Nowadays, emerging technologies continuously shift our understanding of human evolution as well as influence the understanding of the built and urban environment. It is evident that architectural and urban pedagogies are equally impacted by the so-called digital turns. On the one hand, digital technologies introduce a great variety of technical methods, such as mapping, filming, geographic information systems (GIS), parametric modelling or VR/AR technology, facilitating the extraction of certain aspects of urban life through qualitative and quantitative analyses or simulations. On the other hand, the rapid growth of such technologies has also raised questions on whether it could enhance the very understanding of urban conditions in evoking a critical thinking of the dynamic, transient and intensive encounters of urban life. To respond to that, one can perhaps turn to philosopher Gilbert Simondon and his concept of technicity: simply put, technicity deals with how humans relate and transform their environment through technology and how these relations transform all of them in their own – humans, technology, and environment. Utilising the concept of technicity, this paper intends to speculate on the intensive dynamics of urban life. It will do so by firstly embracing assemblage thinking and understanding the urban as an emergent and plastic condition. Secondly, in teasing out the tangible dimensions of technicity, the paper aims to discuss the affective, reticular, and co-transformative relations between people, spaces, and memory as produced and ramified by technology. It then brings the above discussions together to articulate potential urban pedagogies that are enabled by transdisciplinarity and a problem-based understanding of knowledge. Finally, the paper places an open-ended question: how digital literacy could produce a form of urban literacy, and how lack of knowledge on the entanglements between architecture and digital technologies leads eventually to an impediment in understanding how urban life is influenced by both.
Ran Pan is a PhD candidate working on the topic of Urban Pedagogies in the Digital Age. Ran received her master’s degree in Urban Planning from The University of Melbourne with a thesis focusing on urban morphologies and live music clustering. She is passionate about architecture and urban design theory and looks forward to bringing her cross-disciplinary knowledge into future research.
Dr. ir. Stavros Kousoulas is Assistant Professor of Architecture Theory in the Faculty of Architecture TU Delft. He has studied Architecture at the National Technical University of Athens and at TU Delft. Since 2012 he has been teaching theory courses and design studios at TU Delft. He received his doctoral title cum laude from IUAV Venice participating in the Villard d’ Honnecourt International Research Doctorate. He has published and lectured in Europe and abroad. He is a member of the editorial board of Footprint Delft Architecture Theory Journal since 2014.
Paul W Chan joined the Faculty of Architecture and The Built Environment at TU Delft in March 2019 as Professor of Design and Construction Management. He has developed a track record in studying how people cope with organizational, social and technological change. He is currently managing a number of research projects that deal with a variety of societal and sustainability transitions, including digital transformation of the architecture, engineering and construction sector. He is Editor-in-Chief of Construction Management and Economics, and a former Chair of the Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM). He has authored/co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed journal and conference articles. He also co-authored Constructing Futures (2010), a Wiley-Blackwell book on leadership and futures thinking in the construction industry.