WMMNA: What Makes A City Smart?
One of the winning projects from Making Future Work combines digital technology with biometrics to create prototypes which investigate the emergence of the 'smart-city.'
IBI trying Town Crier, a device which recognises and reads geo-tagged tweets through a megaphone
Last week, I was telling you about Le Cadavre Exquis, an interactive installation commissioned Making Future Work. This Nottingham-based initiative that called for artists, designers and organisations based in East Midlands to submit proposals that would respond to four distinct areas of practice: Co creation / Online Space, Pervasive Gaming / Urban Screens, Re-imaging Redundant Systems and Live Cinema / 3D.
The Urban Immune System Research, one of the 4 winning projects, investigates parallel futures in the emergence of the ‘smart-city’. During their research, the Institute has produced a series of speculative prototypes that combine digital technology and biometrics: one of the devices ‘functions as a social sixth sense’, a second one is a backpack mounted with 4 megaphones that shouts out geo-located tweets as you walk around, a third one attempts to make its wearer get a sense of what might it feel like to walk through a ‘data cloud’ or a ‘data meadow’.
The devices are the starting point of a series of user tests, performative research and public engagement events that seek to provoke debate and facilitate wider public discussion around potential urban futures, and our role in shaping them.
Just a few words of introduction about The Institute for Boundary Interactions before I proceed with our interview. IBI is a group of artists, designers, architects, technologists and creative producers conduct practice-based research into the complex relationships between people, places and recent developments in the field of science, technology and culture.
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Régine Debatty is an art curator and the creator of the blog We Make Money Not Art. She has also spoken at several conferences and festivals about the way artists, hackers and interaction designers (mis)use technology.