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Eindhoven Cloud Atlas Report December 2016


Arup Digital Studio for Gemeente Eindhoven & Het Nieuwe Instituut

Cloud Atlas About this document Arup, Gemeente Eindhoven and Het Nieuwe Instituut recently designed and delivered a workshop focused on Woensel Noord in Eindhoven, exploring the use of data in order to better understand contemporary social dynamics, in turn in order to better understand how to transform the physical environment, via digital and other means. This document describes the outcomes of the workshop, highlighting key elements of the process, and indicating some potential next steps. These next steps would ideally include developing one or two of these ideas into a working prototype, situated in Woensel Noord and co-created with local stakeholders, from the likes of Woonbedrijf to the local community.

Design is not about products. Design is about relationships ... Design requires a constant research of new idioms, a battle against presuppositions, a push of the limits, and the continual refinement of responses to fundamental questions. Hella Jongerius & Louise Schouwenberg The magic of the street is the mingling of the errand and the epiphany. Rebecca Solnit

Outcomes Below, a high level summary of the sketches for Cloud Atlas, developed by the studio participants. These are unpacked in more detail later.

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The Greeters

Roomsel Noord

Understanding Service

A physical/digital service layer

A retrofit service, as an extension of

An organisational and data strategy

intended to reinforce and amplify

Woonconnect, aimed at enabling more

that can coherently develop strategic

social connections in neighbourhoods,

fluid and productive use of shared and

interventions based on innovative use

and particular those aimed at elderly

private space within Woensel Noord,

of fluid and ephemeral data, comprising

residents in Woensel Noord. Based

connecting ‘independent workers’ with

multidisciplinary teams and data mining/

around intermediaries, and exchanging

‘empty nesters’, for the benefit of both.

scraping activities as well as strategic

skills and chores.

and service design processes.

It is recommended that all three sketches are combined and taken forward in a further development exercise run by the core partners in this first Cloud Atlas workshop, and perhaps focused on Roomsel Noord and the accompanying Understanding Service.

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Arup Digital Studio for Gemeente Eindhoven & Het Nieuwe Instituut

The idea Cloud Atlas is a notional platform, devised in order to make tangible the potential of diverse datasets to better understand contemporary social dynamics, in turn in order to better understand how to transform the physical environment, via digital and other means. As a ‘design probe’, it attempts to flush out what kind of insights and applications might be focused on a place—in this case, Woensel Noord—as well as understanding what processes, cultures and skillsets would be required to develop, work with, and exploit such platforms and services. In order to begin to better understand the potential of such a platform, Arup and Het Nieuwe Instituut devised and facilitated a two-day designled workshop in Eindhoven, November 2016.

Summary of the workshop

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Thanks to thoughtful, engaged and creative contributions from the participants, the workshop teams sketched out several notional services, each of which would be of huge benefit to Woensel Noord, and Eindhoven more broadly. Each service was grounded, entirely achievable and yet subtly innovative, and each addressed genuine issues for the city. Even given the short timeframe the teams had to work with, the services described were carefully designed, and felt like plausible solutions. Each could be prototyped relatively quickly, and at low cost, yet each could generate multiple sources of value: social, cultural, financial, environmental, political and otherwise. In terms of ‘smart cities’, each was a holistic approach to civic innovation, fusing both digital and physical aspects together harmoniously, and focused unequivocally on the use of digital for public good. Each service involved an approach to data imagined in the original conception of Cloud Atlas (see below) yet crucially each moved beyond ‘mere data’ to envisage a holistic service which could actually manifest itself in the social, cultural and physical reality of Woensel Noord. In short, the ideas concerned not simply data, but action. We recommend moving forward with one of the applications—Roomsel Noord is most appropriate—which would also entail developing the supporting Understanding/Application Service. A development of this application would entail a series of design-led workshops, including local stakeholders such as Woonbedrijf as well as Gemeente Eindhoven, as well as members of the local community in Woensel Noord. A project team comprising members of Arup’s London and Amsterdam teams, working with students from Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Het Nieuwe Instituut and the strategic design team of Gemeente Eindhoven, could work for a combined client of Woonbedrijf and Gemeente Eindhoven. This would balance local capacity building with international expertise.


