing to what extent certain current Data Center models closely replicated those of factories during the industrial era. For example, Google’s setting up of a data center in a largely uninhabited part of Oregon (at The Dalles) amplified the growth of a small town which became heavily dependent upon this employer (following an “updated” model of the workers’ development).

[iii]    We may further note how the Cloud can exist at all kinds of physical levels: from the shared hard disk drive placed on a table or in a cell phone, to the industrial market refurbished to host virtualized servers, and taking in mobile structures mounted on vehicles or in containers – but which nonetheless all maintain their global outreach through the communications networks.

[iv]    It should be stressed that the project’s two main applicants can boast hands-on experience in this type of approach in the course of their private practice. Patrick Keller is a member of the fabric | ch group, whose work looks at the shared connections and issues of the digital and physical worlds. In particular, we may note here the current research in progress with Tsinghua University (Peking/Beijing) to be presented at the Lisbon Architecture Triennale (curator Beatrice Galilee): Deterritorialized Living (http://bit.ly/12mi1vC ) and Inhabiting the Computer Cabinet (http://bit.ly/15wVRXR). Nicolas Nova for his part is an active member of the Near Future Laboratory group and is a recognized specialist in the study of new technology-related usages and behaviors.

[v]     So by relying here on the notion of Creolization (Glissant, 1990).

[vi]    In the radical way of the mobile towns of Archigram, or in more concrete terms by taking inspiration from the infrastructures developed by Amazon (Amazon Perdix Container) for their own data centers or SGI’s (Ice Cube, Ice Cube Air, MobiRack).

[vii]    A French startup, Qarnot Computing, for instance is thinking of soon marketing a data center distributed in the form of radiators installed in private homes, the Q.rad – see http://www.qarnot-computing.com

[viii]   Notice also how for the development of this research we are taking on a network (advisory panel) of peers. Thus Prof. EPFL Babak Falsafi, an eco-manager and specialist in Cloud matters, with whom we have already conducted preliminary discussions, will be validating our scientific hypotheses. Several scientists (EPFL-ECAL Lab) will also be involved during the research process.

[ix]    Printed circuit in free material used to make free-standing interactive objects (rapid prototyping), or perhaps maybe connected to a computer to communicate with its software. Arduino was designed collaboratively by a group of designers, artists and applied arts school contributors.

[x]     Simplified programming language based on the Java language and enabling designers to take over the encoding tool.

[xii]    The blog that documented the Variable Environment project (cf. note 12) was then used to produce the “print on demand” selected edition, which enhanced the project at little expense, and a pdf version of which is still accessible online: http://sketchblog.ecal.ch/variable_environment /variable_env_screen_s.pdf

[xiii]   See Point 9. What is your team and what skills will its members be bringing to the project.

[xiv]   See http://www.i-weather.org and http.//www.deterritorialized.org (online 06.09.2013)




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