Nicely situated

So I remember having promised you, before leaving for Bali, that I’d soon be able to spill the beans regarding a special project I’ve been working on with Mark Shepard. And, well, “how soon?” is now.

It is my great pleasure and privilege to invite you to a discussion event on “Urban Computing and its Discontents” at the Architectural League on Friday evening, the 14th of December, to mark the publication of a pamphlet of the same name. We’re imagining this as a further exploration of and commentary upon some of the themes which arose in the course of last year’s Architecture and Situated Technologies event.

If it goes even half as well as our panel with Jan Abrams at Conflux last month, this should be all kinds of goodness in and of itself, the former having left me with about the best feeling I’ve had coming off a stage since…jeez, since last year’s Conflux. But it isn’t simply a launch party for our own joint. No, this is the kickoff for an entire series of same Mark’s lined up, featuring an ferociously talented panoply of our friends and co-conspirators – it’s a testament to Omar, Mark and Trebor’s prescience in framing the original event that there is still so very much material for fruitful inquiry in the topic, and I promise you that you are in for some significant treats as the series unfolds.

Hopefully, you’ll think the same of this evening event. I would venture to guess that if you’re even remotely interested in

– how to distinguish between “responsive” environments, and those which are merely reactive;
– what happens to the profession of architecture as it is increasingly forced to cede its sovereign prerogative of authoring space to communities newly empowered by this responsiveness;
– what happens to cities, structurally and experientially, when information processing tools and metaphors both begin to permeate them;
– how they continue to function as platforms for engagement with the Other, or fail to do so, under such a condition;
– how they might better support conviviality or, alternately, be designed so as to intentionally suppress freedom of association and the untrammeled ability to otherwise make use of them; and especially
– what a true “read/write urbanism” might look like…

then this is something you won’t want to miss. At any rate, Mark and I certainly look forward to seeing you at the Architectural League on the evening of the 14th – and keep an eye peeled for the forthcoming pamphlets in the series.

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