Architectural Interventions for Smart Citizen Agency
Instructor: Pablo Silva Saray
Credits: 6 ECTS, 2 SWS
Capacity: max. 10 students
Language: English
Location: Online (Discord, MIRO, BigBlueButton)
First Meeting: 20.04.2021 / 18:30

Architectural Interventions for Smart Citizen Agency is a course that researches Citizen Participation and Engagement through spatial interventions. Let's investigate through artistic-based and technologically developed interventions how to make the smart city a human space and not just a data collection machine.


The places we build transform space through systems of relations, memory, and identity. Yet, in the smart city context, this fabric finds further development through networks and platforms fed by big data, the internet of things (IoT), information and communication technology (ICT), as well as sensory inputs. Within this paradigm of emerging tools, citizens -as core participants and constructors of the city- are continuously evolving through these networks and in order to take active roles as smart citizens. As leading Smart Citizens, architects, urbanists, and artists, we have therefore the task to question and design the crossroads of building the Smart City networks and not just its contours: there is an implicit construction of agency to engage with the material, political and environmental challenges, by way of this process.
Hence, by setting Smart Citizen Agency as a goal, this project proposes to implement street-level intervention methodologies in the Smart City's networks to provide crossroad spaces for discussion and civic engagement. These intervention methodologies intent to be a platform for multidisciplinary participation based on the conjunction between art, ICT, and IoT, while capable of data gathering and civic feedback for urban planning processes.
A clear understanding of the abstraction processes of the artistic medium as a language system, in addition to a clear and constant perception of the places to be intervened, are basic foundations for reaching artistic and spatial practices that find stronger links with the communities from which they are part.
Therefore, in the context of the Bauhaus Universität, Weimar, which invites students of the Master's degree of Media art and design, Mediaarchitecture Master, Architecture master, Urbanism Master, in addition to the students of Public Art a New Artistic Strategies to explore spatial interventions that start from the places and temporal spaces that they inhabit and lead to contributions in artistic education and understanding.


The instrumentalization of spatial interventions with joint use of ICT and IoT is a method to investigate active smart citizen interaction forms. As a principle, it works by establishing specific interaction sites that do not depend exclusively on digital devices (e.g., smartphones) and invite the smart citizen to engage and take a position on the intervened space within the proposed frameworks for agential participation and commitment to the city.
The objective is, then, to formulate a design methodology that incorporates art and sensory-technology systems for physical and digital space interventions, capable of collecting the input that the Smart Citizen shares with his/her active participation in the physical space.
Furthermore, as the project intends to establish communication links with the formal urban planning processes, the physical means of designed interventions and the information collected may give rise to other interaction mechanisms and network proposals that have the street level Smart Citizens at the center of sustainable, ethical, and agency Smart Cities.
Although the results of the project should not be specifically built on site, it is expected that the tools obtained during the development of the course will allow students to propose spatial abstractions and artistic proposals that exist either in digital or analog media.


• Propose means of spatial abstraction that can be shared in a concrete way and culminate in interventions that contribute to the most important discussions of the social context to which the students belong.
• Develop a sophisticated and localized understanding of what history is vis-a-vis memory, in terms of mechanisms that affect everyday life.
• Develop a better understanding of space, not only as a delimited space but also as a virtual, symbolic, and abstract space.
• Explore non-traditional design tools.
• Approach art as a communication and language system that in turn allows non-tacit forms of interaction.


Open to: Architecture, Urbanism, Medienkunst/-gestaltung, Mediaarchitecture, Public Art a New Artistic Strategies.
Participants must have an interest in the history and theory of art and architecture. They must also be willing to do intensive fieldwork, interact with diverse audiences, research, and work collaboratively with others. Although the course is primarily aimed at architecture, art, and design students from the Media art and design and Mediaarchitecture Masters, it is open to anyone interested in the subject.



The final project will be communicated immediately after the Midterm evaluation, this will be a group* and interdisciplinary project based on the theoretical classes of the course. The final project will be 40% of the final grade.
The criteria for the final evaluation are the following:
• Documentary richness and diversity of the research.
• Coherence and relevance of the structured narrative.
• Cohesion with the topics addressed.
• Communication skills.
• Graphic quality.
Class attendance will be 40% and Midterm assessment will be 20%.


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