How can we design displays that foster a sense of presence and awareness…that enhance a sense of community and togetherness…that enable human bonds to grow and flourish? Using five prototypes from the Human Connectedness research group at Media Lab Europe as a context for reflection, this chapter attempts to assemble a framework of questions and strategies for designers to consider when working to achieve these kinds of effects. The prototypes discussed include a media space that connects several physical locations in our organization, a video conference system based on the metaphor of a magic mirror, a video installation that displays layers of recorded social interaction, an ambient display for hospital patients in isolation wards, and a “sports over a distance” application with an “exertion” interface.
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