From Medien Wiki

Projektmodul / Project Module
Ontologies for Spatial Interactions
Instructor: Vertr.-Prof. Jason Reizner
Credits: 18 ECTS, 16 SWS
Capacity: max. 12 students
Language: English
Date: Plenum: Tuesdays, 13:30-17:00; Consultations by appointment
Location: Online/Marienstraße 7b
First Meeting: 17 October 2022, 13:30
(More information regarding the first meeting will be sent to accepted participants by email.)
BISON Course ID: [TBA]


A deep relationship with places is as necessary, and perhaps as unavoidable, as close relationships with people; without such relationships human existence, while possible, is bereft of much of its significance.

– Edward Relph, Place and Placelessness, 1976

At the convergence between deep learning, synthetic media, ambient computing and mixed realities, approaches to structuring and implementing physical interactions in platform environments require not only an attention to opaque probabilistic computational processes, but also the ability to identify, articulate and process relational, semantic and epistemological linkages between people, objects, place and space.

Building on discourse from disciplines including environmental social science, geomatics, information science and knowledge engineering, this project module will explore the spectrum between phenomenology and applied ontologies as an extension of human-machine interaction paradigms.

Through a series of lectures, workshops, readings and targeted discussions, participants will address topics including human and artificial intelligence, agent-based systems, detection and prediction methods, spatial interfaces, platform urbanism and smart citizenry, with a view towards creating and documenting a speculative prototype or interactive proof-of-concept.

Admission requirements

Enrollment in MKG/MAD MFA or MediaArchitecture MSc programs, or with instructor permission

Application and registration procedure

Application with CV and Statement of Motivation to jason.reizner [ät] uni-weimar.de


Successful completion of the course is dependent on regular attendance, active participation, completion of assignments and delivery of a relevant semester prototype and documentation. Please refer to the Evaluation Rubric for more details.

Eligible participants

MFA Medienkunst/-gestaltung, MFA Media Art and Design, MSc MediaArchitecture candidates

Platforms and Tools

This Wiki
BigBlueButton (only as necessary)
Cisco WebEx
Google Jamboard


Gieseking, Jen and Mangold, William, eds.
The People, Place and Space Reader

Barns, Sarah
Platform Urbanism: Negotiating Platform Ecosystems in Connected Cities

Costa, Simone et al.
"A Core Ontology on the Human-Computer Interaction Phenomenon"

Gabrys, Jennifer
Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet

Gehmann, Ulrich and Reiche, Martin, eds.
Real Virtuality: About the Destruction and Multiplication of the World

Haraway, Donna
Situated Knowledges: The Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective

Kitchin, Rob and Dodge, Martin
Code/Space: Software and Everyday Life

Krippendorf, Klaus
The Semantic Turn: A New Foundation for Design

Lippard, Lucy
The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multicultural Society

Nusselder, André
Interface Fantasy: A Lacanian Cyborg Ontology

Relph, Edward
Place and Placelessness

Ropolyi, Laszlo
"Virtuality and Reality: Toward a Representation Ontology"

Sa, Cristina
"Toward an Ontology of the Interface"

Semy, Salim et al.
"Ontology Engineering: An Application Perspective"

Stanley, Sue and Wise, Sue
Breaking Out Again: Feminist Ontology and Epistemology

Virilio, Paul
The Lost Dimension

Yahya, Manal and Dahanayake, Ajantha
"Augmented Reality for Human Needs: An Ontology"

Syllabus (subject to change)

18 October 2022 / Week 1
Course Organization
Administrative Housekeeping

Assignment: For next week, please review the preface and first chapter of An Introduction to Ontology by Nikk Effingham. Additionally, please be ready to talk about your preliminary project ideas for this semester.

25 October 2022 / Week 2
From Taxonomy to Epistomology

Assignment: Expanding on today's workshop "People, Objects, Spaces, Places, Actions, Experiences", use your choice of analog or digital tools to create a basic ontological structure for an environment or interaction context that you encounter in your daily life. Be ready to present your approach and discuss your design decisions in next week's meeting.

1 November 2022 / Week 3
Data, Information, Knowledge, Wisdom
Semantics, Information Science and Knowledge Engineering

Assignment: For next week, please experiment with translating the objects you identified in your ontological structure into a digital format using tools such as Eddy or Protege. Additionally, please review the text we discussed in class, "The wisdom hierarchy: representations of the DIKW hierarchy" by Jennifer Rowley.

8 November 2022 / Week 4
Code, Space and Place
Programmatic and Algorithmic Interventions

Assignment: For next week, please review the following readings: Information Behavior by Marcia J. Bates, Human Information Behavior by T.D. Wilson and "The Semantic Web" by Tim Berners-Lee et al. You should also be ready to discuss the current state of your project development for 10 minutes in the coming roundtable.

15 November 2022 / Week 5
Project Roundtable

Assignment: For next week, please review the following readings: "A Taxonomy of Mixed Reality Visual Displays" by Milgram and Kishino and "Claude E. Shannon: Founder of Information Theory" by Graham P. Collins. (For bonus points, have a look at Sun Ra's 1974 film Space is the Place...)

22 November 2022 / Week 6
Reality and Virtuality
Mixed Reality Lab

Assignment: TBA

29 November 2022 / Week 7
Midterm Presentations

Assignment: TBA

6 December 2022 / Week 8
Field Experiment
Observing and Sensing in the Built Environment

Assignment: TBA

13 December 2022 / Week 9
Platform Environments
Human Agency and Smart Citizenry

Assignment: TBA

20 December 2022 / Week 10
Independent Research

Assignment: TBA

10 January 2023 / Week 11
Radioactive Futures of Environmental Aesthetics
Guest Lecture with Prof. Mario Verdicchio (Berlin Ethics Lab/TU Berlin, University of Bergamo)

Assignment: Continue working on your semester projects.

17 January 2023 / Week 12
Field Experiment
Detection and Prediction at the Edge

Assignment: For next week

24 January 2023 / Week 13
Debug Lab

Assignment: Please finish preparing your final presentation (approx. 15 min.)

31 January 2023 / Week 14
Final Presentations I (Online)

7 February 2023 / Week 15
Final Presentations II (In Person)