International Summer School in Brno 4th – 9th of August 2014
International interdisciplinary Summer School on city and contemporary technology aims to bring together students from different study fields for a one week intensive work tutored by professionals with the background in architecture, urban planning, urban design, art, scripting and new media.
Contemporary discourse on city and high technology is often driven by techno-optimism featuring terms such as network city, big data, smart city, smart building or smart community. But what do these terms really mean to us as citizens and individuals? In the rhetoric of corporations such as IBM or CISCO the technological future of our cities seems to be always bright and unavoidable and the high technology seems to be politically neutral, bearing a beneficial role. Their ready made centralized solutions for municipalities give us notion of the city governed by pushing the button with main arguments based on efficiency, safety and health. But do we really want to be governed by the push of the button from above? Are efficiency, safety and health the only values we want to build our cities on?
These politically neutral notions suspiciously remind us of the modernist era of city planning of the first half of the 20th century, where a hero architect is merged with a hero engineer equipped with rationality and all-encompassing ideal of the city ready to solve all the lively problems by the modernist approach to urban design. Can we depart from framework of the technological solutions and its intended use that is offered us in the top-down manner? How?
Can be technology deprived of the power-relations embedded in it? Can we use technology in some kind of surprising way to fit them better to our personal desires beyond efficiency and safety? Similarly as hacker is using subversive techniques to make use of virtual space, can we – architects, artist, designers, planners and city dwellers – make use of the high technology in physical space of the city? If yes, than how exactly?
Everyone who is interested in city, space, design and critical thinking is welcomed at the SPACEHACKING summer school!