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The priority nodes in this project are the conceptual base of the Space-Network’s and the Group’s activities. They have been planned for a three-year period, son that some of them will be activated every year.

The project Space-Network of Digital Practices and Cultures will define every year an activity programme open to the entire university community around a series of priority reflection nodes to be defined by the group’s members.

The selection of these priority nodes has been made based on their ability to:

  • Raise the interest of the university community in general and students in particular.
  • Facilitate the introduction of digital practices and cultures into the educational setting in an indirect manner.

The working group has defined the following priority nodes to be addressed during the first three-year period:

  • Identity: will address the formation of both the individual web identity and the collective one. In the individual web identity the following will be studied: nicks, avatars, IPs, different forms of anonymity and control, and especially, the dialectics of gender, race and condition identity signs, which open the individual to the group and to e-inclusion or e-exclusion dynamics through the new technologies.
  • Emerging networks, communities and forms of social organisation: will study networks and their rationales, social interaction in digital environments and in particular, the new types of relations between individuals and groups.. It will observe the functioning of groups, social networks and virtual communities; the potential emergence of the “wisdom of crowds”, the “collective intelligence”, the “alchemy of crowds”, the social web or the web 2.0; exploring their potential and internal dynamics to find out how they can be incorporated into university community focused on the construction of knowledge, being this their main shared interest, thanks to both direct and virtual relations.
  • Expanded University: will focus on the integration of the network operation model into the university’s practices. This implies working in the development of innovative knowledge production and dissemination educational practices, as well as practices adapted to the education of active citizens in a world in which knowledge changes massively and at an increasing pace. It also includes managing change processes aimed at innovating in organisation of production and labour relations of the university’s teaching and support staff. Its purpose is therefore to work in the expansion of the borders of the university institutions – at all levels – within a digital culture.
  • Ethics in digital practices: UNESCO points out in its report Towards Knowledge Societies, the need for a “new ethics of knowledge based on sharing and cooperation” and indicates that “universal access to knowledge must remain the pillar that supports the transition to knowledge societies”. On this basis the following issues will be addressed: development ethics and technological capital as knowledge and economic capital, emergence of open code software and culture and Procommons as opposed to privative technologies, new forms of authorship, intellectual property and copyright required in the present context or the right to information and access to knowledge of citizens.
  • Design thinking: within the digital culture the design of interfaces is becoming a metadiscipline that beyond operating as a set of strategies and methodologies applied to the conception of tangible products or visual forms has become a fundamental driver for the so-called “innovation” and acts as an integrated creative process for the resolution of complex problems. Ultimately, this research line aspires to reflect on the thinking process of “the form of ideas”, in the words of Joan Costa.
  • Creation: the creative use of the most relevant aspects of the new technologies in the field of the different contemporary artistic practices, which resort to digital elements, collective creation, the role of images and the fusion of languages and media in the digital age, the polyhedronic nature of such practices and uses which are the bases for the digital artistic cultures generated in contemporary societies.
  • Participatory media: as opposed to the classic pyramidal structures of communication, the Web has fostered the development of horizontal structures and micromedia, which in turn have transformed the role of users. We have gone from an opposition between broadcasters and receivers to a situation in which we all can become content receptors, producers and broadcasters. Citizen and participatory journalism, more democratic practices in terms of use of information, a reality that has been socially negotiated through the media as the most important principle of reality in everyday life are some of the topics addressed in this node.
  • Territory, place and space; urban space/public sphere: cities are changing at all levels. Use of space is changing since the activities that can take place in them are being modified based on the introduction of new habits derived from the use of new technological devices. Simultaneously, new ways of understanding the concept of “public space” promoted by the dominant economic models, the management of intangibles and invisibles such as the radio-electric space or the application of new technological devices for control and surveillance are leading to new forms of “making city”.

This identification of nodes must be understood as a starting point subject to a constant review, evaluation and evolution by the Group, with an eye on the newest, potential or future trends, since we can expect that in forthcoming years other potential issues will be identified and included into future annual plans.

Around these priority reflection nodes, every year the Digital Practices and Cultures Space-Network will:

  • organise an open programme of academic activities targeted at the university community.
  • generate gradually a contacts and specialists network in line with UNIA to support, sustain and position this university as a social reference in digital culture.
  • hold a series of internal professional research meetings to serve as core of its in-depth reflection.
  • produce audiovisual material, websites, e-publications and other digital contents, which will contribute to disseminate and establish UNIA’s activity in the digital practices and cultures scenario at international level.