The digital city. Materiality and objects of urban communication culture within the age of digitalization.

Start date: 01.09.2018
End date: 31.08.2021
Funded by: BMBF (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung)
Local head of project: Prof. Dr. Elisabeth André Dr. llhan Aslan


digista_logo_webpage The aim of the DIGISTA project is to analyse the changing significance of the materiality of media technologies for communicative practices in public urban space. The object of analysis will be both the visible traces of public communication practice and their invisible material media infrastructure. The research network of DIGISTA is interdisciplinary and unites perspectives and institutions from communication science, architecture, cultural sociology, and computer science.


The chair of human-centred multimedia is participating within the subproject "Future scenarios for the augmentation of urban environments", in which objects of the urban environment are augmented to research new paradigms regarding their context of use and interaction concepts.


Future scenarios for the augmentation of urban environments

The significance of digital communication objects, in particular, is analyzed from two distinguishable, yet closely interwoven perspectives: On the one hand, the often invisible materiality of media infrastructures (e.g. sensors, cameras, telephone booths) is investigated. Invisible does not mean accessibility for sensual perception, but rather the inconspicuous, hidden and at least subordinate significance that these forms of materiality have in everyday life. On the other hand, visible and present communication objects and symbols are examined for their regulative functions and interaction contexts. Four subprojects examine communication objects and media technologies in urban space.

Research questions

The Human-Centered Multimedia Lab will specifically investigate future scenarios of the augmentation of urban space and address the following research questions:
1. Which factors influence the relationship in interactions of people with augmented objects?
2. How can the learning capacity of technologies and Augmented Reality be used to address problems in the negotiation of usage rules with medially augmented objects in public space?
3. How will users experience interactions with medially augmented objects in public space in the future?


Augsburg University
Museum for Architecture Schwaben/TU Munich
Leipzig University