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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Towards a Sentient City

  • On October 19, 2009


An exhibition critically exploring the evolving relationship between ubiquitous computing, architecture, and urban space. Curated by Mark Shepard and organized by the Architectural League of New York

As computing leaves the desktop and spills out onto the sidewalks, streets, and public spaces of the world around us, we increasingly find information processing capacity embedded within and distributed throughout the material fabric of everday urban space. Artifacts and systems we interact with on a daily basis collect, store, and process information about us, or are activated by our movements and transactions. Ubiquitous computing evangelists herald a coming age of urban infrastructure capable of sensing and responding to the events and activities transpiring around them. Imbued with the capacity to remember, correlate and anticipate, this near-future “sentient” city is envisioned as being capable of reflexively monitoring its environment and our behavior within it, becoming an active agent in the organization of everyday life in urban public space.

Toward the Sentient City explores alternate trajectories for the design and inhabitation of this near-future urban environment. Organized around five newly commissioned projects distributed throughout the city, the exhibition features:
Natural Fuse by Usman Haque, creative director, Nitipak ‘Dot’ Samsen, designer, Ai Hasegawa, designer, Cesar Harada, designer. Barbara Jasinowicz, producer

Too Smart City by JooYoun Paek, David Jimison | Engineers: Daniel Bauen, Aaron Gilbert, Bill Washabaugh
Amphibious Architecture by The Living Architecture Lab at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (Directors David Benjamin and Soo-in Yang) and xdesign Environmental Health Clinic at New York University (Director Natalie Jeremijenko)
Trash Track by SENSEable City Laboratory, MIT | Carlo Ratti: Director, Assaf Biderman: Associate Director, Rex Britter: Advisor, Stephen Miles: Advisor, Kristian Kloeckl Project Leader, Musstanser Tinauli, E Roon Kang, Alan Anderson, Avid Boustani, Natalia Duque Ciceri, Lorenzo Davolli, Samantha Earl, Lewis Girod, Sarabjit Kaur, Armin Linke, Eugenio Morello, Sarah Neilson, Giovanni de Niederhausern, Jill Passano, Renato Rinaldi, Francisca Rojas, Louis Sirota, Malima Wolf
Breakout! by Anthony Townsend (Institute for the Future), Georgia Borden, Amanda Kross, Jung Hoon Kim, Antonina Simeti (DEGW), Dana Spiegel (NYCwireless), Laura Forlano (Parsons The New School for Design), Tony Bacigalupo (New Work City), Sean Savage (PariSoMa), Elysse Preposi (Sarah Lawrence College)

Also see the “Open Archive“, a collection of video documentation of existing projects related to the themes of the exhibition. The Archive is designed to grow over the course of the exhibition based on suggestions and contributions received through an open submission process.

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