Smart cities represent the new digital frontier. They are where top-down monitoring meets with individual empowerment, where computation allies itself with increased sensory stimulation. Smart cities appear also as the new urban utopia. What is the true content of such utopia that appears to hesitate between technocratic and democratic leanings? How does architecture fit into this frame? What are the limits of smart cities and the “economy of knowledge” that is often associated with them? In this lecture, Senior Mellon Fellow Antoine Picon addresses these pressing issues at the intersection of critical theory and technological studies. He argues that in order to contribute fruitfully to the construction of smart cities, design must start from the changing nature of the urban subject and the urban experience. For smart cities represent far more than a series of coordinated technological innovations. They are synonymous with a new kind of urban experience.
The CCA Mellon Foundation Senior Fellowship Program was established in 2001 to encourage advanced research in architectural history and thought. With the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the CCA has welcomed distinguished scholars for residencies of one to eight months, culminating in a public lecture.