Omar Khan

In the last five years, the urban computing field has featured an impressive emphasis on the so-called “real-time, database-enabled city” with its synchronized Internet of Things. Julian Bleecker and Nicholas Nova argue to invert this common perspective and speculate on the existence of an “asynchronous city”. Through a discussion of objects that blog, they forecast situated technologies based on weak signals that show the importance of time on human practices. They imagine the emergence of truly social technologies that through thoughtful provocation can invert and disrupt common perspectives.
The authors reflect on the relationship between labor and technology in urban space where communication, attention, and physical movement generate financial value for a small number of private stakeholders. Online and off, Internet users are increasingly wielded as a resource for economic amelioration, for private capture, and the channels of communication are becoming increasingly inscrutable. Liu and Scholz ask: How does the intertwining of labor and play complicate our understanding of exploitation?
In response to two strong global vectors: the rise of pervasive information technologies and the privatization of the public sphere, Marc Böhlen and Hans Frei propose hybrid architectural programs called Micro Public Places (MMPs). MPPs combine insights from ambient intelligence, human computing, architecture, social engineering and urbanism to initiate ways to re- animate public life in contemporary societies. They offer access to things that are or should be available to all: air, water, medicine, books, etc. and combine machine learning procedures with subjective human intuition to make the public realm a contested space again.
In Situated Technologies Pamphlets 9, Helen Nissenbaum and Kazys Varnelis initiate a redefinition of privacy in the age of big data and networked, geo-spatial environments. Digital technologies permeate our lives and make the walls of the built environment increasingly porous, no longer the hard boundary they once were when it comes to decisions about privacy. Data profiling, aggregation, analysis, and sharing are broad and hidden, making it harder than ever to constrain the flow of data about us. Cautioning that suffocating surveillance could lead to paralyzed dullness, Nissenbaum and Varnelis do not ask us to retreat from digital media but ...
A new generation of architecture that responds to building occupants and environmental factors has embraced distributed technical systems as a means and end for developing more mutually enriching relationships between people, the space they inhabit, and the environment. This pamphlet discusses key qualities of “responsive” architecture as a performing instrument that is both mutable and contestable.
Advocacy is the act of arguing on behalf of a particular cause, idea or person, and addresses issues including self-advocacy, environmental protection, the rights of women, youth and minorities, social justice, the re-structured digital divide and political reform. This pamphlet considers how situated technologies have been—or might be—mobilized toward changing and/or influencing social or political policies, practices, and beliefs. What new forms of advocacy are enabled by contemporary location-based or context-aware media and information systems? How might they lend tactical support to the process of managing information flows and disseminating strategic knowledge that influences individual behavior or opinion, corporate conduct or ...
The authors articulate the foundations of a future manifesto for an Internet of Things in the public interest. Nold and Kranenburg propose tangible design interventions that challenge an internet dominated by commercial tools and systems, emphasizing that people from all walks of life have to be at the table when we talk about alternate possibilities for ubiquitous computing. Through horizontally scaling grass roots efforts along with establishing social standards for governments and companies to allow cooperation, Nold and Kranenberg argue for transforming the Internet of Things into an Internet of People.
The Situated Technologies Pamphlet Series extends a discourse initiated in the summer of 2006 by a three-month-long discussion on the Institute for Distributed Creativity (iDC) mailing list, which culminated in the Architecture and Situated Technologies symposium at the Urban Center and Eyebeam in New York that October, co-produced by the Center for Virtual Architecture, the Architectural League of New York, and the iDC. The series aims to explore the implications of ubiquitous computing for architecture and urbanism: How are our experience of the city and the choices we make in it affected by mobile communications, pervasive media, ambient informatics, and other “situated” ...
What lessons can architecture learn from software development, and more specifically, from the Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) movement? Written in the form of a quasi-license, Urban Versioning System 1.0 posits seven constraints that, if followed, will contribute to an open source urbanism that radically challenges the conventional ways in which cities are constructed.

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