Ian McArthur (b. 1960) is a hybrid practitioner and is known for his work across domains of experimental interdisciplinary practice, transcultural collaboration, sound art, experimental radio, medadesign, and education change. McArthur is currently working on an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) through the University of New South Wales. Through his work McArthur tests theoretical assumptions that participatory urban media can act as a co-designed interface between the urban environment its community, government stakeholders and industry.
Recent investigations centre on the development of participatory design methods using large urban screens as diagnostic tools for urban planning with Australian and China based practitioners. Using media installations, McArthur and his collaborators build engagement and dialogue between citizens and city stakeholders about the places in which they live, work, and play.
Building on the ways in which the immediacy of data is simultaneously temporal, historical and personal, McArthur created metaPLACE – an urban media interface – that fosters real-time participatory encounters. This is achieved through placed-based digital encounters that enable local residents to iteratively contribute to liveability outcomes. Specifically, metaPLACE seeks to capture emotional responses to place, while simultaneously generating useful data to aid the development of better urban futures. The resultant data set represents participatory, accumulative insights that helps government and urban planners better understand and design more liveable urban environments.