New York 2021
Cities in a Changing World

Questions of Culture, Climate and Design
Event Date: June 16-18, 2021
Abstract Date: March 30, 2021
Professor Emeritus Richard E. Hanley, City Tech, CUNY; Director, The Brooklyn Waterfront Research Center


The role of computers in the design, control and making of the public life [and space] is increasingly dominant, their presence pervasive, and their relationship with people characterised by a growing complexity. Batty 2017

The scenario described by Batty is underpinned by a plethora of phenomena. It includes the Internet of Things, ubiquitous computing, computer-led infrastructure, big data and AI. In essence, the built environment has become a site for the production, processing and sharing of information daily through the software interlaced with it. It is also a place designed, envisaged and increasingly built through data based digital architecture, planning and construction. Advanced parametric modelling envisages data in both building design and city management. Augmented reality mediates our experience of the city with layers of information. Digital infrastructure interconnects our city and building services. The result is a series of complex interactions of people, place and data and the establishment of the ‘digital city’, ‘smart buildings’ and ‘intelligent’ urbanism.

This new polemic agency of the machine to generate, analyse and distribute data is not limited to the built environment however. It also informs the creative industries. A plethora of films in recent decades have built on the imagery it offers: The Matrix, Ex Machina, Her, Minority Report to name but a few. In the arts, data is increasingly used as both a tool and motive for artworks. David McCandless’ founding of the platform Information Is Beautiful, and Aaron Koblin’s establishment of Google’s Data Arts Team are typical examples. Landscape and projection artists use the digital recalibration of data into imagery to create spaces and representations of our cities daily.

Today then, the potential for technology and data to alter how we design, live and experience our cities is obvious and everywhere. However, there are concerns. GIS, Google Maps and Facebook all offer interconnected information on urban life. They are also conduits for the collation of personal data and its misuse. The assumption of digital access for all leads some to worry about issues of social exclusion. Sociologists highlight the dangers of the digital dependency of future generations.  3D printed buildings threaten job losses in the construction industry. The idea of parametric urbanism is an anathema to many for whom city is a place of interpersonal interaction.

Batty’s understanding of the role of computers in the design, control and making of the public realm then, is not just ubiquitous, it is cross disciplinary, complex and expanding.


  • Architecture & Urban
  • Design
  • AI, Data & Technology
  • Media & Communications
  • Art, Design & Film
  • Sociology & Politics

Key Dates

Full Paper Submissions (where applicable)
30 July 2021
Feedback for publication
30 September 2021
Full Paper re-submission
20 November 2021
February 2022


Computational Design
The Digital City | Smart Buildings | Data Driven Urbanism | Parametric Architecture
Digital Art
Algorithmic Art | Digital Filmmaking | Digital Photography | Parametric Sculpture | 3D Printing | Industrial Design
Data and Politics
Digital Accessibility | Participatory Technology and Planning | Sociology of the City
he Agency of the Machine
New Configurations of the Relationships and Equilibria Amongst Individuals | Software | The Built Environment
The Built Environment
The Production and Consumption of Data Inside the City | Cities as the Framework | Individuals as Actors | Software as the Mechanism of Digital Space


The conference offers both virtual and in-person options:

Pre-recorded film:  Delegates can make pre-recorded films/videos of their presentations. These will be published on the AMPS YouTube channel and will be available permanently after the conference.

Screenings: In addition to presentations by academics, the conference welcomes short films (narrative or otherwise) from filmmakers.

Zoom: Also reflecting the virtual and mediated theme of the event, delegates are encouraged to present via Zoom.

In-person: In addition to seeking filmic and the virtual presentations, delegates are also welcome to attend the event in person and present directly.

Written papers: In all cases, delegates can present full written papers for inclusion in all associated conference publications.

Zoom presentations
Pre-recorded Videos
Written papers


The publishers that AMPS works with include UCL Press, Routledge Taylor & Francis, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Vernon Press, Libri Publishing and Intellect Books.


Conference outputs include the AMPS Proceedings Series, ISSN 2398-9467; Special Issue Publications of the academic journal Architecture_MPS ISSN 2020-9006; Books with the publishing houses listed above and short films available on the AMPS Academic YouTube Channel.


Written papers are optional.  If submitted they should be 3,000 word length. Formatting instructions to follow after the conference. All papers are double- blind peer reviewed for the AMPS Conference Proceedings Series. Subject to review, selected authors will be invited to develop longer versions as articles in the academic journal Architecture_MPS or in specially produced conference books.


Image: Michael Pewny