Homepage Forums Design Participation: Architecture, Users & Technology New processes of design and production bring the user back to the centre of design, not just as he who inhabits the space, nor as the stakeholder that participates in the design process, as in the participatory movement of 1960s. The user is empowered to change, customize and adapt the environment in real time, crossing the limits of physical matter and traditional drawings. Do emerging technologies reveal new ways of architecture and participation?

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Carlos Barrera 2 years, 6 months ago.

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    Urban UrbanNext


    First of all, probably it would be convenient to define what do we understand by the term “emerging technologies”. Are we referring to nanotechnology? Robotics? Digital fabrication? Biotechnology? Artificial Intelligence? Information and Communication Technology (ICT)? The combination of all of them? In this group of emerging technologies and in relation to the city, probably the convergence of robotics and the ICT is one of the combinations that for now is giving the most clear, immediate and tangible results. The work of Claudio Silva (CUSP), Carlo Ratti, Antoni Brey and many others could be good examples of it, together with its implementation in cities like Singapore or Vancouver. Following this criteria and framing the notion of “emerging technologies” to the couple Robotics + ICT applied to cities, the notion of participation becomes, indeed, crucial. However, I would like to put on the table as well the other side of it: repression.

    One of the paradoxes of the implementation of the Robotics + ICT couple in the city, is that the companies that are developing technologies to promote a relevant and direct participation of the citizenship in the city functioning, are the same ones that are producing technology to do exactly the opposite: an extreme control exercise. In the first group, services like Meet-Up, Wallapop, Uber or Airbnb are completely changing the manner in which we relate to each other, even if cities are not prepared yet to handle it. Of course, these applications have the potential to empower any kind of participation, and not just its quantity, but its quality and type as well: a direct, daily, massive and local participation could, without any doubts, improve the health of our democracy in relation to the daily city management. However, in the second group, we could find all these technologies that could get us closer to the 1984 Orwell’s distopia of the Big Brother. It is not a joke, cities like Rio de Janeiro or Singapore have a huge and completely centralized control room similar to what Nasa uses to control its spaceships. It seems that cities are not anymore planned, but piloted. So in this sense, yes, cities could risk to become something very similar to the contemporaneous version of the Bentham panopticon, specially and mainly if we let technology be developed, sold and distributed by the dominant power.

    Being these risks mentioned, it is important to not fall in a neo-luddite position which would reject any kind of technology “per-se”. The application of ITC and Robotics in the urban environment has  the potential to leave aside the slightly totalitarian approach developed by the architects and urban planners of the early stages of the modernism, which in a certain manner are still present in our present imaginary. However, this implies a certain transformation in the attitude of our citizenship, moving from a passive and contemplative mind to an active and performative attitude. Otherwise, if this social and cultural transformation if not being operated, emerging technologies will just become another tool to emphasize a completely top-down control, instead of using its power to underline the participation shift that its capable to achieve.

    There are many examples of new ways of participation in an urban scale empowered by  “emergent technologies”. Concepts like the bartering pushed by services like Wallapop could completely change the understanding of commerce in cities. The fact that we are completely connected from our homes to the world, is challenging the traditional idea of the public space as a space of interaction: Which is the role of the public space if we are already hyper-connected without going out from home? The idea that services like uber could become more and more frequent would challenge the need of an individual car per each citizen, and therefore the need to reformulate a city with less and less cars. Finally, our constant connection and geo-localisation would change the manner in which we circulate in cities,and overall, could replace the concept of the traffic light, an apparatus that has more than 150 years almost with no relevant modifications.



    The “designed “object, in our informational era, is no longer a figural category (a composed form), but a dynamic system (an evolutionary process).

    Approaching it, then, implies a multiple action, an inter-action as a combination of actions that mix different data, modes and formats.

    Those of a reactive environment (product, building, city, territory), which reacts – evolves, changes, varies, mutates – with and according to the synthetic processing of information.

    We are talking about a new type of approach in design, which is less figurative and more configurative.

    A new type of less formal, more formulative forms.

    But also a new type of less hierarchical, more flexible and variable organizations and orders.

