Design Principles for Public Computing

People who work in well designed office spaces are more productive.  People who recuperate in well designed medical facilities heal faster.  Children who attend well designed schools are more likely to meet learning objectives.  What does a well designed public computing spaces look like?  Perhaps an even better question, what are the behaviors and objectives for which we are designing public computing spaces?

To fully participate in society today, it’s important to be able to engage in the three ‘Cs’ of Creativity, Curation, and Collaboration.  We don’t just consume content that others have produced, but we participate directly in the creative process in a range of ways.  And today, this process is done through collaboration with those in the same neighborhood as well as those spread across the world.  With such an abundance of information sources, it also becomes critical that everyone be able to curate the information they discover in their research, discerning its validity and salience to the question at hand.

This page provides a look at a range of design principles that are being developed based on observations of many different collaborative spaces incorporating technology including cafe’s, libraries, community centers, places of worship, and even outdoor spaces. Some of these ideas come from fields including architecture, library and information science, psychology, and marketing. But we hope that ultimately these prove to be very practical ideas for designs incorporating technology that lead to spaces that foster collaboration and creativity in advance of individual and community goals.

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