Arch 209x, CNM 290

wed 10-1,
104 Wurster Hall

Anthony Burke, Architecture
Eric Paulos, Intel Research
Beau Trincia, GSI, IDEO


Images from Final Review
Images from Final Gallery Exhibition

132 EDDY ST,



The city has always been a site of cultural, social and physical transformation, on scales from the most personal to the most collective. However, with the rise of the “metapolis” and the issues it brings with it, 24/7 rush hours, the conversion of public space to commercial space, the rise of surveillance, transnational neighborhoods, polyvocal politics and architecture etc. the contemporary city is weighted down. We can no longer technologically or socially be constrained by something planned and canned, like another confectionary spectacle. We dream of something more, something that can respond to our dreams. Something that will transform with us, not just perform change on us, like an operation. The metapolis requires individual, social and technological interaction.

As the field of wireless and locative technologies matures, this seminar is interested in exploring a more enduring relationship between the physical and cultural multicity and its digital topographies. This seminar asks the question what might an authentic or native digital/physical relationship be? Authentic to whom? How can these be considered within the hybrid space emerging from the interaction between digital and physical practices? This seminar seeks to understand alternative trajectories for digital and wireless technologies while building definitions of place and practice in both physical and digital terms, as well investigating their interaction, influence, disruption, expansion and integration with the social and material practices of our public urban spaces.

This seminar builds on a previous workshop conducted at UbiComp 2005, “Metapolis and Urban Life”, and is open to students from Architecture, Computer Science, Art practice and the iSchool who will work in interdisciplinary teams throughout the semester. This seminar will be cross listed in architecture and the Center for New Media, and run as a design research lab, with a focus on the conceptualization, development and prototyping or demonstration of a design proposal, responding to the seminars central set of concerns. Background reading on issues of technology and the city in the first weeks of the semester will be required, and ultimately the class will mount a small exhibition of the design proposals and host guests from the Bay area new media and electronic arts and sciences community including practicing researchers and technologists from the academy and industry for review.

This seminar is a collaboration between Intel Researcher, Eric Paulos and Assistant Professor in Architecture, Anthony Burke.

Students interested in the seminar should also be aware of proceedings from the ISEA conference in San Jose 7th-13th August, particularly the “interactive cities” as well as the Interactive City Summit which was held 7-8th August in San Francisco.