Hybrid Spaces Assignment

Here is my Assignment on Hybrid Spaces:

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In today’s world air travel is a common occurrence. Businessmen hop on flights for work, students travel home to visit their parents, and families travel together on vacations. Although on the surface an airplane cabin may look pretty mundane, upon takeoff it is transformed into a hybrid space. A hybrid space is a space that is defined and used in multiple ways. It creates a blend of the physical and digital worlds. There are passengers who spend the entire flight reading the in-flight magazines and the children who are occupied by the ever increasing number of movies. Mothers read their books while fathers catch up on their sleep. The stewards and stewardesses are busy rushing around preparing and serving the passengers. In North America there are Federal Air Marshals who are working and constantly observing the entire flight. Business men are working as well while they type away on their laptops answering emails and preparing for their meetings the next day. Teenagers are listening to their iPods or reading the latest gossip magazine.

This transformation during takeoff has become more dramatic in recent years. Airlines have widened the media options for passengers on their flights. Passengers have been able to watch movies for over a decade, but in more recently Airlines have implemented more interactive media applications, which allow passengers to choose and watch their own personal movies. An increasing trend is the installment of personal televisions in the back of most airline seats. Within these personal televisions passengers are able to watch movies, television shows, listen to music, and play games both personally and interactively with other passengers. Although it is still being tested and limitations are being worked out, many airlines are now offering WiFi. This vastly extends the possibilities of what a passenger can do during a flight. These advances are creating augmented spaces which is defined by Lev Manovich. One of Manovich’s definition of augmented space is “Any human-constructed space where information can be accessed via personal and individual devices”

In an airplane cabin the hybrid space is variable. The length of the flight determines the amount of transformation from a travel space into a hybrid space. On a long hall flight passengers are forced to be more creative when occupying their time. They also may participate in multiple activities throughout the same flight. On a shorter flight there is less time for passengers to set up and calm down making much of the digital activities impossible. The amount is also affected by the airline. Premium airlines such as British Airways or Emirates Air ways are more likely to have advanced services and programs where as a budget airline such as Ryan Air which offers the bare minimum and forces passengers to occupy themselves.

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