Odds & sods, 4Q2007
The pace of travel these past few months has been so brutal that I find the lion’s share of my recent experiences – any one of which would have outright emblematized a quieter year – have been largely impossible to process. Honestly, whatever frisson of glomad glamour I might have derived from it all has succumbed to a certain flattening effect: “if this is Tuesday, it must be Singapore.” Understatement of the year: I don’t recommend doing things this way.
For better or worse, though, it’s not going to let up any time soon. Some of the things I’m looking at over the next month, month and a half:
– On 27 November, I’ll be giving an Everyware talk to the Intelligent Environments group at KU Leuven. Note to Chris Heathcote: naïvely or otherwise, I hope to use this opportunity to sample some of the rare Trappist ales you turned me onto on their native soil, heh heh heh.
– Also on the European tip: I fly to Grenoble on 18 December to speak at IDEAs Day at the MINATEC center for nanotechnological research. (Here’s the agenda in PDF.) I’m really looking forward to discussing (and, of course, problematizing) the prospective fusion of ubiquitous and nanotechnological apparatuses, and to the huge honor of being introduced by Bernard Stiegler.
And that, thank all the gods in the sky, is it for the international travel until year’s end. On the domestic side of the house, there’s Nurri’s talk at Harvard GSD day after tomorrow, and one or two more runs down to DC, but those I don’t find nearly as obliterating.
– I’ve contributed a very brief piece to a JCDecaux “trendbook” on Cities, Media and Mobility. Those of us in North America primarily recognize JCDecaux as a manufacturer of street furniture – including San Francisco’s briefly controversial coin-op public toilets – but elsewhere they’re far better known for the business of placing what appears on that furniture, i.e. outdoor advertising. I’ll give a shout when the trendbook becomes publicly available.
– Regrettably, I had to leave early, but the workshop on the Digital Transformation of Urban Experience I attended down in Philly last week was really worthwhile. I was delighted to see organizer Youngjin Yoo invite historians and philosophers as well as the usual suspects, and I was nothing short of inspired by Bill Mitchell’s talk. I’ll be writing more about this as (if?) I get the chance.
– Honestly, I had no idea there still were such things – shades of Bucky and Habitat at Expo ’67! – but I sure am deeeee-lighted to be joining pals Bruce Sterling, Paul Petrunia, Julian Bleecker and Jake Barton on the advisory board helping to develop the US Pavilion for World Expo 2010 Shanghai. (I’m supposed to be the team’s resident “urbanologist”!) Funtimes ahead.
– Finally, through 05 January 2008, make every possible effort to catch the stellar exhibition on Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York at the Municipal Art Society. Ryan Freitas rightly points out that the show doesn’t take as critical a stance regarding Jane and her legacy as it might, but it sure functions admirably as a concise statement of her values and goals. Seriously, rapid uptake here; especially if you’re new to Jane, your ROI will be considerable.