CFP – Media City 5 International Conference and Exhibition


MEDIA CITY 5 International Conference and Exhibition
1st ­ 3rd May 2015
Plymouth University, UK<>

The theme of the fifth MEDIACITY conference is reflecting on social smart

Much of our thinking around technology and the city is based around
polarising paradigms. On one hand we have the smart city agenda that is
underpinned by a vision of data-centred optimisation of urban systems and
on the other hand we have a open-source, citizen driven approach based
around ad-hoc practices and prototyping of counter-culture scenarios.
These paradigms of city visions are described variously through terms such
as “digital city, screen city, media city, sentient city, u-city, fusion
city, hybrid city, intelligent city, connectiCity, pervasive city and the
smart city” and we seek to look beyond the rhetoric and critically reflect
and imagine new models and approaches to media and the city. We want to
challenge over-simplified assumptions around terms such as smart city, and
understand in more detail the complex interactions between social actors
and technological transformations of the city. The aim of the conference
is to consider more fully the multiple, subtle, and interdependent
spatio-temporalities which together work to constitute ICT-based urban
change. In particular we will discuss models of participation, action and
agency, shifting capacity to act beyond the ‘like’ button and to take
responsibility for the future shape of the city.
The conference addresses the approaches and the corresponding design
responses that meet the challenges of social, citizen-centred, smart
cities and communities. It will offer reflective, high quality theoretical
and design-based responses to the question of how media and ICTs can
create alternative responses to current societal challenges.

We will look at urbanity and digital media and ideas of place and space
and reflect on new models, landscapes and frameworks in the social smart
city. We explore how ‘the city’ as a site of participation is enabled
through media and technology and modes of citizen participation and agency
as well as how temporal installations and urban prototyping enable us to
imagine other possible futures. We will also look to the Internet of
Things to explore the way in which objects increasingly become sentient
actors in urban life. Through this we will address broader issues of
resilience and sustainability and how these intertwine with media and
technological frameworks. We provisionally propose three main sub-themes:

Urban Design, public place-making, network infrastructures and resilience
social participation, urban prototyping, big data and agency
The Internet of Things (IoT), sentience, social memory and networked

The conference audience will be drawn from an interdisciplinary field of
architecture, geography, human computer interaction, planning, media
studies, art and sociology to gather and exchange multiple perspectives on
common challenges.

Submissions to be uploaded to the conference’s EasyChair website:

Paper abstracts
Paper submissions are a two-stage process. Authors are asked Continue reading

Sensing Cities: a series of broadcasts on Resonance FM

Sensing Cities

Sensing Cities is a series of informal conversations / interviews with artists and writers around the theme of the city, its many layers and narratives. These conversations will be broadcast on Resonance FM.

The first circle of the interviews is scheduled to begin on Wednesday, May 15th at 1 pm to 1:30 pm and  will run until June 12th.

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Not in the margins: circulatory system and shanty towns in Caracas — some reflections by George Ciccariello-Maher

Venezuela Analysis has some interesting reflections by George Ciccariello-Maher on the concept of urban marginality in Caracas (originally published in Jacobin), and which can be generalized, to some extent, to other Latin American cities. Ciccariello-Maher argues that Continue reading

Ecumenopolis: city without limits


I have to share this great article written by Juan Manuel Restepo on Favela Issues.

In today’s cities we see how governments struggle to create solutions and to implement large policies. Cities are more complex, diverse and dynamic making governance almost impossible. Governments can’t make changes in these cities by themselves. They need to build collective efforts with all the stakeholders in the city.


Nevertheless, politicians keep on promising and acting as if they had the capacity to make real changes by themselves. They keep on bringing THE SOLUTION for mobility, security, education and health without really understanding the issues or the actors behind them that control real power in the city. During the political campaigns they promise everything and give figures of all the great changes they want to make. But when they get elected the passionate candidates crush with a wall of the real power that controls the city through…

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Henri Lefebvre, Vers une architecture de la jouissance

Progressive Geographies

criticat14cover210690034_387393451417965_7363263115971561396_nWhile there is a published translation into English, Henri Lefebvre’s 1973 manuscript Vers une architecture de la jouissance has, until now, not been available in French. Now an excerpt has been published in Criticat, and a full edition may be forthcoming. This issue of the journal also includes an analysis by Łukasz Stanek, editor of the English edition.

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Urban abstracts


Matthias Heiderich, Reflexionen (2)Matthias Heiderich, Reflexionen (3)Matthias Heiderich, Reflexionen (4)Matthias Heiderich, Reflexionen (5)Matthias Heiderich, Reflexionen (6)Matthias Heiderich, Reflexionen (1)

From the series ‘Reflexionen Eins’ by Matthias Heiderich. Matthias is a self taught photographer who lives in Berlin, Germany and loves architecture. He is a 32-year-old landscape photographer, heavily influenced by architecture, graphic design, colour and the urban landscape, seems primarily concerned about the composition and the colors. The symmetry and truth that comes out of every building as a living organism. Combining colorful and vibrant images he creates somehow unreal and yet timeless landscapes that represent Berlin in wonderful facets

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