Internet as an object
Program in Media Arts and Sciences (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
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This thesis lies in the intersection of three avenues: physical non-screen interfaces, storytelling promoting community connectedness and hyper-locality afforded by decentralization. The central question addressed is whether the design and underlying technology of entry points to a network change the way people interact with it and the experience they have. To explore this, I designed and engineered a set of playful physical objects which function as nodes of a hyper-local network. Information bestowed upon this network remains within these nodes, cryptographically secure, and accessible only to local community members who are aware of the network's existence and mode of operation. I successfully deployed this network in four locations across the MIT campus, where members of the MIT community could record and listen to audio messages using the physical objects. Given the choice, people engaged with the decentralized, closed network more than they did with the control (open) one. The messages collected by the former had a more positive sentiment score and their language was more personal than the control. This work is indicative, but not definitive, evidence that the suggested decentralized and closed network fostered a more positive and expressive discourse than its control counterpart.
Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, 2019Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 41-43).
DepartmentProgram in Media Arts and Sciences (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Program in Media Arts and Sciences