Saturday, November 30, 2013

readings in tech and urban design

as surfed the evening of 2013-11-29

the data city

by jack self, 2009.10.04
a critique of

linked to...

On battlesuits, the collage city, seeking and remembering

unattributed via things magazine, 2009.10.01
Makes the claim "The modern city is the data city."
"The data city of the future will be unnavigable without technology, granted..."
Speculates about role of changing patterns of information consumption & memory

linked to...

the city is a battlesuit for surviving the future

by matt jones, 2009.09.20
Archigram, a 1960s "protoblog" architectural collective actant
"cities as systems, reflecting the contemporary vogue for cybernetics and belief in automation."
"people are walking architecture"
Adam Greenfield, Nokia design director: "a searchable, query-able city" - a read/write city
"Behaviour and information as the raw material to design cities with as much as steel, glass and concrete."
"chaotic sprawls of the industrialising world such as the "maximum cities" of Mumbai or Guangzhou. Here the infrastructures are layered, ad-hoc, adaptive and personal"
"Cities are entities that network outside of nations as their wealth often exceeds that of the rest of the nation put together - it's natural they solve transnational, global problems."

linked to...

the street as platform

by dan hill, 2008.02.11
"The way the street feels may soon be defined by what cannot be seen with the naked eye."
"Each element of data causes waves of responses in other connected databases, sometimes interacting with each other physically through proximity, other times through semantic connections across complex databases, sometimes in real-time, sometimes causing ripples months later. Some data is proprietary, enclosed and privately managed, some is open, collaborative and public."
Quoth Archigram: '“When it’s raining on Oxford Street, the buildings are no more important than the rain”'
Data ephemeral like the weather (like Archigram's rain)
"So the more relevant question is how do the buildings and the rain of data interrelate?"
"Considering the non-visual senses might be a better analogy when it comes to perceiving the way data affects i.e. looking at the way the street sounds, feels or smells."
"Holes in data, public and private, may become more relevant than the pothole in the pavement - until you trip over it, at least."
re availablility of services, "a sense of fragility in the network, perceived but not comprehended by users"
Two possible future streets: "Locked down street", "Open source street"
Generativity: " Proprietary systems, while ideally suited to high-security purposefully-closed networks, are intrinsically unlikely to enable a form of creative aggregation and connection unintended by the owners and makers."
Localization of data:
"Intrinsic local detail will tend to require collaborative updates from local users themselves."
"An open approach to descriptive data can enable a far richer local dataset to emerge, more accurately conveying the sense of what the street is. It may also be patchy, however."
Commercial efforts are likely to be poorly adapted for local needs.
"This commercial development is a given, and often not related to those whose job it is to shape streets."
"The various information modelling systems - the building information modelling system; those conveying the state of local services; those broadcasting the presence of a bus - could be built with openness in mind. Why do this? In order to enable maximum coverage and to stimulate engagement and innovation, with occasional possibility for unintended creative use. And often, it's public data and therefore part of a civic relationship."
"Just as good street planning might leave a space open to possibility, and not over-prescribe its program, so informational systems can leave themselves open to possibility."
Re open analytics:
"The patterns of use in their data become as self-evident as that shortcut worn through the grass in front of the library."
"actually showing the seams of an object is far more likely to engender trust, engagement and appropriation."

=== thoughts:
we are architects, historians, geographers. sociographers, demographers, planners. social workers, teachers, counselors.
"As Reyner Banham said, when you’re running with technology, you’re in fast company - and you may have “discard the professional garments by which you are recognised”."

=== further reading list:

Adam Greenfield, Everywhere - on ubiquitous computing

Transmetropolitan - graphic novel, prototypal dystopian megacity future