Sustainable Architecture(s) - Humane Cities
The City as Service
I. Nazareth & D. Schwarzman
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm



The ‘City as a Service’ sets in motion a web of recursions, infinite loops and endless binaries: cities on the cusp of a singularity. It is a zeitgeist of runaway reactions, where the systems of the city are overcome by technologies that surpass the capacity of regulatory frameworks. Cities are shaped as much by humans as by algorithms, machines and autonomous systems. New economies, platform technologies and real-time data have accelerated economic extraction and speculation. These variables fall outside the domain of architectural practice. Urban and statutory planning seem hopelessly retrospective. There are physical implications to virtual agreements that are apparent in the operations and behaviours of cities. Transactional exchanges and services augment and interfere with the source code, the inputs and outputs and didacticism of the city. This paper will present a survey of methodologies, dispositional practices and speculations through static and real-time data accumulated from transactions to comprehend the systems and forces at play. They provide a critical understanding of the implication of techno-cultures with an aim to influence the direction and interactions in future cities. In utilising and hybridising data as generative device it offers a critique of top-down ‘Smart Cities’. In an ostensibly infinite, procedurally generated world; a staging ground for the post-urban and post-critical, architecture is a fundamental force and resistance in the agency of cities. The research is concerned with the impact disruptive; platform technologies and new economies have on the behaviour and form of the city and its architecture. How do emergent conditions and disruptive technologies cohabit the incumbent city?


Ian Nazareth is the Program Manager and Head of the Master of Urban Design and Lecturer, Architecture, at RMIT University Melbourne. Ian is an Architect and Director of TRAFFIC an emerging collaborative design and research practice working across architecture, urbanism and computation. He also contributes extensively to architectural media and critical design discourse locally and internationally and is the editor of the forthcoming volume of The Practice of Spatial Thinking (ACTAR, 2021). Ian was previously an Associate Director at the Urban Design Research Institute in Mumbai. David Schwarzman is an architect and researcher and who has been working on high end international architecture projects and competitions with practices Denton Corker Marshall (Melbourne) Bates Smart (Melbourne) and Bjarke Ingels Group (Copenhagen). Currently he is working as an Architectural Designer at UNStudio in Amsterdam.