Integration of the natural and computational worlds

Signage Freshly updated signage in the woods above Sintra, Portugal. As if the green mousse has just been removed to paint these basic-but-elegant trekking signs.


These inspiring pictures echoes a lot with a research paper I recently read about how human computer interaction (HCI) had little explored everyday life and enriching experiences in rural, wilderness and other predominantly “natural” places. Entitled "Pursuing genius loci: interaction design and natural places, the paper by Nicola Bidwell and David Browning addresses the integration of the natural and computational worlds.

The pictures above are more precisely connected with one of the principles the authors discussed, there is the idea that "design must simultaneously fade into the background and provoke seeing natural places differently". This is IMO the role of this simple signage painted on rocks: not invasive, easy to understand and just in place. Which of course, leads to the debate of using technological means to support this.