Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Update on book project "Technology and the City"

I am happy to announce that our book project Technology and the City: Towards a Philosophy of Urban Technologies is in production and will be published soon. My co-editors (Taylor Stone, Margoth González Woge, Pieter Vermaas) and I (Michael Nagenborg) would like to thank all authors for their contributions, support, and patience.

You will learn more about the individual contributions, the scholars involved, and the background of the project soon. But, for now, you may feast your eyes on the table of content:

Part 1: Ontological foundations: city-technology relations


Sanna Lehtinen and Vesa Vihanninjoki: Aesthetic Perspectives on Urban Technologies: Conceptualizing and evaluating the technology-driving changes in the urban everyday experience

Tea Lobo: The Techne and Poiesis of Urban Life-Forms

El Putnam: Locative Reverb: Artistic practice, sound technology, and the grammatization of the listener in the city

Vlad Niculescu-Dincă: Theorizing technologically mediated policing in smart cities: An ethnographic approach to sensing infrastructures in security practices

Mark Thomas Young: Now You See It (Now You Don’t): Users, maintainers, and the invisibility of infrastructure

Marcel Müller: Structure and Background: The influence of infrastructures on human action

Jaana Parviainena and Seija Ridell: Infrastructuring bodies: Choreographies of power in the computational city

Part 2: Responsible design of urban technologies


Rockwell F. Clancy and Aline Chevalier: Dockless App-Based Bicycle-Sharing Systems in China: Lessons from a case of emergent technology

Kevin Mintz: Universally Designed Urban Environments: "A mindless abuse of the ideal of equality" or a matter of social justice?

Taylor Stone: Towards a Darker Future? Designing environmental values into the next generation of streetlights

Pieter Vermaas and Sara Eloy: Shape Grammar Systems as a Technology for Flexible Design for Values in Cities: Giving architectural design to inhabitants

Ryan Mitchell Wittingslow: Authenticity and the “Authentic City”

Henry Dicks, Jean-Luc Bertrand-Krajewski, Christophe Ménézo, Yvan Rahbé, Jean Philippe Pierron, and Claire Harpet: Applying Biomimicry to Cities: The forest as model for urban planning and design

Part 3: Urban futures and “smart” cities

Udo Pesch: From Liberalism to Experimentation: Reconstructing the dimensions of public space

Bart van der Sloot and Marjolein Lanzing: The Continued Transformation of the Public Sphere: On the road to smart cities, living labs and a new understanding of society

Germán Bula: A Philosophy of Sidewalks: Reclaiming promiscuous public spaces

Stefano Borgo, Dino Borri, Domenico Camarda, Maria Rosaria, and Stufano Melone: An Ontological Analysis of Cities, Smart Cities and their Components

Brandt Dainow: Binding the Smart City Human-Digital System with Communicative Processes

Wang Qian and Yu Xue: Technology and the City: From the perspective of philosophy of organicism

Robert Seddon: Ghost Walks for Wireless Networks

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Panel on "Smart City Surveillance" at SSN 2020

I am happy about the acceptance of our "Smart City Surveillance" panel at the Surveillance Studies Network Conference in Rotterdam. I will join Sage Cammers-Goodwin, Maša Galič, Mark Ryan, Karin Pfeffer, and Fenna Hoefsloot. The session has been organised and will be chaired by Tjerk T. Timan. Sage Cammers-Goodwin and I will present some of our findings from the BRIDE project.

Here's the abstract:

In many Western city centers, we are witnessing an increase of smart city and living lab infrastructure that is promising innovation in security and profitability. While securing cities and its citizens against external attacks or internal dangers is nothing new, current smart-city logics – often in the form of public-private partnerships – are delivering a complex landscape of purposes for novel and often highly invasive surveillance technologies. Combining privately-generated data (e.g. social media or personal walking patterns), ‘environmental’ data (e.g. crowdedness and weather conditions) and hard-factual statistics (e.g. crime rates, trash collection or beer consumption), profiles on atmosphere, persons’ moods and pre-conflict situational awareness are being generated. The next step in such often experimental initiatives is to package such projects as wholesale security solutions.

Main theme:
In this panel we want to explore, on the basis of a large body of theory in geography, philosophy of technology, surveillance studies and law, what the current practices out there are, and how to analyse such experiments. In other words, what can we say, learn and do about such urban surveillance infrastructural developments, and how can we expand the body of knowledge stemming from these cases?

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Public service announcement: Philosophy job openings in The Netherlands

A couple of positions have been recently opened at Dutch universities. While I already tweeted about them, here's an overview.

PhD candidates: We are hiring a PhD candidate for our project "Disastrous Information." The PhD candidate will be placed at Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Geo-Information Management (PGM) of ITC (Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation). I will be one of the supervisors. Applications are due by February 2nd, 2020.

There will also be a postdoc position within the same project which will open later this year.

Postdoc: TU Delft is looking for two postdocs in ethics of medical technologies (full-time, 2 years).

Note that the partners in the Gravitation project will start to hiring PhD candidates soon.

Assistant Professor: There are two openings at Assistant Professor level which are related to the Gravitation project. One at the University of Twente and one at the University of Delft.

In addition, the Philosophy department at the University of Maastricht is hiring two Assistant Professors.

Finally, if you are not familiar with the Dutch system: Note that "tenure track" can have a different meaning at different universities. Please have a good look at the details and do contact the departments if you are in doubt about the requirements for getting tenured.