Quantifying Urban Experiences through 'Smart' Methods and Technologies

Stefano Andreani: Harvard University Graduate School of Design, USA


KEYWORDS: Quantification, Urban Experiences

This session aims to form the base for meaningful discussions on the role played by emerging technologies in enhancing our understanding of the individual experience of public space. In fact, novel digital, sensing, and augmenting technologies offer unprecedented opportunities for measuring subjective experiences in relation to spatial parameters and “objective” qualities of urban contexts.

How can “smart” urban technologies mediate and enhance the interaction with our surrounding environment, highlighting the impact of dynamic urban qualities in shaping both individual and collective experiences towards a better-informed approach to the design of public spaces? What correlations can be drawn between subjective perceptions and specific objective qualities of space for the creation of truly human-centered urban environments, in varying conditions over time? How can mediated interfaces with urban environments augment the relationship and interactions between the individuals that share engaging public spaces? By setting up tactics and metrics that are not so commonly considered in design research practices, this theme aims to foster alternative uses of “smart” instruments for technologically-enhanced design methods in which the human experience ‒ and even emotions ‒ are placed at the forefront of urban design decisions.