Arup Digital Studio for Gemeente Eindhoven & Het Nieuwe Instituut

Background to Cloud Atlas The ‘Cloud Atlas’ concept originated in a State of Eindhoven session during April 2016. It was imagined as a way of collating and visualising ephemeral social media, ‘sharing economy’ data and related data sets (cellphone data, for example) in order to better understand the complex dynamics and patterns of today’s society, and particularly to better understand how its built fabric might respond. It may provide a way of connecting an understanding the ‘hardware’ of Woensel Noord’s built fabric with the ‘software’ of social interactions, patterns and groupings—as such, it points to the potential of a more holistic approach to planning, participation and governance. Cloud Atlas could provide an informative and constructive counterpoint to existing ‘official’ datasets, as well as to the Woonconnect retrofit programme’s on-the-ground activity, and potentially provide a new way of ‘watering data deserts’, to borrow Albert Jan Kruiter’s phrase. Indeed, such a platform could help identify, nourish and propagate various ‘data oases’ amidst the deserts.

Process This was a two-day studio run at Designhuis, Eindhoven, on 24/25 November 2016. Arup and HNI devised a diverse group of participants in order to ensure multiple perspectives around the table. The studio started with two ‘download’ sessions. The first was context from workshop facilitators: »» Contextual background from Linda Vlassenrood of HNI concerning the dataStudio programme, followed by a discussion of the broader context of smart cities and digital services from Dan Hill of Arup

Then local participants added to the contextual background by sharing relevant work from their respective organisations and initiatives. Their presentations included: »» Gemeente Eindhoven (smart city programme) »» Robbert de Mug (urban issues and the Eindhoven 2030 plan) »» Gabrielle van Asseldonk (dashboard and vision on housing) »» Mark van der Net (Open Source City) »» Gemeente Eindhoven / Woonbedrijf »» Henri Koolen (local context of Woensel Noord) »» Joyce Hijdra (local context of Woensel Noord and Woondedrif work)

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After these scene-setting presentations, the Arup team led the group through a diverse set of case studies, running from data visualisations through to digital services, from new forms of co-housing through to shared infrastructure. Discussion was encouraged throughout, with some clear themes and areas of interest immediately emerging from the group. A framework emerged to help frame the discussion, in which data enables informed insight, yet with the intention not merely of insight—but


Arup Digital Studio for Gemeente Eindhoven & Het Nieuwe Instituut

of action, which implies supporting hardware. That hardware, and the action upon it, in turn generates data, which powers further insights. This extends a typical smart city focus on ‘data’ into a more action-oriented framework—data is no use in and of itself; our framework forces a focus on informed action, which must ultimately be the point. Furthermore, we wish to understand how hardware—such as housing, infrastructure, public space and other kinds of technologies—enables new kinds of actions. After these contextual sessions, which were repeated briefly at the beginning of day two, the groups worked through a series of templates enabling them to sketch versions of ‘Cloud Atlas’, focused on use cases and key issues for Woensel Noord and Eindhoven, and a series of more practical questions. The rhythm established was working in groups, mixed to ensure a variety of perspectives, and then playing back to the wider group for constructive critique.

Key issues established While many topics were discussed, several key themes emerged from the discussion of context and case studies. These were shared or primary areas of interest, either in terms of data and technology, or the forms of insight they might enable, or new forms of practice implied by these potential advances. These issues included: »» Data on use of public space and use of shared space (cellphone data) »» Use of vacant space, including temporarily vacant within buildings such as residential »» Understanding new working patterns »» Understanding living patterns (including the possibility of working with local retailers, such as IKEA, to explore data) »» Understanding mobility patterns (drawing data from ondemand transit as well as from public transport) (mobility data, including via cellphone data) »» Understanding the possibility of health data for use in built environment »» Understanding how open data platforms to spur innovation (and how to ensure civic/public value is retained/maximized from public data) »» Understanding ephemeral datasets, such as social media, in order to understand diverse living patterns »» How to develop holistic services, not stuck in existing governance silos.

Three sketches of Cloud Atlas Overleaf, the three ‘sketches’ of Cloud Atlas are presented. Each takes a different perspective on the notional platform.

