Adam Greenfield invited Anab to participate in his panel ‘Urban Lenses’ at PICNIC 2010, exploring the same slice of Amsterdam through different disciplinary eyes. Other participants included Matt Cottam, Tom Coates and Usman Haque.
In the Superflux Lab, we have been exploring the idea of Elastic Cities. Building on this work, and employing the ‘services lens’, we asked the audience to think beyond the existing trajectories of the city, imagining new and humane models for the provision of urban services.
Beginning with the vision of a social media 'Appocalypse', Anab's talk contrasted the technologically-intensive contours of Amsterdam with India's elastic cities, leaving the ‘map-as-territory’ behind, to discover people, faces and stealth services.
Envisaging a hybrid of these two examples, where informal service providers blended into urban data nodes, channelling their entrepreneurial tendencies in messy, organic conditions, Anab ended by posing a future for Amsterdam as an 'open generative city', a 'smart' city where 'people are the sensors', – a city of post-efficient services, where soft infrastructure encouraged creativity, diversity, and exploration.
And here are the slides from the talk: