[iDC] Architecture and Situated Technologies

trebor at thing.net trebor at thing.net
Mon Jul 3 11:29:04 EDT 2006

Dear all,

In spite of all the soccer thrills and dismay, the New York Times report of yet
another governmental surveillance program, and the continuing stream of
unspeakable news from Iraq, do you still have some fervor left to engage in a
vital debate?

Over the next three months discussions on this list, at least in part, will
focus on issues related to the Architecture and Situated Technologies Symposium
that the Institute for Distributed Creativity produces in collaboration with the
Center for Virtual Architecture at the University at Buffalo, and the
Architectural League of New York. The symposium will take place October 19-21
at the Urban Center in New York City.


Please continue posting contributions that do not relate to this upcoming
discussion thread (i.e. responses to Julian's fascinating text).

While I will start to facilitate the July discussion focusing on the networked
public sphere, Omar Khan will center your attention on issues such as
performance paradigms, responsive architecture, and artificial ecologies in
August. In September, Mark Shepard will concentrate on locative media, tactical
urbanism, and situated aesthetics. In October we hope to see many of you in
person at the event.

Omar Khan, Mark Shepard, and I invited the amazing crew of symposium
participants to introduce themselves briefly on the list over the next few
weeks. We asked them to comment, contribute questions, or descriptions of their
projects. Parts of the list discussion will be included in the symposium’s


>Introduction: Architecture and Situated Technologies

This symposium, organized around the notion of an "encounter," will articulate
new research vectors, sites of practice, and working methods for the confluence
of architecture, art, and situated technologies.

What opportunities and dilemmas does a world of networked objects and spaces
pose for architecture, art, and computing? How might this evolving relation
between people and "things" alter the way we occupy, navigate, and inhabit the
built environment? What is the status of the material object and the embodied
human relationships in a world privileging networked relations between
"things"? How do distinctions between space and place change within networked
media ecologies? What post-optimal design strategies and tactics might we
propose for an age of responsive environments, smart materials, embodied
interaction, and participatory networks?

While there is an explosive growth of mobile devices, the social uses of
technologies are not sufficiently studied in terms of architecture. What
distinguishes the emerging urban sociality enabled by the Wireless Internet?
How do these dynamics, including (non-)affective giving destabilize
rationalized 'use case scenarios'?

These are just a few urgent questions that the symposium will raise.

Through a combination of public and closed segments (workshops, presentations,
and panel discussions), the symposium will stage a set of encounters between
invited participants, an audience encouraged to participate, and the City of
New York.

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