In March 2014, eight people -and I had the pleasure to be one of them- gathered in the middle of nowhere in Germany and spent five days sprinting to write a book (booksprint) basically meant to help define the thin borders of what is called urban interaction design. I am not sure if te text, after some weeks, fully represents the debates, discussions and overnight work, but all involved expect that this is a first step.
How do you describe emerging trends within a forming field? In this book, you will find a distilled conversation, filtered through the collective and embodied practises and experiences of eight diverse individuals. We cannot claim that the result is a perfect representation of the current situation. However, because of the experience, commitment and generosity of the contributors, this book does now exist. We have, in our hands and online, an attempt to characterise and discuss the emerging trends within urban interaction design, freely available for anyone to read, reflect upon and improve.
In Praise of Messy Cities: Usman Haque (@uah) considers “smart” and “engaged” cities …
If you build a city that is great for an eight-year-old and for an 80-year-old, then you build a city that is going to be great for everybody. They’re like an indicator species. We need to stop building cities as if everybody in them is 30 years old and athletic.
The Urban State of Mind: Meditations on the City is the first Urbanophile e-book, featuring provocative essays on the key issues facing our cities, including innovation, talent attraction and brain drain, global soft power, sustainability, economic development, and localism. Included are 28 carefully curated essays out of nearly 1,200 posts in the first seven years of the Urbanophile, plus 9 original pieces. It’s great for anyone who cares about our cities.
The Instituto de Estudios Regionales y Metropolitanos de Barcelona has just made available their last issue (n. 57) of Revista Papers. It is a monography on emergent discourses on urban policies and it includes my article, La desilusión de las smart cities. Está sucediendo, pero no en la forma en la que nos lo han contado (The disenchantment of the smart cities. It is happening, but not in the way e are being told). The essay synthesizes the underlying concepts behind the most estandarized version of the smart city narrative (myths), while, at the same time, it serves as a proposal for an alternative understanding of the role of digital technologies in urban life and urban policies.