UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE
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Call for proposals: Deep City – Climate crisis, Democracy and the Digital

Deep City – Climate crisis, democracy and the digital. 24-27 March 2021

2020(21) International Latsis Symposium – Open Forum

Big data, smart systems, machine learning – it is inevitable that these new technologies will change the way we study, build and manage our cities. At the same time resurgent interest in consensus and contributive action seems to oppose an exclusively data-driven urbanism. Is the opposition of machine intelligence and democracy inevitable, or are shared trajectories possible?

Politicians, social scientists, urbanists, and architects find their working methods and disciplinary knowledge challenged by insights derived from big data, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence (A.I.). As both citizens and experts in the many respective fields, our mission must be to bring in our disciplinary knowledge and civic engagement to support the appropriate development and discussion of data-driven tools, to consider both their biases and potentials, and to promote broader social literacy and criticality. Ultimately, it is a question of both decanting the technical quality of these new instruments of design, management and decision making, as well as enhancing democratic control over them. How do we do this? Do our disciplines currently lack adequate strategies to understand, let alone critique or exploit the knowledge-products of machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data?

Due to the ongoing covid-19 crisis, the International Deep City Latsis Symposium has been rescheduled to 24-27th March 2021 with an innovative conference concept where the digital and the physical will join to create a global dialogical field. To ground this field and foster meaningful exchange, the organisers launch a Call for Proposals, ranging from operational practices to speculative and theoretical questionings. These can be presented in written, built, coded, drawn, figured, imagined, filmed, modelled or in any other way conveyed format. Participants will be able to attend and present their work in person at any of its three main sites or through the Deep City analog-digital platform where they’ll be able to participate and discuss with the event’s global audience.

Deep City will take place on the EPFL Campus in Lausanne, from 24 to 27 March 2021, with parallel and common activities in partner sites Singapore (in collaboration with SUTD Singapore University of Technology and Design) and Hong Kong (in collaboration with HKU The University of Hong Kong). This social and cultural event will connect different cities and time zones, augmenting the physical experience through the digital and augmenting the digital through a unique approach to the physical.

Conference themes:

  • Data, democracy and sovereignty: towards new urban and political imaginaries.
  • New digital tools for urban governance.
  • New material agencies.
  • Making ground for new negotiations between the technological, the ecological and the social.
  • Resilient cities in the post-Anthropocene
  • Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence as new forms of design rationality

Deep City is organized by EPFL Institute of Architecture’s laboratories ALICE (Atelier de la conception de l’espace) and LDM (Media and Design Laboratory) in collaboration with SUTD Singapore University of Technology and Design and The University of Hong Kong.

The deadline for submissions is 20 October 2020.

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