The promising development of mobile computing and media technology emerges locative media these years. In addition to anthropogeography and place research, traditional geosemiotics are now paid much attention again and expanded to cyberspace. Instead of entering cyberspace on a desktop computer, people come back to the physical space to participate cyberspace, to perform social interaction, to interpret geosemiotics, to plan and participate flash action, to see and to interpret these cyberspace-linked action in the physical world. From the perspective of physical world, semiotics plays the roles of representation, communication, interpretation, and signification in the social action. Icons symbols, and indexical signs in physical environment are important for social actors to follow and interpret interaction order.
In addition, from the perspective of virtual world, semiotics was adopted to human-computer interface design. The desktop metaphor in the famous “windows” operation system, has borrowed rules and principles of semiotics design. Moreover, by the concept of “direct manipulation”, digital space has developed unique behavior of semiotics manipulation. This might include double-clicking on a hard-disk icon to represent “opening” this hard-disk and dragging a CD icon to the trash can to represent “ejecting” the CD.
Therefore, there is a semiotics system respectively for physical world and virtual world, to represent, communicate, and interpret the objects in the corresponding world. It is not often that one semiotics system indicates the other world. However, as the pervasion of mobile technology and virtual reality, an urban space mixed with virtual and physical worlds is emerging in our living space.
This project explores the essence of semiotics and space, and extending the physical and virtual properties of these two. Analyzing various possible situations, we’ll discover the potential situations and design the corresponding direct manipulation of semiotics. This project will result in design of mixed semiotics, to represent and indicate the interaction behavior in a mixed space.
Keywords: interaction design, semiotics, direct manipulation, physical interaction, augmented reality, geosemiotics, situation awareness, virtual reality, urban computing