The Smart Contracting in Public Spaces project is located within the Ambient Environments Constellation, and sets out to better understand the value constellations that occur between the stakeholders who inhabit and move through public urban environments.
From communicating with love ones to organising our finances, IoT technology enables us to perform an increasingly wide range of tasks on the move, and in a variety of public spaces. At the same time personal banking data will soon be opened up to third party use by the Open Banking Project, which will enable individuals’ greater choice on how to access and use their financial data in new and creative ways. Whilst we have found that transactions involving money form a small part of the total value transactions taking place everyday between individuals, the exchange of money plays a pivotal role in a large proportional of them, and provides a point of record around which other value exchanges are clustered. STiPS aims to better understand this, and explore how it might open up opportunities for new uses of transaction data in Fintech solutions. Observational studies have revealed the dynamics of connected micro-transactions, and we have extended the concept of connected value transactions to the broader context of the supply chain in two separate prototypes: the Bitbarista; an autonomous coffee machine that provides coffee and a vote for future coffee supplies in exchange for Bitcoin, and a chatbot that enables visitors to the Royal Highland Show to record and review their transactions journeys and the broader context of supply in a joined up way.
In conjunction with Edinburgh City Council Public Art Research Project
The Ethnobot was utilized to generate insights and reach a understanding of the project’s problem areas. The public art research project, which is supported by the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, investigates the key factors that influence public art practice in the city of Edinburgh, including funding, legislation, policy and planning as well as what needs to be in place to ensure that local settings are beneficial to the development of public art. There have been three strands of research. The first focused on deep interviews with Edinburgh City Council professionals, Directors of galleries in Edinburgh, Public Art Officers, Scottish Artists, and Academics from the University of Edinburgh. The focus was to open up and generate the focus towards pertinent questions that need to be asked. The second strand of research brought the same stakeholders together in a Design-led workshop to feel out tensions between parties and delineate a clear focus on the multiple issues involved with a public art commission. The Ethnobot was run and developed as a third phase of research designed from insights from the first two strands of research. Here key stakeholders were invited back to have a conversation in public space with a chatbot. They moved around three specific self chosen public works of art in a curated moment focused on transformative and contentious spaces, as well as problematizing the development of new works of art.