Space and time are the stuff of science fiction, both so familiar that we hardly notice them and far more complex than we ever imagine. Mathematicians and physicists have tried to make sense of space: the coordinates of GPS appear to label even empty space, and Euclid imagined geometric shapes composed of infinitely thin lines: powerful abstractions, but problematic philosophically and practically. Euclid’s space was flat, smooth and without fracture, but the surface of the earth and WiFi connectedness break this simplifying image creating problems and design opportunities. Size, speed and even acceleration are often relative – a fact of physics, but also evident in our day-to-day lives, from snowflakes to circuit boards. Even the ground beneath our feet is not so solid. In following chapters we will see how many of these physical properties of space and time impact on the design of digitally augmented space, and indeed computation itself.
Keywords: Physicality of space, Space-time, Euclid, Digital augmentation, Computation, Relativity