Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Architecture and Situated Technologies

I'm really looking forward to participating in the Architecture and Situated Technologies Symposium, a collaborative production of the Center for Virtual Architecture at the University at Buffalo, The Institute for Distributed Creativity, and the Architectural League of New York.

"This symposium, organized around the notion of an 'encounter,' will attempt to articulate new research vectors, sites of practice, and working methods for the confluence of architecture 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 post-optimal design strategies and tactics might we propose for an age of responsive environments, smart materials, embodied interaction, and participatory networks? What is the status of the material object in a world privileging networked relations between 'things'? How do distinctions between space and place change within these networked media ecologies? Given the explosive market proliferation of mobile communications and wireless networks, what distinguishes the emerging urban sociality they enable? How do the social uses of these technologies, including (non-) affective giving, destabilize rationalized 'use-case scenarios' designed around the generic consumer? These are just a few of the questions we want to address.

Through a combination of workshops, presentations, and panel discussions, the symposium will attempt to stage a set of encounters between invited participants, an audience encouraged to participate, and the City of New York. This event will be podcast and a publication will follow."

In preparation for the two-day event in October, the organisers will be faciliating the following discussions on the iDC mailing list:

July: Trebor Scholz
Topics: Networked Public Sphere, Autonomous Uses of Situated Sociable Media

August: Omar Khan
Topics: Performance Paradigms, Responsive Architecture and Artificial Ecologies

September: Mark Shepard
Topics: Locative Media, Tactical Urbanism, Situated Aesthetics

I've been asked to introduce myself to the list, and am looking forward to meeting the other participants and list members. While I hope to contribute something to each month's discussion, I'm really looking forward to September's topics. See you there?

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