The City of Things
About this talk
Look around you. The buildings in the city you’re looking at are probably much as they looked 25 years ago (I’m taking a punt that you’re not in Shanghai.) They will probably look much like that in 25 years time too. Architecture changes cities slowly, if at all. The major changes in the way we live, work and play in cities are instead played out in a layer of objects bigger than a mobile phone and smaller than a building — vehicles and wearables, street furniture and sensors, informal infrastructure and pop-up structures, ‘sharing economy’ services and soon enough, urban robotics. This layer is parasitical, accessible, adaptable — new applications running on the old hardware — and replete with possibilities and pitfalls. A new practice of city making is emerging as a result, shaped as much by interaction design and service design as by architecture and urban planning. This talk explores some of what this might mean for design, technology and cities, and how these new intersections change what the very-near-future city is.