From media facades and urban screens, to digital platforms and smart city technologies – media architecture has increasingly shaped or cities during the past two decades. None of these technologies, however, are neutral enablers, mere decorative structures, or just simple market places. They are built upon numerous spoken and unspoken assumptions about urban life, each with their own implications for both social relations as well as their effect on the natural ecosystem. It is time therefore for the discipline of media architecture to address the implied futures of new technologies. In this livecast we will discuss the promises projected onto urban media technologies, and how professionals and researchers in (media) architecture and urban interaction design can address these implied futures both critically and constructively.


  • Stephan Petermann is the founder of MANN, a research and creative design consultancy in Amsterdam working with a variety of clients on strategy, concept and content development in real estate development, food and agriculture and digital technology. He is a long-term collaborator of Rem Koolhaas assisting him with research, strategy, editing and curation. He was an associate at OMA’s think tank AMO from 2010 until 2019. In February 2020 he presented Chinese Villages: A new Era as part of the Countryside, The Future exhibition by Rem Koolhaas/AMO at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York done in collaboration with the CAFA Visual Arts Innovation Center in Beijing looking at the future of the Chinese countryside. He writes for various magazines and blogs including Vrij Nederland, e-flux architecture, de Gids, and Domus.Last winter, Petermann led the Winter School Promises Promises, a collaboration between the Media Architecture Biennale and Archis. Using the research methodologies of AMO and VOLUME, participants investigated the promises formulated from the dawn of the smart-city.
  • Marília Pasculli is a curator and artistic director of the Verve Cultural in São Paulo, Brazil. She investigates and designs innovative platforms for digital art exhibitions, such as full dome format, sculptural LEDs and large scale media architecture. She is the founder of the Art Gallery Digital SESI-SP, the largest media facade initiative in Latin America. On that media facade, she produced and curated eleven digital art exhibitions, among them the SP_Urban Digital Festival, that is entering in the sixth edition.The mission of that festival is to provide channels for cultural dissemination as an integrated part of the city, merging art, architecture and technology. In the past years, large scale installations and urban media art projects spread throughout the city of São Paulo were also signed by Marília Pasculli and Verve Cultural. A common thread in Pasculli’s work is the question how media architecture can contribute to active, inclusive and freely accessible public spaces.
  • Marcus Foth and Glenda Caldwell work at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. Caldwell is Associate Professor in Architecture, whose work focuses on the effect technology has on the experience of the city, exploring how opportunities for social interaction can occur within the digital and physical layers of the urban environment. Foth is a professor of Urban Informatics in the QUT Design Lab. Foth’s research brings together people, place, and technology. His transdisciplinary work is at the international forefront of human-computer interaction research and development with a focus on smart cities, community engagement, media architecture, internet studies, ubiquitous computing, and sustainability. He founded the Urban Informatics Research Lab at QUT in 2006 and the QUT Design Lab in 2016. He is also one of the founders of the More-than-Human-Futures Group that leads a proactive, creative response to the unfolding planetary ecocide. At the Media Architecture Biennale in Beijing in 2018, Foth and Caldwell made a call for a More-than-human Media Architecture, proposing nascent design considerations for media architecture to go beyond the needs of just humans and to consider new ways to appreciate and cater for our broader ecological entanglements with plants, animals, and the environment at large.
  • Katharine Willis is a Professor in Smart Cities and Communities in the School of Art, Design and Architecture at the University of Plymouth. Her research expertise includes smart cities, smart villages, digital technologies and the role of space and place. Together with Alex Aurigi, she co-wrote two key Routledge volumes on Smart Cities, and in 2015 published her first monograph with Routledge; Netspaces: Space and Place in a Networked World.Willis is also a Programme Leader for the MA in Smart Urban Futures, a unique and innovative new MA programme that will equip students to address design challenges at the boundaries between smart technologies and urban design and planning. Through a design lab approach, students develop digital prototyping and place-making projects that respond to the opportunities and needs of digital living, transport, health, mobility, governance and sustainability in a holistic approach to smart urban futures.


This Live cast is organized by Pakhuis de Zwijger and The Media Architecture Biennale 20. MAB20 consists of a series of events, meet-ups and publications taking place on- and offline between March 2019 and July 2021, with a final event is scheduled from July 28th – July 2nd, 2021, in Amsterdam and Utrecht. MAB is an international forum exploring media architecture, urban interaction design, and urban informatics. It brings together architects, artists, designers, academics, policymakers, and industry stakeholders from around the globe. Together, they explore the design and role of media in the built environment and its implications for urban communities and ecosystems.

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