[urban interfaces] seminar 2020-2021: Interfacing the (In)Formal City

Dates: March 4, March 18, April 1, April 15 2021
Time and Venue: 15.00 – 17.00 | Online (TBA)
Credits: 3 ECTS (for RMa Studentes and PhD Candidates only, MA students who want to obtain ECTS can contact Prof. dr Nanna Verhoeff or Dr Michiel de Lange for more information)
The seminar series is open to (R)Ma students and PhD candidates
Organized by: http://urbaninterfaces.sites.uu.nl
More information: urbaninterfaces[at]uu.nl

Urban culture is increasingly shaped by various media technologies. Screens, mobile media, sensing technologies, wireless networks, interactive installations and other urban interfaces become more and more enmeshed with the built environment. These technological systems and algorithmic platforms direct and mediate our behavior, data, and experiences in the city. On the one hand, informal interactions and unspoken cultural codes are formalized (or ignored) by datasets, protocols and algorithms. On the other hand, with new interfaces new informal and decentralized networks can be developed for the exchange of information and collective action. Ideals for the contemporary city are often founded on open, transformative and contingent qualities, and imagine its public spaces as arenas for encounters, connections and serendipity. What happens when quantification, commodified platforms, formal protocols, gamified nudges and algorithmic culture impact public and (in)formal urban life, and how can media, arts and performance also contribute to ideals of an open (in)formal contemporary city?

The seminar will schedule preparatory readings, (online) meetups, guest speakers and discussions. RMA students who attend all meetings and submit four blog posts, based on the readings and discussions, are eligible for 3 ECTS.


Session 1: Formalizing the City: technologies, infrastructures, and institutions

Session 2: Informalizing the City: commons, agonisms, interventions

Session 3: Practices of (in)formalization #1: creative methodologies

Session 4: Practices of (in)formalization #2: interventions