[ISEA2020] Paper: Hanif Janmohamed, Maria Lantin, Alex Hass, Renrong Guo & Devon Girard — Stonemaps: A Slow Intentional Network for Collective Sentience


Keywords: Intentional Networks, Slow Media, Gifting, Sharing Economy, Collaboration, Co-Creation, Dialogue, Physical Interfaces, The Commons

We present a framework to promote the formation of slow intentional networks with characteristics of gifting, dialogue, and collaboration. These networks are formed through the physical gifting of river stones that are hydrographically printed with maps and embedded with an NFC chip. When handed from one person to the next as a gift, a stone (through the scan of its NFC tag) opens a channel to its virtual network and asks the recipient to contribute to the intention of the network. This contribution can be of any type (voice, picture, text) and once gifted, becomes part of the collective knowledge of the network. The recipient is then tasked with gifting the stone to another. By introducing a physical stone as the mechanism for connection, this framework deliberately slows the traditional notion of social media networks and enforces a more considered personal, intentional interaction between the network constituents and their contributions. The intent is to blend the best of physical and virtual interactions towards deeper, more meaningful conversations that can collaboratively create, solve, and investigate – a kind of documented collective sentience, a network that can be deeply and reliably interrogated.

  • Hanif Janmohamed is based in Vancouver, Canada. He received his Masters in Industrial Design, with distinction from the Domus Academy in Milan. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, of Indian extraction and African roots, his current artistic practice centers around Geographies of Mind. His art and design work have been exhibited at venues such as The Design Museum, London, MOCA-LA; Milan Triennale; and the Vitra Museum. Mr. Janmohamed is the principal of Vanilla Five Creative Inc. a creative company.
  • Maria Lantin is the Director of the Basically Good Media Lab at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, Canada. She has a deep interest in space and movement both physical and metaphorical, and this is woven through her work in immersive media and interaction. She takes pleasure in scanning the technological horizon for trends in human fascination – what is grabbing our attention and why. Formative experiences include a BSc and PhD in Computing Science (Dalhousie University and Simon Fraser University), a wonderful stint at Mainframe Entertainment working on the first ever stereoscopic animation for the IMAX screen (it never made it to the screen but it was amazing), three fantastic years at the ground-breaking Banff New Media Institute’s Advanced Art and Technology (A.R.T) labs, and now heading into thirteen years at Emily Carr University. marialantin.com
  • Alex Hass is a multi-disciplinary artist, instructor and designer. Her creative practice investigates and adopts slow approaches to working with technology and communication. Core to her practice is investigating urban nature. Current projects fold nature into a conversation with technology that leads towards uncovering aspects of nature that can inform our changing humanness. Her design practice encompasses art direction, brand + book design as well as image creation. Alex studied at the Alberta University of the Arts (Calgary, Canada), received her bachelor’s degree in Visual Communication from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University and her masters in Applied Art, Media Stream from Emily Carr University. She has taught various aspects of design at ECU, SFU and BCIT for the past twenty years.
  • Harley//Renrong Guo (they/them), Digital Designer (new grad), Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, Canada, is a visual communication designer with experience in user-centered design and design research. They are passionate about visual storytelling and strive to create nuanced and meaningful visual identities, systems, and experiences. harleyguo.com
  • Devon Girard, Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, CA