Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 18, Issue 7, pp 1651–1665 | Cite as

Understanding the effects of contextual constraints on performative behaviour in interactive media installations

  • Luke HespanholEmail author
  • Martin Tomitsch
Original Article


In this article, we describe three interactive media installations, each evaluated in a distinctive environment. By following a research in and through design approach and studying the installations in public settings, we were able to identify an effect of contextual constraints—such as location, prominence of spectacle, length of interaction and spatial distribution of focal points—on the types of interactions encouraged through the installations. More specifically, we were able to formulate distinct content strategies for individual and group interactions while observing specific design parameters conducive to performative behaviour. We associate such parameters to three different categories of interaction with public media installations: performative interaction, ubiquitous interaction and a third hybrid scenario falling between those two, immersive interactions. We then present a framework for assessment of public interactive installations and key aspects to be considered when designing proactive contextual interventions in the public realm. Finally, we discuss how such aspects point to further investigation on formal principles underlying interactive experiences designed to facilitate specific levels of performance and spectacle.


Public Space Drone Water Mist User Session Contextual Constraint 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Design Lab, Faculty of Architecture, Design and PlanningThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

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