At the Smart City World Congress

This week was dedicated to the Smart City World Congress in Barcelona. It was my first outing in a comfy Near Future Laboratory jumpsuit. With Nicolas, we are indeed slowly shutting down the mainframes at Lift Lab and relocating our immaterialities to the Near Future Laboratory facilities. These things take their good share of time and energy, but we are pretty excited to merging our operations with a new gang of scouts dispersed hither and yon. The event collided with two other important milestones of projects steered these past few months.

First our client BBVA, presented publicly some of the measures and indicators of commercial activities in cities we have been producing and investigating. The visual supports of this project take the forms of maps (pdf), dashboards, and tools that each reveal a city and its quantified streets under new spatio-temporal lights.

Second, my peeps at Bestiario have working endlessly to release Quadrigram, a tool for individuals and organizations that work intensively with data and information. We are now running in private beta. More on that later.

Captured preaching the word in the near future laboratory gear
Captured preaching the word and proudly exposing a near future laboratory jumpsuit

So, in the margin of the multiple discussions on the definitions of a *smart* city, I could not help but contribute to the congress with my experience on the field in making urban data work. My discoursed focused on the necessity to treat data as a living material that must be crafted and manipulated at the different stages of knowledge and service production. I name that “sketching with data” and as with any creative work with digital technologies, it comes with tools and an undisciplinary process. Here are the slide deck + notes of my talk:

Sketching with urban data (PDF 6.9MB) presented at the Smart City World Congress in Barcelona on 29.11.2011.

In the audience, Alexandra Etel Rodriguez, Partner at Connected Brains produced visual notes of my talk. Thanks Alexandra for sharing this graphic recording!

Visual notes of my talk at the Smart City World Congress in Barcelona

Thanks to the organizers for the invitation!