From Open Source Urbanism
From this list we should come up with 3 or 4 key readings from which the introductory projects are developed. I'm assuming these will need to be single chapters or papers (max 20 pages) if we can expect the students to actually read them.
- Malcolm McCullough, Digital Ground, MIT Press, 2004.
Chapter 1 'Interactive Futures' could be a good introduction to the broad context of pervasive computing and it's relation to people and spaces. "Software engineers think they know what they mean by design, and so do architects. When information technology becomes a part of the social infrastructure, it demands design consideration from a broad range of disciplines. Social, psychological, aesthetic, and functional factors all must play a role in design." (p.3)
- Bruce Sterling, Shaping Things, MIT Press, 2005.
Chapter 6 'A Synchronic Society' is sensational in a good way about the design possibilities of a super-fast always-on world. "A Synchronic Society synchronises multiple histories. In a synchronic society, every object worthy of human or machine consideration generates a small history. These histories are not dusty archives locked away on ink and paper. The are informational resources, manipulable in real time... Exploiting this potential successfully is a major opportunity and challenge for tomorrow's design." (p.45)
- Manuel DeLanda, A Thousand Years of Non-Linear History, Zone Books, 1997.
Geological History: 1000-1700 A.D. presents the city as the product of flows of energy and information. "We live in a world populated by structures - a complex mixture of geological, biological, social and linguistic constructions that are nothing but accumulations of materials shaped and hardened by history." (p.25)
- Steven Johnson, Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities and Software, Scribner, 2001.
Chapter 2 'Street Level' spans from the local decision making of an ant colony from which larger structures emerge; the emergent algorithms behind SimCity; to the actual city itself. "Neighbours learn from each other because they pass each other - and each other's stores and dwellings - on the sidewalk. Sidewalks allow relatively high-bandwidth communication between total stranger, and they mix large numbers of individuals in random configurations. Without the sidewalks, cities would be like ants without a sense of smell, or a colony with too few worker ants. Sidewalks provide both the right kind and right number of local interactions. They are the gap junctions of city life." (p.94)
- John Thackara, In The Bubble: Designing in a Complex World, MIT Press, 2005.
Chapter 4 'Locality' looks at how the existing city can be augmented and reorganised by technology and design with an emphasis on all things small, social and community-like. "The answer lies in webs, chains and networks of cities and regions. By aggregating their hard and soft assets, collective cities - multicentered cities - can match the array of functions and resources of the metropolitan centres while still (in theory) delivering superior social quality. The ability of small cities to offer a context that supports intimacy and encounter - what the french call la vie associative - is where small-city webs will win out over the big centres." (p.80)
"The streets are now alive with data, invisible but all pervasive. Buildings can now talk to each other and virtually every object that comes within range, human or not. Given this new potential, how do we design better streets, better buildings? How should we see the street as a platform? What are the creative challenges now that we can make things talk?"
- Dan Hill, The Adaptive City - Another great post by Dan outlining the relationship between the built city and the data that envelops it.
"The built fabric becomes less important than the behaviour of the city itself, and we finally have a sense of the latter. As Reyner Banham suggested all those years ago, services and infrastructure become far more relevant to the way the city feels. However, these urban informatics do become manifest in the built fabric nonetheless; they have a potential physical presence, as the model is only partly concerned with drawing data from the city. It also feeds it back. Urban information design emerges in a call-and-response relationship with informatics, filtering and describing these patterns for the benefit of citizens and machines. The invisible becomes visible, as the impact of people on their urban environment can be understood in real-time."
- Adam Greenfield, Everyware: The Dawning Age of Ubiquitous Computing, New Riders, 2006
- Adam Greenfield and Mark Shepard, Pamphlet 1: Urban Computing and Its Discontents, Situated Technologies, 2007. Dowload link
- Usman Haque and Matthew Fuller, Pamphlet 2: Urban Versioning System 1.0, Situated Technologies, 2008. Dowload link
- McCullough's reading list.
- Cedric Price, Reyner Banham, Paul Barker & Peter Hall, "Non-Plan: An Experiment in Freedom", New Society, no338, 1969 - Quoted in Situated Technologies Pamphlet 2.
- Dennis Kaspori, “A communism of ideas: towards an architectural open source practice,” Archis #3, 2003;