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Arup Digital Studio for Gemeente Eindhoven & Het Nieuwe Instituut

group one

the greeters: aging-in-adigital-place. Summary This group wanted to develop a fundamental idea: solutions to bind social fabric. The issue of social fabric had emerged throughout our discussions, due to the complexities involved in neighbourhoods dealing with change: social, cultural, demographic, political and otherwise. Additionally, we’d heard about Woonbedrijf’s new homes aimed largely at elderly residents, which benefited from shared courtyards and shared gardens. A ‘greeting service’ emerged in this situations, in which members of the neighbourhood act as a form of social glue. The aim was to strengthen and formalise hyper-local community structures by supporting these community ‘intermediaries’. These might be the kind of intermediaries that tend to emerge organically, but this iteration of Cloud Atlas focused on the ability to explicitly recognise and value these activities, yet by intervening subtly so as not to compromise informal social fabric. While such communities can and do benefit from an supporting online platforms, physical interaction was seen as critical to genuinely reinforcing and nurturing social fabric. The idea of being personally welcomed into the community with a cake, for example, was not seen as unnecessary frivolity, but recognised as an important way of bridging potential social divisions, adding to a sense of shared communal spaces, and linking online-community with tangible community actions. Once residents were welcomed by such a ‘greeter’, skill-sharing was identified as a means for further supporting hyper-local community, extending the ability for people to ‘age-in-place’, or to ‘age-in-a-digital-place’. Here, if carefully codesigned, Cloud Atlas might manifest itself as a digital service with the potential to unite communities, as opposed to social media silo-ing people in self-selected, likeminded ‘bubbles’. Thus, a particular need was identified to include the elderly, who can often be at risk of loneliness and social exclusion—yet this must work with their existing digital habits, including requiring them to engage in digital platforms themselves. Articulating this principle, the group described such a digital/physical combination service, in which elderly residents could occasionally perform the role of ‘parcel collector’ for fellow residents, families, students, and professionals who increasingly use online retail services. In return, beneficiaries could exchange services with these older residents collecting parcels for them—such as gardening, DIY, cooking, amateur IT support, understanding bills, transport to appointments, companionship at leisure activities, or equivalent. These activities, if ‘magnified’ via informal coordinating platforms, could increase the amount of regular social interactions with their neighbours. In effect, this uses the excuse of a parcel to bring people together, enabling further gestures of goodwill to be generated in return. Great care would have to be taken so as not to inadvertently damage natural social fabric via a sense that such acts were being commoditised. This would be an obvious flaw in any attempt to measure and ‘account for’ these exchanges. Yet cocreation with communities, such as those the group discussed in Woensel Noord, with a multidisciplinary team, could mitigate against this. The advantage of better enabling and tracking such activities is not only in stimulating action—though recalling our model, this would be the core goal—but also in better understanding these activities in the first place. This is Cloud Atlas as action and insight, via data. Page 6 of 17

This is housing for elderly residents as part of a broader mixed community in Drøbak, Norway, designed by Haptic architects. How could such schemes change in order to foreground shared services and activities between residents and neighbours?

During the workshop, we heard about the informal social interactions taking place at Ikea. It’s worth noting that it is something of a global phenomenon, and should be a site of further research and activity in Eindhoven.

It is reminiscent to some extent of Clay Shirky’s idea of ‘cognitive surplus’, but in this case, utilising and encouraging a kind of ‘social surplus’.


