16 March 2014

Why smart cities need an urgent reality check

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Responsive urban technology sounds enticing but citizens must not be disconnected from plans drawn up on their behalf, argues Gary Graham in The Guardian.

“It’s not clear at the moment whether future cities are strategic experiments for [large companies such as IBM, Samsung, Cisco and Intel], or if they are genuinely catalysing the regeneration of inner cities. To investigate some of these visions, I went to MIT in Boston for three months last year. The aim was to find out how people would get their goods and services in the city of the future, and how we we get everyone to engage with city plans.

We decided to test out some ideas with the inner-city communities of Boston in a series of workshops. We essentially combined science fact and science fiction by presenting them with a Boston set in 2037, based on current technological trends projected forward through several imagined scenarios.

We combined the traditional science fiction ideas of utopia and dystopia with realistic technological trends such as artificial intelligence, 3D printing and big data and asked Bostonians to come up with fictional stories about their life in these environments.”

And the answers were quite to the point:

“Workshop participants felt smart cities were rather utopian concepts growing from a vision put forward by one group of businesses. There was general agreement that there were often many visions for the city, but “at the moment it’s the rich and powerful who determine that future vision.”

Many were troubled by the notion that people would live in a city purely because of its technology capabilities and thought there were lots of other important social and cultural reasons influencing people’s decisions to live or work somewhere. Just because these urban centres could offer us new ways of living in the future does not negate the importance of the natural environment, history and legacy.”

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27 March 2015
Sharp methodological critiques on current Big Data practices
Two methodological critiques on Big Data that caught our attention: In the Financial Times, economist and journalist Tim Harford points out that sampling bias and statistical errors are, if anything, magnified in Big Data research, …
24 March 2015
Presentations online of IEA energy efficiency behaviour workshop
The 11th and 12th of March, the International Energy Agency [IEA] in Paris hosted a workshop on energy efficiency and behaviour in the buildings sector. The goal of this workshop was for representatives from IEA …
18 March 2015
The considerations and limitations of feedback as a strategy for behaviour change
The considerations and limitations of feedback as a strategy for behaviour change Garrath T. Wilsona, Tracy Bhamraa & Debra Lilleya, Loughborough Design School, Loughborough, UK Published online: 12 Mar 2015 - Taylor & Francis Design for Sustainable Behaviour …
18 March 2015
The smartphone society
Just as the automobile defined the twentieth century, the smartphone is reshaping how we live and work today. Boston University sociology lecturer Nicole Aschoff explores it aLL. Half way down her leftist criticism of how the …
16 March 2015
Workshop_40/Wild energies: wind, fire and people in movement
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12 March 2015
Nudging and Choice Architecture: Ethical Considerations
Nudging and Choice Architecture: Ethical Considerations by Cass R. Sunstein Yale Journal on Regulation January 17, 2015 50 pages Is nudging unethical? Is choice architecture a problem for a free society? This essay defends seven propositions: It is pointless to …
12 March 2015
The perils of the internet of things
In the not so distant future, every object in your life will be online and talking to one another. Although it will transform the way we live and work, Marc Goodman wants to know if …
5 March 2015
Is it time to re-examine human-centered design?
Is it time to re-examine our anthropocentrism in design, asks ASU design professor Prasad Boradkar and to extend design's locus of action towards biocentrism. "Clearly, the things we design with such diligent research and utmost care …

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Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
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Experientia’s Twitter feed live

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Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

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30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

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