Online Game Demonstrates Where Urban Dwellers Seek Privacy In Cities

Online Game Demonstrates Where Urban Dwellers Seek Privacy In Cities

BMW Guggenheim Lab's Public/Private creates unique visual graphs of where people think they are alone.

Emma Hutchings
  • 5 april 2013

A new online game from BMW Guggenheim Lab called Public/Private explores the topic of privacy in cities by focusing on where it is sought out by city dwellers. Users pin areas where they seek privacy and how often, creating a unique visual graph that can be compared with results from other people in the same city, as well as from cities around the world.

Public/Private is an extension of two research projects conducted over the past seven months as part of the BMW Guggenheim Lab Mumbai. These explored the meaning and character of privacy for residents of one of the world’s most densely populated cities.

Online Game Explores Privacy In Our Cities

Public/Private, which was designed and developed by the New York-based design studio Collective Assembly, invites users to share their expectations of privacy as experienced in a variety of spaces, like home, work, and play. The responses produce a visual graph and as more feedback is gathered, a complex picture of privacy in urban settings will emerge. David van der Leer, curator of the Mumbai Lab, said:

During the last two years, the BMW Guggenheim Lab’s programs have encouraged people to take an active role in shaping their cities, but just as important may be the ability of city dwellers to find a sense of privacy within their urban environment. The privacy studies initiated by the Mumbai Lab sparked a reimagining of how we think about and use precious public space in cities, and now, with the launch of our new interactive feature, we can open up the conversation to many other cities around the world.



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