Arup Digital Studio for Gemeente Eindhoven & Het Nieuwe Instituut

group two

roomsel noord. Summary This idea emerged from all three groups, but was most developed by the group working up the ‘Roomsel Noord’ idea. In effect, this would be a retrofit programme like Woonconnect, but for space and activity, not simply energy efficiency. It would unlock a spatial efficiency across Woensel Noord instead, but perhaps more importantly, new forms of social and economic value could be generated. It would enable a new idea of space as a fluid connector across neighbourhoods, enabling various social connections and patterns within what are effectively the same spaces. Instead of these houses representing static forms, inert structures frozen in an old idea of the neighbourhood and its inhabitants, the houses become an open platform, balanced between their original meaning in the past, and their potential uses in future. Crucially, that balance is calibrated by the residents themselves. Our fictional user, Edith, can enable her family home to continue to respond to her personal needs, and those of her family, whilst also sharing aspects of it with her neighbourhood. The value generated in that sharing is financial—enabling her to stay in her home—but also social; by dissolving the walls between houses, and between houses and the street, the community is able to connect in new ways. The system itself was developed in some detail, over the course of a few hours. Key data needs were identified (number of people working from home in Woensel Noord; connectivity patterns; basic demographics; presence of co-working facilities or equivalent, and so on.) The group discussed in high level the architectural and spatial implications in retrofitting houses to enable transient access to aspects of a house, by members of such a local community service. Security was discussed, as well as the emotional resonance of converting a family home to a business/ community space, even if temporarily. It was suggested that certain areas, and building types, are more obvious starting points than others. Signage announcing the presence of the system, and available space, would need to be subtle, mobile and in character—and part physical, part digital. Overall, such a system would need both physical and digital touchpoints. There could be additional need for supporting infrastructure, such as shared vehicles across the community. Some analysis of the number of homes, number of employed residents, and percentage of 65+ residents, was conducted. Again, this idea exemplified the Cloud Atlas principle of generating new data—there is little deep understanding either of the problem (empty nesters x rent increases) and the opportunity (the amount of informal home-working and selfemployed activity occurring)—but via creating new social interactions and physical activity. Similar ideas were devised relating to the ‘Understanding Service’ sketch (overleaf), concerning how physical space might be more broadly shared. This aspect seemed the most compelling component of Cloud Atlas, at least concerning its physical interventions—it could become a genuinely powerful extension of Woonconnect, concerning the social, cultural and economic fabric of Eindhoven, as well as its energy performance; equally, it suggests approaches to several key problems for both Woonbedrijf and Gemeente Eindhoven. It generates new and meaningful data, but predicated on co-created activity within communities, and the link to their physical infrastructure.

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The percentage of independent working (freelancers, self-employed, small startups and equivalent) in Eindhoven’s working population is likely to continue to rapidly increase—as is the number of elderly residents.


Arup Digital Studio for Gemeente Eindhoven & Het Nieuwe Instituut

group three

understanding service. Summary After the other two groups focused on service propositions (the ‘what’), the third group focused on the mechanisms (the ‘how’). After exploring similar concepts to Roomsel Noord, applied across a broader range of spaces including green space, public space, shared space such as pavements, and homes themselves, the group thought it best to focus on how such services might be realised, and the organisational capabilities and forms required to produce them. Hence, the idea of the Understanding Service and the Interventions Service. These two notional organisational elements are sketched out to indicate the kind of skillsets, attitudes and processes required to generate and deliver ideas such as Greeters or Roomsel Noord, and a broader Cloud Atlas platform that could underpin them. The group initially explored similar ideas of shared space and amenity, such as Roomsel Noord, but extended to include public space (such as squares and shared parks) as well as infrastructure (such as shared vehicles—speculating as to the potential of autonomous shuttles for areas like Woensel Noord.

The group also briefly explored the multiple kinds of ‘shared value’ (after Michael Porter’s notion of shared value) being generated by such services.

Additionally, we explored the different kind of datasets implicated in the idea of Cloud Atlas in more detail. These included: »» ‘Soft information’ (such as feedback from Woonbedrijf maintenance staff; collation and analysis of activities by Gemeente Eindhoven’s strategic design function; feedback from Buro Cement; information garnered from community facilities such as schools and sports clubs, as well as from neighbourhood centres and so on.) »» By co-designing and building a Hallo Woensel ‘neighbourhood app’, akin to Page 8 of 17


Arup Digital Studio for Gemeente Eindhoven & Het Nieuwe Instituut

Gebiedonline’s Hallo Ijburg web service, further information could be gleaned (both qualitative and quantitative.) »» ‘Scraping’ of data from various social sources (e.g. Gebiedonline, Mumsnet, Whatsapp, 040goedbezig, Peerby, Nudge, NextDoor, Facebook, Twitter etc.) »» Formal information (e.g. Buurtmonitor, CBS Urban Data Centre, UVV dashboard etc.)

These data sets could be collected and combined in a form of digital ‘mixing chamber’, in order to provide new forms of analysis. The kind of team that could collate such data and derive such analysis—AKA the Understanding Service—would include multidisciplinary combinations of the following: »» Data scientist »» Strategic design/service designer »» Behavioural psychologist/social geographer/sociologist »» Urbanist »» Philosopher (of technology and/or place) »» ‘Active citizens’ representing the neighbourhood involved

