Reaching toward the final design of the first Expolab exhibition

During the months of April and May, Expolab team has been working hard on getting the final design of the first exhibition “From the contemplation of participation, and beyond.” Our starting point was the modules chosen by the general public: Connections, photography, digital sky, the bank of ideas and what is your opinion about security, and from there, we have worked on the details and the homogeneity of the whole exhibition.

This is an idea of the how the seven modules will look:

From now on we will start the construction work, and finally, we will see how the contribution of many people is embodied in a physical exhibition!

However, do not think that participation has come to an end, there are still many stages where we need ideas, requests, suggestions of all the people who are following this project. We will let you know all the activities we are planning in order to develope activities, courses and events around this exhibition as soon as we know the dates…

The opening day is getting closer and that makes us be very exited… At the moment, we can celebrate that we have a final design!


Working with the winning designs for a coherent exhibition

During the months of April and May, Expolab team is working hard to make the most votes prototypes generated digitally in a virtual world like Second Life. The idea is to create an exhibition that makes a short tour on the science, the technology and the humanity behind the changes that Internet and new technologies has generated in our lives. However, we want to build an exhibition with more than one way of reading it and we will ask visitors to propose their personal route and even to tell us how  they would use the space for creating activities and workshops around this contents.

We show you some images of this process and we look forward to hearing from you!


We have a winner!

Today we have organized the voting session at Citilab and online to find out which  proposal the most popular. The polls are now closed! People could vote either via the blog (in Catalan, Spanish and English) or in situ at Citilab using the platform located  to  After adding up all votes (114 total) the winner is…  Maria Bobes, with her design proposal  proposed “Connections“!

If you want to feel closer to what happened today, listen to the following audio tracks:

  • Irene Lapuente explaining what proposal has won and what will happen afterwards with it
  • Maria Bobes talking about her views before knowing the results (in Spanish).

We leave these tracks for you to listen  and we go to celebrate. We have a lot of work to homogenize  all proposal because we have to start building the physical exhibition very soon!


Proposals night

Tonight has been very active, almost looked like the Christmas night. We woke up, and there were 5 new proposals that filled the projects folder on the website at the Tech Museum. We will briefly describe and explain them to you and we’ll continue working in order to have everything ready to start voting today from 22 pm on, local time in Barcelona.

Memory Launch

Memory Launch is an installation that suggests sending memories in video or photo format from any place in Citilab to the  friends of the visitors. These friends  are in different places, outside  Citilab.

The Internet has changed the way we share memories in that we can almost “transmit” them to people who are far away. Memories are shared by photo and video but also by souvenirs… Send them to your friends (or to home) from this cube! How does this change the notion of memory versus what it is happening now?

These ideas was proposed by Kyle Walker.

Message Modes

This cube explores and tests the experience of three different types of communication. It allows visitors to send messages to someone else on the other side of the cube by using three means: writing, chat, and videoconferencing. Visitors can observe and enjoy their experiences using these types of communication. Which one is faster? Is there any difference in how we communicate using a medium or another?

This proposal was made by Bob Ketner.

Dynamic Docuverse

The “docuverse” is a concept that was coined by Ted Nelson in 1974 when he conceptualized the Internet as a centralised source of information. Now, the Internet allows documents to be  changing forever, and many versions of a document may exist across the Internet.  Besides that, documents themselves change as we edit them in multi-user platforms. The Internet now allows us to have such  documents that  are aso dynamic that the concept of what a document is is put into question. This cube discusses how  collaborating on a document in real time changes our conception of documents in general.

This proposal was made by Bob Ketner.

The world is flat

On a computer screen, the world is flat. It is in this flat world where people connect and visit various places through videos, images, text, etc… In this module the visitor can use four touchscreens. Each screen offers him or her several options: Google Earth, Google Images, YouTube and a webcam, and visitors are free to travel in two dimensions around this flat world and share it with others.

This proposal belongs to Huodig Nguyen.

Future workspace

This installation represents a preview of a workstation of the future. It shows how different employees will use the same window. Each table will have a set of screens placed in a circle and so people will be able to work in different projects.

This was one of the first proposals, which has finally been documented  by Daffodil Yuhara.

Tonight you will be able to vote!

You see, this is a box of surprises! Stay in touch with us and we look forward to receive your votes on-line or accompanying us tomorrow, Thursday April, the 8 starting at 17h, in Citilab. Remember that at 18:30 pm (local time in Barcelona) we will close the votes space,  so do not miss it!


