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5 Conclusion

This paper is just a fragment of a more comprehensive theoretical account of the spatial dimension of knowledge experience that I am developing as part of a characterization of interaction design as a new way of designing both spaces and ICT. I do not have philosophical ambitions and I work on these ideas from the viewpoint of a designer. Therefore the theoretical conceptualization will progress together with the systems it inspires.

Two are the main open questions I will pay attention to.

First, how to guide the joint design of a space and its technological support, considering both small (the screen of a tablet) and large (from buildings to cities) spaces? The aim should be to develop flexible spaces that are capable to situate their inhabitants within the stories they live. The challenge is to couple, through the new understanding of space we have outlined here, the architectural and technological design traditions, avoiding thus their simple juxtaposition.

Second, to what extent the idea of space as what separates and connects can sustain a more open conception of augmented physical spaces? The outcome of design should not be a physical space/place made flexible with ICT, but something we live as space, going beyond any reduction to the Euclidean notions. Along this perspective we can renew our understanding of the social dimension of space that social sciences have developed with concepts like the milieu.

Acknowledgements The thoughts presented in this paper are some of the outcomes of many multidisciplinary conversations I am involved in with colleagues in computer science and information systems, architects and designers, social scientists and anthropologists and, naturally, philosophers. I am indebted to all of them even if the responsibility of what I have written is only mine. A particular thank goes to the editors of this book, whose stimulating review helped to make the paper more clear and complete. Moreover, Andreas' careful editing of my paper improved its readability.

I hope that readers will find this text a stimulating reflection on several issues we often assume established and without questions. Enlarging the number of reflective practitioners in these years of big changes is my only objective.

 
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