[PODCAST] Next Talk #5: Anab Jain

A talk about the smart city imagined.


In the Next Economy we are facing new, disruptive ‘smart’ technologies and it is not quite as self-evident as we seem to think that these will yield the best possible urban reality. Rapid technological developments are as yet based on an ‘extractive’ economic model: money is being earned in the city, but the money is not made by and for the city. It is high time for designers to attempt to raise the level of smart urban technology, to show how we can use new smart urban technologies thoughtfully to ensure that they are deployed for the good of the social agenda. How can we use technology to develop socially inclusive and environmentally sound urban economies? What are technologically smart applications and innovations that do add value to the urban environment from which they have evolved?

Anab Jain demonstrates how smart technologies (and the companies that produce them) are shaping our built environment. She discusses how urban design and architecture can contribute to re-imagining the role technology can play in making our cities more socially inclusive and sustainable.

Respondent for the lecture is Willem Schinkel, professor in Social Theory at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Anab Jain is cofounder and director of Superflux, working closely with clients and collaborators on projects “that acknowledge the reality of our rapidly changing times, designing with and for uncertainty, instead of resisting it.” Superflux is particularly interested in the ways emerging technologies interface with the environment and everyday life and strives to embed the explorations and implications of new interactions in the here-and-now using rapid prototyping and media sketches.Previously Anab has held senior positions at the Helen Hamlyn Centre, Microsoft Research Cambridge and Nokia Design London.

Note: around 13m50s into her talk, Jain refers to this article about racial profiling software.