Stay with us, there are still some new projects coming in!

There are two days left to vote what is the design you like the most of all the proposals we have received during these weeks. Yesterday we published a post explaining all the projects we received so far … but today we woke up with a new proposal!

Jose Maria Marimon has sent us a proposal of a generic design that includes the aesthetic and conceptual definition of the entire exhibition. He proposes a conceptual and aesthetic thread for all the modules. The current contents of each module are simulated. To obtain this proposal, he studied the basic concepts that lie inside computing and the Internet:

The code: Binari Code

The essence of the Internet is digitization. All information contained on the Internet is made up of zeros and ones. The binary code is code that is written on, manages and stores all information on the Internet. Without the binary scanning process would not exist much of today’s technology, much less Internet.

The channel: The Net

Internet Moreover, the Internet network is built upon a digital communications protocol called TCP-IP. This is based on the packaging and transmission of information through standardized packages. The format of these packets is always the same, and within these packages are the data. To put it more simply, the messages are evenly divided and transmitted one after another. The receiver receives the packets and restores the original message. On the Internet all information is sent through TCP-IP.

The content: The Image.

The third concept which is built on the aesthetics of the proposed exhibition is the pixel. All images are digitized and are made of pixels. Pixels are the smallest unit of which digital images are built. The images are not more than a million stored color rectangular packages. Therefore we can also think that the images are divided and packed package infinity.

From three concepts (binary code, packaging information, and the nature of pixelated digital images) he has come to imagine each of the modules built 2m x 2m, in turn, with  0.5 m square cubes that could be placed and customized according to our convenience.

This same solution could be adopted in all communication materials, including those containing audio-visual exhibition and he made a nice example of it:

Meanwhile, other projects have also appeared in Second Life without any documentation. Unfortunately we can not consider as valid those proposals that do not contain a picture and a description … Therefore, we encourage all those who have participated, but who have reach halfway, to finish entering  the  necessary data… There is just one day left to do it, so don’t hesitate!!


The proposals are getting ready to be voted!!

Easter Holidays ended, and with them, the deadline for submitting designs to the first exhibition organized by the Expolab project. For nearly two months, designers and fans around the world have contributed their ideas and suggestions via the Web and Second Life in the virtual space Citilab has built within the Tech Virtual Museum of California island on Second Life. So far, we have collected ten complete proposals which include the design and full description of the corresponding idea and its realization. We also received six other proposals that  are still in the making.

This post wants to share with you all of them as a warming up for the voting day. The vote will take place on April  8th. We’ll wait for your at 5 pm at the Citilab entrance hall. Try not to miss the drinks and the atmosphere we will enjoy in this meeting!. However. if you cannot make it, and  as we want to leave no one out, you will always be allowed to vote online! (We’ll tell you soon how you can do that).

Proposals of the participants

Bank of Ideas

Contributed by Bob Ketner. It represents a large bowl full numbered cards, each with its own text and image corresponding to an idea. Visitors take a card from the bowl and suggest a new proposal and they give it the same number of the corresponding image or text. Each new proposal will become part of the bowl.  In that way, all the initial ideas of the initial proposals will evolve towards  new suggestions. The original numbering of ideas is maintained in order to be able to track the evolution of ideas. This cube is intended to analyze what are links like, that is, how the links on the internet help us make our thinking evolve.

This is the analogic part of the proposal. The digital counterpart will be worked through and through by using Twitter hashtags, i.e, small sets of letters preceded by the symbol “#” that are used to identify tweets  related to a specific topic.

What’s your point of view about security?

This cube is made by Marie and Stephen Crandell. It analyzes the visitors’ feelings of security in relation to past and present times. It proposes the creation of two rooms within the cube. In one of them there will be a figure representing the old “serenos” (night watchmen). There will also be a person who would open the door for you. This person is allowed to enter and leave the cube whenver she or he wills. In a second room, a CCTV camera would be installed and show its images in another part of the exhibition.

On the outer part of this cube, a white wall would encourage visitors to use graffittis to explain how they have felt while inside the cube. In particular, they will be invited to commento on which of the two experiences made them feel better (the person sneaking in side every now and then or being watched by a CCTV camera). The remaining outer walls of the cube would be used to explain how CCTV cameras work and what is their history. They also would be used to show the tweets of all those who participate in the exhibition. In that way, the boundaries of the exhibition would be pushed. This cube also propose to use some kind of hashtag (such as #cctv, for example) and to encourage anyone who has seen or come across a CCTV camera in any place to use a tweet with that hashtag to tell the rest of the wolrd where the camera was located and how he or she has felt about it. So, visitors themselves would be watching the cameras around.


