Guest lecture Simon Wind and Ole B. Jensen
We are very happy to welcome Simon Wind and Ole B. Jensen from the Centre of Mobilities & Urban Studies (C-MUS) at the Department of Architecture, Design & Media Technology, Aalborg University in Denmark. In recent years there has been a turn towards the notion of ‘Smart City’ amongst urban scholars and professionals. Smart City is often critiqued for being overly focused on optimisation, security and economic growth, and not on creating living environments foremost for the people that inhabit them. Taking stock of this , at the Centre for Mobilities & Urban Studies, scholars are particular interested in how novel technologies, such as ICT, media, sensor, tracking technologies and visualisation methods, are presenting opportunities (and challenges) for creating new responsive platforms for social interactions, civic engagement, experiences and placemaking. Through the notion of feedback urbanism, they try to take one step back from the normative appreciation of ‘smart as good’ and explore actual, material workings of urban technologies relying on data sensing and feedback and how these might intersect with urban design. In this talk, Wind and Jensen present some of their recent work of exploring how ICT, media technologies and data might materialise in ‘smart’ placemaking. From this, they call for an alternative Smart City perspective that lies closer to professions of urban design and architecture. This, they will argue, allows us to emphasise smart technologies and data not only as urban operations systems, high-precision control centres, energy grids and sentient sensor environments but also as tools for placemaking at a smaller scale and with a more human scope.