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PVDFest Ideas | Cyborg Cities: People, Technology, and Urban Spaces

Thu June 7, 2018 at 8:30 am - 10:30 am

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, new visions of urban modernity were celebrated at World’s Fairs in cities like Chicago (1893), St. Louis (1904), and New York (1939). These great pageants offered ideal venues for scientists to showcase innovative technologies; they also reflected ways that corporate America’s influence over the development of cities intensified over the course of the 20th century. 

Boosters of the smart cities movement promise, like the futurists and midway barkers before them, that their visions for standardized, rational, and finely tuned urban spaces will help people adapt to today’s greatest challenges.They often fail to consider the ways that new networked technologies are highly susceptible to misuse and manipulation.

This conference brings together scholars, artists, and practitioners to consider what might be gained as well as what might be lost as cities become smarter.

LOCATION: Providence Public Library, 150 Empire St. (Washington Street Entrance)

8:30am – 9:15am – Coffee and Registration

9:15am – Welcome

City of Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza and Director of the Department of Art, Culture + Tourism, Stephanie Fortunato 

9:30am – SESSION 1 – Human-Centered Smart Cities

Keynote address by Dr. Sarah Williams Goldhagen (Turf Advisory) – moderated by Christine West, AIA (KITE Architects) and hosted by DESIGNxRI

Research findings in cognitive neuroscience and environmental psychology shed light on powerful frameworks for human-centered design. As a critic of architecture, historian, author, and Director of Human-Centered Design for Smart Cities consulting/member of Turf Advisory, Dr. Sarah Williams Goldhagen has developed a compelling argument for how understanding this science – and in particular the concept of embodied cognition – can dramatically affect people’s lives for the better as we design the cities of the future. In this session she will discuss the implications of this research and participate in a discussion of its relevance for growing cities like Providence. This Ideas Conference plenary will be moderated by Providence City Plan Commission Chair and architect Christine Malecki West, AIA. LEARN MORE>

11:00am – Workshop/Feedback 

facilitated by Downcity Design

DownCity Design will facilitate small-group conversations designed to generate questions and provoke ideas about the future of our cities. Participants are invited to think deeply about their own role in shaping our cities, embracing a spirit of open inquiry and collaborative investigation.

12:00pm – Lunch in Downtown Providence 

1:30pm – SESSION 2 – Rising Tides and Responsive Technologies

Kevin Essington (Trust for Public Land), Julia Gold (RIDOT), Kate Schapira (artist), and Manuel Cordero (RIDE/DCD/RISD) – moderated by Dr. Elizabeth Francis (RICH)

Rhode Island’s shorelines and waterways are some of the state’s greatest assets, but they are also some of its greatest liabilities. This panel will examine the various data inputs, and communication methods/outputs, used by local stakeholders tackling the most pressing environmental challenges of our day.

3:00pm – Coffee Break(out) 

3:15pm – SESSION 3 – Big Data and Artist Activism

Dr. Sasha Costanza-Chock (MIT), Dr. Alexandrina Agloro (WPI) and K. Funmilayo Aileru (artist) – moderated by Shey Rivera (AS220)

As civic and cultural institutions become ever more reliant on privately and publicly harvested data to make policy decisions, allocate resources, and streamline services, so too do those who live, work, and play in cities need new ways of thinking with and through the data deluge. This panel will examine the ramifications of big data on social movements, game design, and artistic production; panelists will consider the promises and perils of the sharing economy, social media, and smarter cities technologies writ large.

4:45pm – Closing Remarks

Dr. Micah Salkind (ACT), Christina Bevilacqua (PPL)

 PVDFest Ideas is made possible through collaboration with program partners Providence Public Library and DESIGNxRI with support from Rhode Island Council for the Humanities





Thu June 7, 2018
8:30 am - 10:30 am
Event Category: