Serendipity is the act of making fortunate discoveries by accident while investigating something quite different and has played a role in many significant scientific discoveries, for example the discovery of penicillin. Serendipity in the context of information research is not traditionally examined, although it has received increasing attention over recent years (Toms, 2000).
This project aims to design, deploy and test a Serendipity Arena, called SerenA that will apply new technologies and the potential of the vast store of data now available in users’ documents and on the worldwide web, to promote serendipity and support ideas, inspirations and new connections in the virtual and physical world. SerenA will be implemented as a physical presence in the working environment, and via personal technology, such as smart phones. SerenA will have specially designed and carefully validated user interfaces, to make it intelligible to everyone interested in learning and discovery, of whatever kind.
SerenA is a multidisciplinary project that brings together researchers from the universities of Heriot Watt, Dundee, UCL, Lancaster, Goldsmiths and Nottingham. Research from The University of Nottingham, mainly focus on delivering new understanding of the social and intellectual nature of serendipitous interaction with humans and computers and new methodology for the evaluation of large scale integrated physical/virtual, hybrid human/computer environments.
Partner: Dundee Contemporary Arts