This ‘Understanding Service’ moves from analysis to synthesis, formulating possibilities for interventions—yet crucially, this multidisciplinary unit is short of a few disciplines. The group felt that, in order to remain open to breakthrough ideas at this point, it should not attempt to include particular legislative, policy or finance expertise at this stage. However, in order for potential projects or activities to be developed, a separate group, dubbed the Interventions Service, is required, which comprises combinations of the following skillsets and aptitudes. Note that several of the key positions are in both Understanding Service and Interventions Service—it is envisaged that at least the strategic/service design and active citizens are consistent members of both groups, and so move from Understanding to Intervention, carrying the initial vision with them. So the skillsets of the Interventions service looks like: »» Strategic design/service designer (carried forward from Understanding phase) »» Urbanist (carried forward from Understanding phase) »» Craft skills appropriate to the domain of the project e.g. some combination of coder, interaction designer, architect, industrial designer, urban planner, communications/ media strategy »» Finance/business expertise »» Legislative/policy expertise »» Social workers »» ‘Active citizens’ (carried forward from Understanding phase)

In addition to the various forms of data described earlier, these two functional units describe the kind of disciplines involved. In terms of process, the group discussed deploying contemporary strategic design and service design techniques, allied to agile software development methodologies and various forms of design research and design prototyping. This is quite different to typical public sector or even architectural methods, yet the emphasis on integrative strategic design approaches means that it is substantially more appropriate than simply borrowing the playbook of digital sector and throwing it at complex civic environments. With the Understanding Service, this group devised a sketch of a methodology as regards data, and a multidisciplinary organisational unit, that would enable services such as Greeters or Roomsel Noord to be coherently developed. In reality, all three sketches could be developed into a single project devising and constructing Cloud Atlas for Eindhoven. The key issues established in the workshop, and listed area, are complex, and very real. They cannot be solved by committee, policy or academic analysis. Only by attempting to create new services such as Cloud Atlas can Eindhoven forge new ways of addressing these issues. Page 9 of 17


Arup Digital Studio for Gemeente Eindhoven & Het Nieuwe Instituut

Recommendations recommendation

recommendation

The sketches successfully indicate that the Cloud Atlas platform has potential for Eindhoven, and Woensel Noord in particular. Each group quickly located meaningful ideas, drawn from the contextual presentations as well as local knowledge. It is recommended that the three sketches are combined into a development project, working with largely the same partners, in order to create Cloud Atlas.

In particular, moving forward with the shared services/amenities aspects sketched in the workshop—and developed most thoroughly in Roomsel Noord—would make sense. It is recommended that Het Nieuwe Instituut coordinate a further development sprint of one of these aspects, primarily with student practitioners (from Fontys University, for example) augmented by Arup Digital Studio’s expertise, and working with Woonconnect. This would enable a rapid and cost effective way of producing detailed prototypes.

recommendation

recommendation

Developing Roomsel Noord, or equivalent prototype concerning other shared spaces or amenities in Woensel Noord, would also imply booting up the Understanding Service to some extent, including both data and organisation. It is recommended that this organisational design activity is coordinated by Het Nieuwe Instituut and Arup, working with Gemeente Eindhoven’s strategic design function (organisation and method), Woonbedrijf (stakeholder and local knowledge) and Open Source City (data and code.) An agile governance function should be created to coordinate the development activity above.

It is clear that the Cloud Atlas workshop quickly opened up new themes that could augment Gemeente Eindhoven’s approaches to smart city, smart infrastructure and smart society. The human-centred approach was felt by all workshop participants to be an important addition to existing programmes in Eindhoven. It is recommended that both the approach of these Cloud Atlas activities is integrated into the official smart society programmes. A rapid strategic review—by Arup Digital Studio or some equivalent firm—could achieve this for Eindhoven.

Overall

Coordination

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Development

Integration


Arup Digital Studio for Gemeente Eindhoven & Het Nieuwe Instituut

Selected photos from the workshop

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Arup Digital Studio for Gemeente Eindhoven & Het Nieuwe Instituut

Selected photos from the workshop

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Arup Digital Studio for Gemeente Eindhoven & Het Nieuwe Instituut

Selected photos from the workshop

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Arup Digital Studio for Gemeente Eindhoven & Het Nieuwe Instituut

Selected photos from the workshop

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Arup Digital Studio for Gemeente Eindhoven & Het Nieuwe Instituut

Selected photos from the workshop

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Arup Digital Studio for Gemeente Eindhoven & Het Nieuwe Instituut

Selected photos from the workshop

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Profile for DATAstudio

Eindhoven Cloud Atlas - Report December 2016  

Eindhoven Cloud Atlas - Report December 2016  

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