This proposal is designed with the help and support of Maria Bobes. It discusses the connections between people and social networks. These concepts are represented by two walls. On one of them the relationships that the visitors hold with other people would slowly add up by means of threads of different colours and textures tied up by visitors. On the other wall, they would be asked about how many “strong” and “weak” relationships they can maintain.

Pin Analog Scanner

This proposal was contributed by Philip Dolman. It explores the world of work and globalization in the fields of design and construction. It is an interactive illustration of the globalization of design.  It proposes to build a cloud of points for each visitor who approaches the cube, digitize it and build a small object from the resulting digitization.

This proposal seems quite interesting … but what challenge to build it! Let’s see how it evolves!

Social Networks

This design was made with support of Lars Stalling. On the inner part of the cube a video is shown in order to observe interactions between people. This video can be made in a participatory fashion. In fact, it would be possible to offer workshops in order to train people to make the recordings and to create videos. In this way, the visitors would end up modeling the  scene showed on the cube.

On the outer walls of the cube the science behind networks would be explained: types, structure, evolution … and  much more more!

Digital Skies

Charming proposal from Bob Ketner. It analyzes travel through space and time in the Internet era. It   creates an insulated cube where visitors are asked to enter data about the place where they would like to travel and also its time zone. A screen would display images of the chosen location and the  lighting system would simulate the amount of sunlight or darkness in the chosen area. If at the time of visiting the exhibiton it were night time at the selected city, you could see on the cube’s ceiling   all the stars in this region at this time of the year. So, one would recreate a live global travel experience.

Although the visitor actually performing the virtual travel would be isolated from the outer side of the cube, other visitors on the outside of it would be able to see what was happening in the inside by means of, for example, the use of polarized glass

Thanks to this exhibition it would be possible to get Citilab and the Tech Museum more connected.

Sharing memories: photography

This cube was developed by the Expolab team at Citilab. Its origin comes from one of the anecdotes that were told during the Expo-design workshops.  It analyzes the evolution from analog to digital cameras and its associated social impact. In the past, we only had a couple of pictures that were highly significant to us, whereas now, we have a thousand pictures of every corner. The photo developing process, based on chemical products, imposed physical constraints that prevented the excessive manipulation of photographs. Now, however, the use of semiconductors and the translation of light into ones and zeros, i.e., into the language of computers, allows us to manipulate that information easily.

Within this cube the basic operation of a camera is also shown. A set of lenses that is used both by analog and digital cameras is also on display and the construction of a stenopeic camera is proposed.  We encourage visitors to upload their photos via Flickr to share them with the rest of the public.

A shrinking world, growing connections

This contribution is made by Rob Stephenson. It represents a map of the social network of a person before and after the Internet. It uses a globe to encourage visitors to map their friends and acquaintances around the world. It invites us to reflect about where were the people with whom we were related before Internet.

The Evolution of Social Networks

This proposal has been designed by Jason Spriggs, a contributor under 18, and also a member of the Teed Greed. Jason wants to talk about how social networks started with the neighbors and have become a business.

The Introductory cube

This cube has been codesigned by the Citilab-Expolab and Tech Tech Virtual Museum teams. We are still working to create an introductory cube that will display the whole process by which this exhibition has been made. We also will  and where we will invite visitors to recommend visit itineraries to new visitors.

The image we have is still a sketch that must be improved so that visitors can get to know every person that  has been involved in the creation of the first Expolab exhibition, which are many! Also we want to share with visitors the images of all the prototypes that were created in the process and all the good ideas that have been generated, since all that material is Creative Commons. Last but not least, we don’t want to create a cube where only the voice of the organizing team is heard, and that’s why the visiting recommendations are left to participation.

These are the proposals that have been more thouroughly developed. However, all along the co-design sessions and meetings in Second Life other prototypes have been created. These ideas and prototypes could be finally completed and en up making their way to the final exhibition if you vote for them.   We don’t want to leave any idea out of your scrutiny!

So here you have them too:

Travel in time and space thanks to the Internet

Instantaneousness: travel in time and space


Evolution of Social Networks II


Other proposals

We appreciate your feedback on this blog … We also encourage you to come to Citilab on April 8th , 5 pm, to vote the proposals that you liked the most! Do not miss the opportunity to participate in this first exhibition of Expolab, a new way of understanding the exhibitions that opens them to the public! Come on, join us, tell us your opinion!


