Media architecture is a newly emerging discipline, integrating digital and physical elements in the design of our cities. As a part of The Media Architecture Biennale 20, this program will explore how the design and deployment of new media technologies like urban screens, interactive art installations, and digital sensor networks can shape urban life beyond the mere spectacular, by envisioning and fueling public debates about possible futures of the media city.

Media of various types have started to play an important role in urban life, from urban screens and interactive art installations that have appeared in our public spaces to the apps and digital services we use to coordinate our everyday lives. In response, Media Architecture has emerged as a new design discipline blending digital and physical infrastructures. It brings together architects, planners, interaction designers, software developers, activists, artists, and academics to explore the design of urban spaces from an integrated perspective, requiring them to find new modes of interdisciplinary collaboration.

As it continues to develop, this emerging field will play an important role in the design of our future media cities. Despite what tech companies like to claim, media technologies brought into the city are never neutral, nor are they mere enablers, just decorative elements, or simple marketplaces that connect demand and supply. Instead, urban technologies contain numerous spoken and unspoken assumptions about urban life, each with their own implications for both social relations as well as their effect on the ecosystem. How can Media Architecture help us to critically reflect on and envision the future of our cities?

The Media Architecture Biennale 20 consists of a series of events, meet-ups and publications taking place on- and offline between March 2019 and July 2021. 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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