Tracing the Intensive: On Assemblages, Technicities and Urban Pedagogies

Activity: Talk or presentationTalk or presentation at a conference


Nowadays, emerging technologies continuously shift our understanding of human evolution as well as influence the understanding of the built and urban environment. It is evident that architectural and urban pedagogies are equally impacted by the so-called digital turns. On the one hand, digital technologies introduce a great variety of technical methods, such as mapping, filming, geographic information systems (GIS), parametric modelling or VR/AR technology, facilitating the extraction of certain aspects of urban life through qualitative and quantitative analyses or simulations. On the other hand, the rapid growth of such technologies has also raised questions on whether it could enhance the very understanding of urban conditions in evoking a critical thinking of the dynamic, transient and intensive encounters of urban life. To respond to that, one can perhaps turn to philosopher Gilbert Simondon and his concept of technicity: simply put, technicity deals with how humans relate and transform their environment through technology and how these relations transform all of them in their own – humans, technology, and environment. Utilising the concept of technicity, this paper intends to speculate on the intensive dynamics of urban life. It will do so by firstly embracing assemblage thinking and understanding the urban as an emergent and plastic condition. Secondly, in teasing out the tangible dimensions of technicity, the paper aims to discuss the affective, reticular, and co-transformative relations between people, spaces, and memory as produced and ramified by technology. It then brings the above discussions together to articulate potential urban pedagogies that are enabled by transdisciplinarity and a problem-based understanding of knowledge. Finally, the paper places an open-ended question: how digital literacy could produce a form of urban literacy, and how lack of knowledge on the entanglements between architecture and digital technologies leads eventually to an impediment in understanding how urban life is influenced by both.
Period21 Apr 2022
Event titleAMPS: A Focus on Pedagogy: Teaching, Learning and Research in the Modern Academy
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational