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the undiscovered country
The Undiscovered Country
– Enabling Democracy through Communications Technology.

The Beta version is now available online at:

If you'd like to hear more about this project: please contact me.
1. Context
The method of interaction and information architecture within representative democracy has stayed unchanged for approximately 160 years. Although new technologies such as touch screens are beginning to be seen in certain nations for the act of casting a ballot, the mediated expression of a political opinion and casting that resultant vote have remained the same.

New information technologies developed over the past 20 years have profoundly effected how information is collected. Can it do the same for the input and aggregation of communal opinion?

2. What it is
The Undiscovered Country is a proof of concept prototype expressed as a web based application. It is a system for the non partisan, passive and reactive authoring and aggregation of political opinion. It includes, but goes beyond, options present on a ballot. It gives participating individuals an ability to give direct responses to current issues facing their governments on a selection of social scales.
3. How it works
This prototype seeks to join opinion into a seamless relationship between authoring and the final aggregation and vote tally.

The use hierarchy operates as a loop: seeking to impart an experience of editing and contributing to a much larger conversation. Citizen data is added as a new issue or as reaction to existing issues. The tallying of this information is completed on the fly and entered into a visualisation that represents an emergent group opinion.

4. Potential
In this non-linear, multi-user environment, the communicative and use concepts working within the interface are expandable to a community of any size. It is a tool for government and citizens to observe and interact with each other. In later iterations it could become basis for a parallel institution to representative government itself. Beyond that the system becomes integrated, perhaps even coming to replace individual representatives with issue based constituencies.
Final Presentation
Prototype Quicktimes
Concept and Screenshots

The Undiscovered Country:
A masters thesis project completed at Interaction Ivrea in June, 2006 by Tristam Sparks

Primary Thesis Advisor:
Neil Churcher
Secondary Advisor:
Fabio Sergio
Thesis Report Advisor:
Phil Tabor

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