“Prototyping the Idiotic City” Conference/Workshop, 5 June

Where: Goldsmiths, RHB 137
When: Tuesday 5 June 2018, from 9:30AM to 4:30PM

Register for a free place

Alison Powell, London School of Economics Gyorgyi Galik, Royal College of Art, London/Umbrellium) Jennifer Gabrys, University of Goldsmiths
Mike Michael, University of Exeter
Noortje Marres, CIM, University of Warwik
Ola Söderström, University of Neuchâtel
Uriel Fogué, ESAYA, UEM

CISP & Fondecyt N°1180062

In recent years, the notion of smartness has gained pervasive prominence in various spheres of social life and the ways that cities can be known, planned and governed. Data collection is now enabled through embedded sensors and devices in urban space, particularly in the development of the Internet of Things. Autonomous mobility and other smart city initiatives make cities appear to be manageable and controllable in (near) real-time through smart analytics and dashboards. In developing these innovations, new modes of laboratorization and experimentation are deployed in order to test technological ‘solutions’. Against the grain of a sterile technotopia proposed by the smart city, we want to problematize the various kinds of smartness that are programmed and inscribed into this debate, as well as question the newness of it. What, in other words, are the failures and breakdowns that slow down and counteract the supposed smoothness of the smart city? Through a one-day workshop we invite researchers to creatively incorporate the “murmur of the idiot” (Stengers, 2005) into situations in which new relationships with our ‘smart’ surroundings can be built.

During the event, each presenter discusses an idiotic object or situation. Each speaker, together with the audience, will then try to further the idiocy of other speakers cases.

Organising committee

Michael Guggenheim (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Martin Tironi (School of Design, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

Liam Healy (Goldsmiths Design PhD student)

Fabian Namberger (Goldsmiths, University of London)

Full schedule of the day can be found on the Goldsmiths website.

Book on Interaction Research Studio project “Energy Babble” now available


The Energy Babbles are a set of computational devices that act “like automated talk radios obsessed with energy”: they recount energy policy announcements and information on demand and production, remarks about energy conservation made on social media, and comments entered by other Babble users. The devices were designed by Goldsmiths’ Interaction Research Studio in collaboration with STS researchers, and the story of their development is now available in a book published by Mattering Press. You can download the PDF online for free, or buy a paperback copy (link on the Mattering Press website).

Rose Sinclair to run Windrush-themed interactive workshop at the Black Cultural Archives

On 13 June, Goldsmiths Design lecturer Rose Sinclair will be running a workshop titled “Mothers and Daughters of the Windrush” at the Black Cultural Archives, with anthropologist Dr Audrey Allwood:

“Seventy years have passed since the iconic SS Empire Windrush arrived on British shores. And today we are celebrating the legacies of our great-grandmothers, grandmothers and mothers. Take part in an interactive workshop to explore the resilient nature of our foremothers and how they created cultural spaces both inside and outside the home, shaping our identities today.

Anthropologist Dr Audrey Allwood and textile design lecturer Rose Sinclair unpick how the mothers and daughters of the Windrush wove together and maintained their Caribbean material culture through methods of mothering and nurturing. Reconnect with their power of creativity, aesthetic prowess and craft skills brought from “back home” that enabled them to take on roles of the dressmaker, piecemaker, cook, nurse, healer and homemakers from the 1950s onwards.

Dr Audrey Allwood is a visiting research fellow in anthropology at Goldsmiths and is currently undertaking her post-doctorate studies in Caribbean migration and successive generations. Rose Sinclair is a design lecturer at Goldsmiths currently teaching textiles and fashion at undergraduate and postgraduate level.”

The event will start at 7 pm; tickets are £7 and can be bought from the BCA website.

Gold on Film Festival: The Closer We Get

Somewhere’s film The Closer We Get (directed by Karen Guthrie) is screening at Curzon Goldsmiths on Tuesday, March 20th at 18:15 as part of Gold on Film, a festival celebrating films produced by Goldsmiths students, staff and alumni.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Co-Producer & DOP Nina Pope, who is one of the design practitioners supporting and advising our third year BA Design students as Studio mentors. Tickets can be booked online.