Category Uncategorized

Glitch Studies and the Ambiguous Objectivity of Algorithms

Algorithms play an increasingly central part in our societies. The impact of these quantification objects extends beyond our everyday interactions with information technology. Algorithms contribute to the evidence-base that underpins organisational decision-making of public and private sector organisations. The decisions that algorithms help inform may guide the allocation of substantial resources and consequentially deeply affect […]

Cooperative robotics and the social side to (big data) modelling

In a recent podcast by The Economist, Jason Palmer and Ken Cukier reported on something called “cooperative robots”. These are an exciting new breed of robots which aim to benefit optimally from the respective qualities of human and robot. For instance, robots can be very precise and people are adept at creative problem solving. The concept of cooperative robotics is particularly exciting because traditional […]

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The Tower of David: Emergence and urban development

Whether it is the design of a new park or the construction of a residential block, urban developments are initiated with a particular use of space in mind. However, it is important to consider that the actual use of space is not dictated on the drawing board. Rather, behaviour is emergent, formed by the interaction […]

Kickstarting Urban Development

In the current period of economic downturn, many urban (re)development projects are grinding to a halt due to lack of funding. At the same time, recession related grassroot activism such as Occupy shows that citizens wish to be actively engaged in decision-making. Moreover, the success of websites such as Kickstarter demonstrates that crowd-funding offers a […]

Self-organisation: the case of Kowloon Walled City

Kowloon Walled City, China is an interesting case that illustrates the process of self-organisation in urban development. Since 1898 the fortress-town of Kowloon found itself in a state of diplomatic limbo as a result an ongoing feud between the Chinese And English governments. Previously, I argued that Jane Jacobs and Walt Disney both advocate a […]

Walt Disney and Jane Jacobs on urban design

Most urban designers would agree that Jane Jacobs has had a profound impact in the way we think about planning. While it might not be apparent, her views have much common with the way Walt Disney envisioned the ideal community. So what connects an urban activist to one of the founders of multi-billion dollar corperation? […]