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Sounding Out Ethnography and Design: Developing Metadata Frameworks for Designing Personal Heritage Soundscapes

Ethnography has long been used within a variety of settings in order to articulate and understand the everyday worlds of work and leisure. This paper explores the use of auto-ethnography as a method for soundscape design in the fields of personal heritage and locative media. Specifically, the authors explore possible connections between digital media, space, and ‘meaning making,” suggesting how autoethnographies might help discover design opportunities for merging digital media and places. These are methods that are more personally relevant than those typically associated with more system-based design approaches that often are less sensitive to the way that emotion, relationships, memory, and meaning come together. As digital technologies are increasingly ubiquitous, there are new possibilities that allow people to self-design experiences that can be social, located, or mobile, spanning modalities and times. There is a suggestion that tangible interactive technologies might contribute to community-based (or intersubjective) narratives and foster participatory sense-making around such merging of place with media. As physical space and digital media become ever more intertwined, together forming and augmenting meaning and experience, there is a need for methods to explore possible ways in which physical places and intangible personal content can be used to develop meaningful experiences.

JAES Volume 66 Issue 6 pp. 468-477; June 2018
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