Networked Cities: Governance, Trust, Design

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Networked Cities: Governance, Trust, Design ,

Various international speakers,

Discussion 15 Nov 2009, 13:00

'Networked Cities: Governance, Trust, Design' Forum Sunday 15 November 2009 13.00-18.00 at Casco Language: English. Free entrance. Contributors: Pier Vittorio Aureli, architect and author of the book ‘The Project of Autonomy’, Rotterdam; Theo Deutinger, architect, Rotterdam; Felix Janssens*, designer and creative director of Total Identity; Ingo Niermann, writer and editor of the Solution series (Sternberg Press), Berlin; Marina Vishmidt, critic and co-editor of ‘Uncorporate Identity’, London; and Metahaven. Reservation is recommended; please send an email to Jaring Dürst Britt ( On the last day of [‘Stadtstaat. A Scenario for Merging Cities’|], a project by Metahaven at Casco, a public forum with international thinkers and practitioners is organized in order to further discuss the issues prompted by the project: urban governance and politics in the light of network power and the thrust of participation and the role of design. One of the major political transformations of our time is presented by the network. The network affects and transforms the perception and effectiveness of more formally representative political systems. Some would say it corrodes these, others would argue that networks enable modes of organization that are socially driven, therefore potentially more relevant, than top-down hierarchies. The decrease of participation in representative democracy and the withering away of traditional social institutions may be seen as a condition that illustrates this point. A distributed network, by its nature, seeks to expand. For example, most online social networking communities operate by definition on a global level, bypassing many of the scales on which political decision making was instituted to take place. Increasingly, standards of networking possess the potential to become standards of governance, or alternatively: governance is re-shaped according to the structure of the network. While such a transition might initially look and sound technocratic, its implications may be more profoundly political. ‘Networked Cities: Governance, Trust, Design’ seeks to understand networks in their relationship to the politics of the city and further the function of design. A number of prominent international thinkers and practitioners are invited to reflect on the topic in a speculative manner, both grounded in their own theoretical knowledge and practices, which will culminate in group discussion. Programme 13.00 Welcome & Context by Binna Choi, director of Casco & Axel Wieder, director of Künstlerhaus Stuttgart 13.15 Presentation by Marina Vishmidt 13.45 Presentation by Felix Janssens 14.15 Presentation by Metahaven 14.45 Intermission 15.00 Presentation by Pier Vittorio Aureli 15.30 Presentation by Theo Deutinger 16.00 Presentation by Ingo Niermann 16.30-18.00 Group discussion moderated by Friso Wiersum, organizer of the Tumult series of lectures ‘Utrecht, a Regiopolis’ 18.00 Drinks Contributors’ biographies Pierre Vittorio Aureli studied architecture and urbanism at the University Iuav of Venice and the Berlage Insitute before receiving a PhD from the Delft University of Technology. He teaches at the Berlage Institute, where he is responsible for the ‘The City as a Project’ PhD programme, which is devoted to the study of how the form of the city can be theorized, represented, and projected. Aureli is well known for his research on redefining the idea of the city as a political institution by focusing on the relationship between architectural form, political thinking and urban history. In 2008 he published the well-received book ‘The Project of Autonomy: Politics and Architecture Within and Against Capitalism’. He is currently a visiting Professor at the Architectural Association in London, Columbia University in New York, and Delft University of Technology. Theo Deutinger is an Austrian architect, who studied at the Technical University Graz and who is currently based in Rotterdam. His work is a mix of architecture, research, visualization and conceptual thinking about, for example, the world as one city. Deutinger is head and founder of TD, an architecture office in Rotterdam, which develops urban master plans, architecture and interior design as well as graphical and journalistic work. He has evolved so-called ‘Snapshots of Globalization’, multilayered information visualizations and maps that represent the world and its globalization at a particular moment. He is also known for his writings about the transformation of the Europe’s urban culture through cheapness. Deutingers work is frequently published in various magazines like Mark, Wired, Vrij Nederland and has been exhibited at various occasions like Archilab (Orleans, 2008), Work Now Z33 (Hasselt, 2008) and Ostrale, (Dresden, 2009). Deutinger is keeping teaching engagements with various academies and universities in Europe. Felix Janssens is a designer who studied at the St. Joost Academy and the Jan van Eyck Academy. He developed the Masterclass programme ‘Multiplicity & Visual Identities - Design Research in Multicultural Society’ for ZHdK Zürich University of Arts, focusing on the relationship between cultural identity, multiculturalism and city branding. He is also advisor at No Academy, a laboratory for art & society, which trains students in practice to become social designers. Furthermore, Janssens is the former owner of Team TCHM, an office for telecommunication, historicity and mobility. He is based in Rotterdam and works as creative director at Total Identity Amsterdam, a company that develops innovative and integrated concepts for (corporate) identity itineraries. Metahaven is a design studio that explores the ruptures in the fields of design, research and geopolitics. They operate with strategies of fiction and allegory to revise and mobilize the role of corporate identity and aesthetics in projections of political and economic power. They stage their speculative inquiries in highly visual and conceptually dense assemblages, which can take shape on the printed page, as a client brief, in ephemera like stamps, brochures and posters or take on the form of exhibitions, lectures and debates. Metahaven consists of Daniel van der Velden, Vinca Kruk, and Gon Zifroni. Much of their work, since their founding in 2006, is gathered in the forthcoming book ‘Uncorporate Identity’, which also features a host of contextual and allusive texts by architects, novelists and political scientists. Ingo Niermann is a novelist, writer and artist who studied Philosophy in Berlin, where he is currently based. He has contributed to newspapers such as the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung as well as to magazines like Der Freund and Monopol. In his book ‘Minusvisionen’ (2003), Niermann chronicles the visions, projects and (economic) failure of several young German entrepreneurs during the end of the ‘90s. In ‘Umbauland’ (2006), he presents ten ideas on how Germany could be and should be radically reformed. Suggestions included the construction of a large-scale pyramid as tourist attraction and gravesite in Eastern Germany or a radical re-vamping of the German language. Joined by artist Antje Majewski, Niermann was the curator of the exhibition ‘Atomkrieg’ (Kunsthaus Dresden, 2004) and had in 2008 his first solo exhibition at ZERN Gallery, Berlin. He is one of the initiators of ‘Dubai Dusseldorf’ (Kunstverein Dusseldorf, 2009), an exhibition that deals with an imaginary fusion of the city’s of Düsseldorf and Dubai. Niermann is also the editor of the Solutions series, published by Sternberg Press and designed by Zak Kyes. Marina Vishmidt is a London based writer, researcher and editor. She is interested in materialist aesthetics and the political economics of cultural production, with particular emphasis on art as vanishing mediator of both social change and the reinforcement of the commodity form. She has published on information-based art and situated technologies, urbanism, feminist media arts, conceptual art, Marxian theory, artists’ moving image and errant modernisms. Vishmidt is the editor of ‘NODE.London Reader: surveying art, technologies and politics’ (2006) and is a frequent contributor to Mute magazine and MetaMute website and Untitled magazine. She also contributed to publications like ‘Art and Social Change’ (Tate and AfterAll Publishing, 2007). She is the editor of ‘Uncorporate Identity’, the forthcoming anthology of Metahaven’s projects, ideas and models. * Due to unforeseen circumstances Matthias Görlich is unfortunately unable to attend the forum. Felix Janssens will take his place as a contributor.