[iDC] Architecture and Situated Technologies

Tripta B Chandola tripta at gmail.com
Mon Aug 7 05:47:38 EDT 2006

Though I have been on the list for the past month, I haven't  
progressed beyond being a lurker. I will begin with a brief  
introduction: I am tripta and currently pursing my Phd from  
Queensland University of technology, Brisbane. My areas of interests  
are the city, urban spatiality, textured narratives, technological  
cultures in the city broadly. For my phd, I am working on sounds in  
the city (city in the sounds) and the manner in which specific  
soundscapes influence spatial interactions between the mainstream and  
marginal in the city. In doing so, I am trying to bring out the  
politics of 'production' and 'hearing' (listening) of sounds in  
specific contexts. The last few postings on the list in regards to  
sound and urban spaces were much helpful.

After reading, Mitchell Moss' and Anthony Townsend's article on  
transforming affect of telecommunications on urban spaces, I was  
inclined to add to it by the way of example from the Indian context.

Of the people who have been to Delhi, India, and have undertaken  
domestic air travel would be acquainted with the persistent problem  
of parking, traffic jams, and delays. There are two parking lot for  
the domestic airport. One is the VIP parking lot  for which the  
charges are RS. 100 for an hour. The another one is the general  
parking lot for which one has to shell out RS 60 for four hours. For  
most of the people, the latter is much more economically feasible.  
However, entering the general parking lot and finding a suitable spot  
is no less than trying to figure out one's way through an extensive  
labyrinth of multiple puzzles with no clues whatsoever. In that  
sense, this is a rather time consuming endeavor and aggrieves the  
patient sensibilities of those who have just travelled across the  
Indian Skies.

In the last few years, however, significant changes have come about  
in the way people navigate through this specific 'spatial' situation.  
With the mobiles becoming ubiquitous, the navigations through this  
space have become much more 'fluid'. The importance of this 'space'  
as the authorized site for parking lot is diminishing. It is a common  
sight, now days,  to see rows of cars parked along the road reaching  
to the airport. As and when the passenger from respective flights  
arrive, they call up the person who is come to receive them on their  
mobiles and at that very moment they drive towards the airport,  
around five minutes drive, and drive away without having to shell out  
either the cash or going through the agony of the labyrinth the  
parking lot is.

It is just one of the instances and there are many more.  The issue  
is also far more complex and complicated than what the aforementioned  
instance conveys in terms of not only how the mobile technologies are  
transforming urban space but vice versa as well and what it does to  
the experience of both the 'space' and the 'technology'. However, for  
the moment, I will leave it at this.

Thanks, Trebor, for the chapter!

(This is a much delayed response to the specific thread. Apologies)


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