26C3 - 26C3 1.15

26th Chaos Communication Congress
Here be dragons

Eleanor Saitta
Day Day 3 - 2009-12-29
Room Saal2
Start time 11:30
Duration 01:00
ID 3573
Event type Lecture
Track Culture
Language used for presentation English

Playing with the Built City

Architecture and urban planning play a huge role in our lives, to a degree not always obvious. The city, however, can be seen as just another system—like any other, it can be hacked, illuminating and subverting existing power structures and creating spaces that allow us to be more human and to live richer lives. In this talk, we'll see a bunch of the challenges of the modern city and look at possible responses.

Architecture and urban planning define much of the world we interact with. This has a wide variety of deep and not always immediately obvious effects—everything from the kinds of things we can do in public spaces to the kinds of families we can live with. While the transparency and responsiveness to actual community need varies, even the best architecture is a usually conservative. The cities we end up with rarely allow us the kind of flexibility and humanity that we want.

Cities, buildings, infrastructure, all of these things are systems. They are heavily politicized with embodied power structures on a number of different levels—structural, functional, aesthetic, economic, political, and social. At each level, we can intervene, alter those power structures, and create the spaces we need and want. Architecture is generally the domain of the rich and powerful, but it doesn't have to be—we can intervene and hack the city.

During this talk, I'll spend a bit of time exploring the power structures of the modern city at the level of architecture and urban planning. Then, for the bulk of the talk, I'll look at a bunch of different techniques—prototypes for ways we as individuals can subvert the city. Let's get outside the design-culture consumer conversation around architecture and urban futurism, and actually change our cities, one brick at a time!