Digital Culture, Space and Society

The first class will be held on Tuesday, January 30th, in Room 111 from 2:00pm – 5:00pm. Computer and networks like the Internet have transformed our perception of space. They are also synonymous with the development of a new type of society often characterized as informational. Although its full scope has become visible only in the past decades, the digital revolution is rooted in a relatively long history. The massive expansion of information at the beginning of the twentieth century, or the intensive use of computer-aided simulations during the Cold War, represent key episodes of this history. This course will study these episodes as an introduction to contemporary questions raised by the digital revolution in the domain of urban and architectural planning and design.The first set of questions addresses the reshaping of sociability that is taking place before our eyes. What are its consequences for the way cities and buildings are conceived? Should one design for cyborgs? The use of the computers by planners and architects raises another set of questions regarding the consequences of such an evolution. Does it jeopardize the physical basis of architectural design as some critics put it? What is taking place before us is perhaps a radical shift in our definition of materiality\”a shift the effects of which extend far beyond the urban and architectural realm.