Hybrid Space

Networked
Space

Media networks (Internet, telephone, television etc.) are influencing and interacting with “real” places. The emerging space of digital information/communication flows is modifying not only our physical environment but also the social, economic and cultural organization of our societies in general[1].

The term “Hybrid Space” stands for the combinations and fusions of media and physical space. Hybrid spaces are the products of the alliances of physical objects and information/communication networks, of architectural and media space. Examples of such hybrid spaces are to be found everywhere in our daily lives, such as in the private (communication) spaces of mobile telephony creating islands of private space within public urban space or in the monitored environments where cameras keep watch over open urban space. Examples are to be found in our domestic environments, as our houses become increasingly “smart” and networked spaces: the fridge controlling the reserves of milk, the mobile phone letting us know that the oven was not switched off, the TV set ordering new movies, the workplace for working remotely being an integral part of the home…

Therefore, physical space and objects should not be looked at in isolation, but instead, considered in the context of and in correlation with the networked systems they belong to and with which they interact.

The concept of Hybrid Space does not only consider physical space in the context of and in correlation with the networked systems they belong to and with which they interact. The Hybrid Space focuses on methodologies to understand and develop in an integrated way the fusions of media space and physical place, these hybrid ambivalent spaces that are at the same time analog and digital, virtual and material, local and global, tactile and abstract.

[1] For a thorough analysis of the influences of ICT and media on society, economy and culture see: CASTELLS, M., 1996. The Rise of the Network Society. Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Inc..