Master in City & Technology 2020/21 – Term I
Seminar Name: Digital City
Total Hours: 20 hours
Faculty: José Luis de Vicente

With the rise of mobile communications, sensors and automation and data modeling, Digital Technologies have an increasing role today in shaping the dynamics of the contemporary city. This role, however, is not driven exclusively by technological factors and didn’t come out of nowhere. This seminar will focus on the relationship between information technologies and urbanism throughout the last 60 years, and the different visions and historical traditions that have produced the contemporary discourses of the Digital City, the Smart City or the Internet of Things, among other concepts.

During the sessions we will explore two different bodies of theory and cultural production: on the one side, the traditions of experimental architecture and urbanism that for the last decades have understood information as a fluid material that could be used to give shape and regulate urban environments. On the other, the disciplines of human-computer interface and interaction design, where technology has become increasingly mobile, contextual and located in space.
One very important goal of this seminar is to understand the effects, limitations, biases and hidden agendas of technologies in the city today, as we go beyond the myths of inmmateriality and equality and analyze what is technology actually doing to citizens in political and cultural terms.
The seminar will consist of lectures, text readings, screenings, presentations and the occasional walk.


José Luis de Vicente is a curator and researcher working on digital culture, innovation and new media art. Currently he is the curator of Sónar+D, the Creative Technologies and New Media area of Barcelona’s acclaimed Sónar Festival, as well as a curator at FutureEverything Festival, Manchester. He runs the Visualizar program on Data Culture at Medialab Prado, Madrid, and is a founder of ZZZINC,a cultural consultancy based in Barcelona. He has curated multiple conferences, symposiums and exhibitions. His most recent exhibition project is “Big Bang Data” (Barcelona CCCB 2014 / Fundación Telefónica Madrid 2015).