    A new type of less uniform, more differential structures (“architecture”, buildings and urban structures, but also social, political and cultural structures).

    The exploration of these dynamics has driven “in process” processes, which are present in a whole generation of ideas (rather than a generation in terms of age) convinced of this paradigm shift that has surpassed classical, modern and postmodern conceptions, directing them toward a new, more advanced informational logic.

    Whereas the verb to design traditionally referred to a process of creation and projection “in advance” of the production of an industrial product or living space, for exchange or relation – a projective, mentally anticipatory action: a (pre)figuration that is present in the etymological root of the word design “de-signare”, to mark as a “sign” – today, this projective and projective action doesn’t refer as much to the areas of aesthetic figuration and composition, but rather to those of strategic and information formulating and programming, which have the potential not only to anticipate a production process, but also to prompt it, direct it and modify it at the same time.

    The digital world and the new information technologies (Internet of Thinks, Smart-cities & Smart-citizens, etc.) have exponentially broadened this potential for exchange between situations and demands, along with the ability to parametrize and (re)design, to program and reprogram, to process and reprocess our own relational surroundings (in the form of precise, recordable, traceable logarithms that can be reedited into multiple and variable formats, trajectories and contexts).

    In contrast to the 1990s, when digital computational development seemed to be associated with the investigation of virtual reality, today we understand that the development of new information technologies and their translation into an efficient, multi-dimensional – often nano-dimensional – sensorization brings us closer to a reality that can be recorded in an increasingly precise and rigorous manner, opening up an immense range of possibilities in the field of the combination materiality-informationality.<sup>5</sup>

    Digital fabrication is open to the use of new materials (or composites) and the opportunity to combine sensorization and fabrication in new productive and constructive developments and new industrial systems – structures and products – that are intelligent, (re)active and “coparticipatory”: interconnected and sensitive to a more efficient and qualitative mutual collaboration.

    This progressive sensorization and reactivity of our material environments confirms the shift from the idea of design as formal production – the object as a fundamentally aesthetic element – to the idea of design as intentional programming – the object as an n-strategic interface (multi-layered and multi-relational).


    Carlos Barrera

    <p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>State of the Art Novel InFlow Tech Featured Project Development 1Gearturbine 2Imploturbocompressor</span></p>
    <p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>1Gearturbine </span><span class=”s2″>Novel Rotary Turbo InFlow Tech Gearturbine Project Featured Development </span><span class=”s3″>Atypical Gearturbine Retrodynamic Dextrogiro VS Levogiro Effect Ying Yang Thrust Way Type Non Waste Looses State of the Art Innovative concept Top System Higher Efficient Percent Its Similar simple system of the Heron Aeolipile Steam Turbine Device from Alexandria 10 70 AD YouTube Atypical New GEARTURBINE Retrodynamic DextroRPM VS LevoInFlow Ying Yang Thrust Way Type Non Waste Looses 8XY Thermodynamic Cycle way Steps New FormFunction Motor Engine Device Type Retrodynamic RotorRPM VS InFlow Way Collision interaction type Non Parasitic Looses for Cooling Lubrication Combustion systems Shape Mass Rotary Motion continue dynamic inertia positive tendence motion Like a FreeWheel Opposite power thrust like the Ying Yang Simbol Pat 197187 IMPI MX Dic 1991</span></p>
    <p class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>2</span><span class=”s2″>Imploturbocompressor One Moving Part System Excellence Design The InFlow Interaction comes from MacroFlow and goes to MicroFlow by Implossion Only One Compression Step Inflow Compression and outflow at one simple circular dynamic motion New Concept To see a Imploturbocompressor animation is posible on a simple way just to check an Hurricane Satellite view and is the same implo inflow way nature</span></p>

    PLUS State of the Art Novel Technology Project Development Space Satellite and Habitat Power Plant Self Feed Unit H2O HHO H2O HHO Etc 1 Gearturbine 2 Imploturbocompressor Note Plus this two Projects to complete all the system work Self Feed Unit Satellite Power Plant H2O HHO 3 Dynamic Generator New kind 4 Electrolysis System BioDesign 3 and 4 Cards on the Hand

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