Countdown to the voting day!

People have been working hard on design proposals in Second Life. The participation has been a succes and we have a lot of great proposals now!

We invite everybody to come to Citilab on thursday April 8th at 17:00 to vote for the best design. We will soon publish a post about all the designs that have been created in the virtual Citilab. Are you curious? You can already have a preview in Second Life, look for ´Expolab´.

At the website of the Tech Museum you can also find the entries of the participants.

If you can´t come to Citilab this day you will be able to vote online, but then you´ll miss the ambience and the drinks and a bite!

Well, spread the word and we hope to see you the 8th!


First exhibit designs and new meetings with users

This month we are meeting weekly  in Second Life with designers and enthusiasts who want to collaborate with the Expolab project. The area reserved to Citilab within the Tech Museum Island in Secon Life is now becoming populated with cubes  representing the real and virtual connections, the new experience of instantaneity how  the way we share memories through photography has changed… etc..

Agent Heliosense the avatar in charge of virtual interactions at the  Tech Museum of Innovation in California is always there during the meetings. But we also come across with other avatars. For example,  Quantum Mechanics or Ozzy Wozniak. Some of them come from Barcelona, but many other are from other places as far away as the United States or Vietnam. In Second Life the expolab teams morphs into  Mandarina Parabola, Oskar JustTheCook, Hector  Zamarung and Ingrid Kimono.

Last week, the Expolab team introduced its own proposal, that represents the world of photography. From  the possession of a unique and cherished photography of yesteryear to storing many images in Flickr, Facebook or Twitter. The space also talks about how the basic principles of photography are the same in both analog  and digital cameras, i.e, a set of lenses that focus es light onto a surface. We even propose to build a pinhole camera. But we also analyze the differences between printing the image on photographic paper, that needs to undergo a process of chemical developement developed, and a few chemicals, and doing on a semi-conductor that is able to encode o information  carried by light into zeros and ones, a language that can be understood by computers. Thanks to this we can store and manipulate images easily.

Moreover, these days we have also had visits from some participants of the expo-design workshop held on¡January 14th at Citilab. We talked for houw about  what other people  had devised in Second Life, and also about new ideas that some of the participatnts still wanted to share with us. Maria Bobes, for example, has left us some proposals for improving the design of the cube about connections, the one that explores the idea of human relationships through technology.

We encourage anyone who is interested in this project to send his or her own proposals  to us, either using Second Life, or simply by typing a text, making drawings, sending pictures and videos, or coming to Citilab Cornella to talk with us. Our email address is: equip.expolab @


Meetings with designers in Second Life

The contest has already begun!, but this is not a competition like others where the most important factor is the prize and you must keep “your work” secret until the end. This competition is based on collaboration between designers, dialogue and multiple contributions.

The Tech Virtual Museum The Tech Virtual Museum has given us a space in Second Life where we have placed an empty  Citilab virtual building. There you will find white bases on the floor where you can start building your design proposals. These will be available to other contestants who will get in touch with you, make comments or help you improve your design. Furthermore, you can contribute yourself to the proposals of others.The most important thing is to enjoy the thrill of the collective design process.

We are organizing regular meetings with all those  of you who are interested in participating in the Expolab project. The first session took place on February Friday 19th at 18pm (Barcelona time).  A dozen avatars were asking questions, constructing objects on the fly and show a lot of interes in the Expolab project. If you like to have a look at these meetings, the next ones are scheduled for the upcoming  Friday March 5th at 18pm (Barcelona time) and Thursday March 18th at 18pm (Barcelona time). We meet you there!


The expo-design workshop, the preceding of the Second Life contest

Expolab team is already working on the management of the design competition in Second Life organized in collaboration with the Tech Museum of California, and in fact, the contest began a few days ago. They have appeared the first designers to show their interest in the project and we are following the whole process to see if we can start to show you some results.

For now, we want to share with you the video of the expo-design workshop we did here in Citilab, on January the 14th. From this meeting, along with a couple of work sessions done previously, we have selected the topics and the design proposal for the design competition that is being proposed in Second Life. You can’t miss it, these are the origins of the first Expolab’s exhibitions!


Looking around the world



Press clipping

Working Groups


@CoCreatingCult Tweets

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