Datapolis

Sanaan Bensi, N. (Speaker), P. Cournet (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference

Description

Datapolis is an ongoing book publication and a research/design studio that we have been running in the architecture department of TU Delft. In our studio, we have explored the physical and spatial aspects of data, its effect on the environment, and its relevance to architectural research and design.
We investigated different areas where data and digitalization require critical assessment: from automated landscapes of factories and distribution centers to non-human architecture of data-centers and IXPs; From the effect and footprint of data on the earth to climate monitoring and the formation of global institutions; From the ownership system, political mapping and legal complexity and ambiguity of data to the appearance of digital identities; And from the manipulation of the body and the changing conditions of the labor to the transformation of the healthcare system and the typology of hospitals. In our program, we have tried to go beyond the pure description of these systems and infrastructures as only services and backgrounds and explore their agency in our life and built environment, in a rather more inclusive political, economic, social, environmental, and aesthetic assemblage.
In a nutshell, we consider two main trajectories: The first trajectory- an ontological investigation per se- attempts to define what is the ‘cloud’ and how does it operate? From the systems and infrastructures behind the internet to the apparatus, objects (or things), and buildings that can transcend the scales and various temporal dimensions. The second trajectory tries to explore how data penetrates our existence, not only by affecting the ways that we live and work but by offering distinct ways of life, which otherwise would have been impossible. On one hand, we investigate data as a spatial phenomenon. On the other hand, we perceive how data through its apparatus and sensors give agency to things that had no voice before. (Latour, 2004 and Marres, 2013).
Addressing the topics and trajectories mentioned above, this paper aims at contributing to a theoretical debate on data and its effects on space, architecture, and environments. But it also intends to be speculative on the ways in which architecture can get engaged with data, its infrastructural space, and its scale, by trying to “give them form”, as Massimo Cacciari suggests. (Cacciari, 2002).
Period24 Mar 202126 Mar 2021
Event titleDEEP CITY: Climate crisis, democracy and the digital
Event typeConference
LocationLausanne, Switzerland
Degree of RecognitionInternational