Wayward attempts to address issues of how social media has affected our relationship with the public sphere. Since the mainstream adoption of social media starting around the start of the millenium, our streams of communication have largely changed in regards to how much we interact with our surroundings.
According to The Social Life of Wireless Urban Spaces: Internet Use, Social Networks, and the Public Realm, people tend to prioritize mobile interaction over interpersonal interaction, particularly with strangers. As a result, mobile usage create private temporary “bubbles” within the public realm. These bubbles provide individuals with the comfort of familiarity and could insulate them from the social diversity of urban spaces.
How much is social media today actually a part of the public sphere?
Can our interactions on social media be considered public?
Given the diversity of the cities we live in, how can we gain access to these differing ideologies and culture using both the communicative power of the internet and the chaotic nature of public spaces?
Is it possible to blend both public and private realms while retaining the pros of existing in both?
Mobiles phones create private bubbles that close people off from the world, inhibiting the possibilities of the public realm.
The public realm offers many opportunities for exchange of ideology and culture, only if one is willing to open themselves up for that exchange. The project takes the form of an application that will enable us to look around and feel connected to these spaces of exchange.
Why are these spaces so important? More exposure to public spaces broadens people’s expectations of the world around them. They create a sense of belonging to a community. When children are exposed to different ideologies at a young age, they realize that there are different ways to experience life. The space can also serve as a forum for the exchange of ideas. The more people interact, the more they can learn about each other, which leads to more empathetic people.
Documenting the spaces around you is the first step of using Wayward. Take photos of spaces or things that you want to remember, anything you're curious about, or spaces you pass by everyday. You can edit your photos either right away or later. Name the space whatever you like, and leave a message for yourself or for others to see. This space will be recorded in the app from now on.
Through taking a photo, you gain access to all of the other photos that people have taken in that same area. Spaces with new messages show up with a blue dot beside it, but you won't be able to see the new messages until you go back to the space!
The cover page gives an overview of your relationship to a space. Beneath the cover page are photo messages arranged by how far apart they were taken in reference to time.
You can travel the map and look at all of the spaces you've documented, or look at them in a list. These are listed by proximity in case you wanted to stop by a space and see what others have been up to.
A physical public installation concept came from Wayward's goal of reconnecting people to public spaces. The installations would be found in more popular public sites around the city and would serve as a way to introduce new users to the ideas of the app.
Examples of these spaces include anywhere large quantities of people gather, such as city squares. Whenever a photos is added to the space, it shows up on a panel on the installation. As people post more photos, the layers change and morph into new representations of the space.