“Zuni maps draw deeply on shared experiences of place. They depict petroglyph carvings, images from prayers and songs, colorful stacks of pottery, arroyos and mesas. They are an opportunity for the Zuni to reclaim a deep understanding of a shared cultural tradition, rooted in ancestral lands, told again in a familiar language. These maps are critical to constructing a bridge between the traditional and modern worlds, connecting the old ways with the new.“
Professor Benjamin Bratton examines the possibilities of Big Data urbanism and argues for a future wherein environments are not just data sources for programs of AI urbanism but cybernetic, synthetic users.
“The garment being cut and sewn is not only for us to wear; the city also wears us…The lesson from the cuttlefish for how we should imagine a rich ecology of urban-scale AI is profound…I advocate that technologies that augment the capacities of exposed surfaces, whole organisms, or relations between them should extend deeply into the ecological cacophony…augmented reality for crows, and artificial intelligence for insects.”
Brent Sturlaugson on “the supply chains of architecture” and “networks of materials, energy, power, money“. To wit;
“In describing some of the processes by which coal mined in Wyoming comes to supply a coal-fired power plant in Georgia, which in turn provides power to a nearby plywood manufacturer, I have sketched only the most basic components of the supply chains of a single resource and single commodity. And likewise, in tracing how the profits from energy generation and product manufacturing can then be deployed to influence electoral politics, which in turn affect our national policies and personal lives, I’ve offered but a glimpse“
Shannon Mattern (as part of her self-described “urban data and mediated spaces” beat) examines “the hardening of American borders and the spread of new technologies of recognition and identification that are changing the way we appear to one another.” Particularly “In Trump’s America“.
Ultimately, laying out “a final object lesson, which proposes a new way of responding to the border, an embodied transnationalism“.
Recently the local Denver YIMBY Facebook group was discussing a piece published over at Governing which explored ‘When Citizen Engagement Becomes Too Much‘. Specifically, the pros/cons of technocratic vs participatory forms governance through the example of Austin’s CodeNext process.
My response included the below;
Further, while I do believe in the value of technocratic expertise, I would disagree that we need less citizen participation/feedback in governing. If anything more. For instance things like participatory budgeting, which I have heard some council-members speak favorably of. I’ve also attended meetings where tabletop games or insta-polling were used and the consensus of the room was that these were very useful, rather than officials being able to merely check the box via monologue heavy community “listening sessions”.
Or how about even more fine-grained, neighborhood scale approaches like wijkwandelingen?
Graham Caine’s London Ecological House (1972) processed human excrement into cooking fuel and fertilizer for growing vegetables on-site. Caine, an architecture student at the time, lived in the house for two years.
“This is a vision of the hardware store as episteme. It holds (and organizes) the tools, values, and knowledges that bind a community and define a worldview. There’s a material and social sensibility embodied in the store, its stuff, and its service, and reflected in the diverse clientele. That might sound a bit lofty for a commercial establishment that sells sharp objects and toxic chemicals…Here, amidst the nuts and bolts, we cultivate the potential to order things, places, communities, politics, and values — we might even say, to build and repair worlds.“
“Yet Gulf futurism offers no new imagery to displace the hegemonic ones in power—instead setting up the scaffolding to reproduce the injustices, structural degradation and racial erasures of the present. As ethnifuturisms go, it feels like there’s something missing, too. Where’s the longing, the displacement, the impossibility of return? Where’s the Afghan, the Filipino, the Indian, the Iranian, the Somali, the Pakistani, the Bangladeshi, the Iraqi, and all the other non-Khaleeji Arabs all bound up into one pathologised brown body? [Experimental jazz musician] Sun Ra had to go all the way to Saturn; the Gulf futurist doesn’t need to go anywhere because they’re welcomed, and even reified, right at home.”