University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors

Digital Personal Space: From the Plaza to the Global Canopy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)91-105
JournalJournal of Urban Cultural Studies
Journal publication date1 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


This article discusses how ubiquitous computing, big data and the Internet of Things are changing the form of personal space. The study presented is substantiated by a series of tests conducted in the public space of the Plaza de Los Palos Grandes in Caracas. This square consists of a public library, a square and annexed services. The aim of this work is to visualise the discrete nature of the data cloud that surrounds people in the public realm while they communicate through the Internet. Building on a number of spatial definitions of personal spaces, including Sommer’s soap bubble and Sloterdijk’s notions of sphereology, this study suggests that today’s personal space can be more accurately represented through the form of a global canopy, where invisible vectors intersect without disturbance. This study describes how public activities in the square exceed the physical space of the plaza and extend to larger urban and global scales.


This document is the Accepted Manuscript of the following article: Silvio Carta, 'Digital personal space: From the plaza to the global canopy', Vol. 5 (1): 91-105, March 2018. Under embargo until 1 March 2019. The Version of Record is available online at doi:

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