Attention Design - Lecture at Merz Akademie

A lecture about (online) attention. Research: Google. Special Tag: Million Dollar Design

"a transfer of information is only completed when there is also a transfer of attention proceeding in the opposite direction." M.Goldhaber

The Course "Attention Design - Design Online Workflow" is based on the ideas of Michael. H. Goldhaber's "Attention Economy". Goldhaber recognized already in 1997 that attention will be the most important cultural resource:

"The real promise of the Web and the net and the like [...] is to help satisfy the ever more pressing desire attention. To get attention you must emit what is technically identifiable as information; likewise for information to be of any value, it must receive attention.“ Michael H. Goldhaber, The Attention Economy and the Net, 27.11.1997

The approach of this course is to develop different ideas about focusing and emerging attention - online. This could reach from designing homepages, blogs to netart projects - whatever gets attention or might be interesting to push this discourse forwards.

First Lesson: Make a unique email signature. It probably sounds easy but it's quite challenging. A journey in micro typographie. Email Signatures by Christoph Heller:

Different Final Projects: Ghosttown - The invisible gets tangible / The visible gets unseen. A project by Chris Heller, Arne Hübner, Theo Seeman & Daniel Stäbler. „It started the day Google Street View was launched in Germany and is aimed to put focus on blurred real estates in Stuttgart to contribute to the controversially discussed question of privacy in a Google age. We started at Killesberg, where a quite high amount of blurred houses is located and interestingly the bold and the beautiful live. Step by step every blurred house of Street View in Stuttgart should be built as 3D model and put back in a Google Earth KMZ file, while their shapes are not original but geared to their blur layers.“ Link

Twitter Happmeter by Ingo Kollek - The Happymeter is reading out the twitter feed (attention economy at its best) and compares emoticons like ":-)" or ":(" to calculate a happiness rate of 5 european citys. The screenshot shows an enormous happiness in Stuttgart after the election (and the win of the green party) on 27.03.2011. Link

Google Street Car Racing by Linus Suter is a excellent coding work. It‘s the first Google Street Car Simulator so far. As you might not really see a connection to the theme it is quite playing with you reception of information. Please drive the way from your home to your former and see how this little game is playing with your perspective of reception. Link

For more information about the course visit the website: Link

Used Tags

to attract someone's attention:

Network Culture Award Winners

Students Chris Heller, Arne Hübner, Theo Seemann und Daniel Stäbler did not only realise the epic project "Ghosttown" in this course - they also won the 2012's Network Culture Award of Filmwinter Stuttgart!

The Shift towards Attention Economy:

„[...] The attention economy that is emerging is radically different from any prior economy, and certainly from the industrial market economy. In its pure form, it doesn‘t involve any sort of money, nor a market or anything closely resembling one. It involves a quite different pattern of life than the routine-based, industrial one with its work/home, work/ play and production/consumption dichotomies. What matters is seeking, obtaining and paying attention.

The new economy also has its own characteristic form of property, which is quite simply the attention that is readily available to its „owner“ from other people, which depends on what attention this owner has gotten in the past. This kind of property, located, quite literally, in „the minds of the beholders“ is best held onto through practices that are sharply at odds with what the concept of intellectual property would suggest. The new kind doesn‘t require elaborate policing or other mechanisms for its protection, as intellectual property does, which is one reason attention as property is more natural.

Thus, the attention economy is fundamentally incompatible with the more familiar kind of economy, and can only keep growing at the latter‘s expense. We are thus living through a period of major transition to an entirely new, pretty much all-encompassing economic order. [...]

The growth of the net and the web - or the entire field of digital information, or cyberspace, if you will - is simply one aspect of this transition, though an extremely important one. There is some value in taking the notion of cyberspace quite literally, as a new space that is coming to flourish precisely because it is so naturally attuned to the attention economy that those who would live under the auspices of the latter flock to it."

-- Michael H. Goldhaber, The Attention Economy and the Net, 1997, Link

YouTube is Dying (YouTube Exposed):