Designers who explore the subject of utopia have had to contend directly with the ideological forces of politics, technology, and economics. Such speculations have catalyzed discourse and design throughout most of the twentieth century. Now my UIUC smart cities seminar has entered into the discussion with a blog: "How to Hack Utopia: Speculative interventions for the urban planet" Check us out - https://modernutopias.wordpress.com/
Whether we want it or not [wink] -- Spring is coming! Next week, at UIUC we are holding our design mid-reviews. Please join us and see the incredible work! My students are designing a mediatheque in the West Loop Chicago; this architectural intervention redefines information access for the 21st century. In addition to their formal studies, the students completed a UX survey which contributed to their conceptual explorations.
Professor Tierney’s MAKER/THINKER: Chicago Biennial Exhibition features parametric explorations on the future of museum design as 8 variations on a theme. Starting with the premise that the definition of art has shifted from “artifact” to “experience,” for example, Olifar Eliason’s “Weather” exhibition at the Tate Modern, this studio posed the question, what would an experience-based museum look like? By applying design fiction as a narrative device, this studio integrated theory, practice, and digital form-making as a means to reflect on the future of architectural production.
Much thanks and appreciation goes to our design reviewers for their comments and suggestions: Studio Gang, Carol Ross Barney, Perkins & Will, Jeff Poss, FAIA, SOM Research Group, Smith + Gill Architects, and Stewart Hicks, Design w/Co.
Award winning architect Alvin Huang lectured on "Technology/Technique/Techne" on January 29 -- our lecture hall was filled to capacity. Earlier we went to the Erlanger House in Urbana, a mid-century modern masterpiece designed by Jack Baker in 1964. Alvin was named Time Magazine's Inventor of the Year, and designer of Volvo Car's energy generating pavilion. The question remains, will Alvin become our next Plym Professor?
Next month, I will be presenting my most recent smart cities research, "Developing the Urban Stack," for the Critical Practice in an Age of Complexity Conference at University of Arizona to be held on Feb 22-23, 2018. The conference is sponsored by Architecture Media Politics Society [AMPS] and University College London. If you are unable to attend, papers will be published through UCL Press. http://architecturemps.com/arizona/
Georgia Tech's Emma French discusses the city of Atlanta in her review of Intelligent Infrastructure: Zip Cars, Invisible Networks & Urban Transformation for the Atlanta Studies Journal. "The essays in Intelligent Infrastructure importantly remind us to look not only at the technological, but also the social impacts of smart cities... As one of the contributors notes: “a city’s technological development plans clearly reflects the way in which the leaders and innovators conceive the social order” (196). The challenge for Atlanta as it now positions itself to become a “smart” city is thus to make sure its plans really do reflect the needs and desires of all of its citizens." Read more here:
On Monday December 4, we had our final design studio review in the Santa Fe Buidling 14th Floor Chicago. Over the semester, our reviewers have included Studio Gang, SOM Black Box Group, Perkins Will etc
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">A preview of today's Final Review - Santa Fe Bldg 13th Flr Chicago from 2pm onwards <a href="https://t.co/ioaqBn5jes">pic.twitter.com/ioaqBn5jes</a></p>— therese tierney (@tierneytoo) <a href="https://twitter.com/tierneytoo/status/937759958111805442?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 4, 2017</a></blockquote>
<script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
My intrepid students have written, designed, and constructed a fresh architectural blog "Make New History: The Chicago Biennale" based on Hal Foster's notions on the art and architecture complex. We will be hosting a public [soft] blog launch and exhibition on Weds November 15th from 5:30 to 8:30pm at [co][lab] 206 W Main St, Urbana, IL. Hope to see you there! https://makenewhistory.wordpress.com/
My graduate level design studio held their mid reviews last week in the Santa Fe Building in Chicago. This speculative studio tasked the students with designing a new cultural center for the Chicago Biennale Foundation. Our avid reviewers included Maciej Kaczynski from Studio Gang, Todd Snapp, Ann Erskine from Perkins Will, Greg Howe from Searl Lamaster Howe Architects and Yang Yu SOM Research Group, among others. Our final review will be held on Monday Dec 4th.
Tierney returned in time to attend the preview for the Chicago Architectural Bienielle and /Dialogues at EXPO. The previous week included speaking at the University of California Berkeley Center for New Media and University of San Francisco Urban Studies. Tierney also moderated a panel discussion at SPUR: San Francisco Planning and Urban Research, in addition to presenting her UIUC smart cities research. Panelists included Antwi Akom [SFSU, UCSF, Streetwyze app], among Ben Feldmann [Mia Leher Landscape + Planning], among others. We were pleased by the large turnout and a spirited action-oriented discussion followed. Many thanks to Ken Goldberg, Nicholas De Monchaux, Lara Wolfe, Noah Christman and everyone at SPUR!
In our increasingly connected world, it is wireless infrastructure, rather than built form, that binds a city together. Today’s networked city encompasses more than just technology; it allows for previously unimagined levels of adaptability, serving to organize people, policy and practices. Yet at the same time, there are serious concerns related to data collection, data ownership and privacy. What does this new paradigm mean for architects and urban planners? Come hear a dynamic and diverse panel of speakers discuss how knowledge of the 'smart city' is critical to understanding our new urban environment.
A book signing and reception will follow the discussion. http://www.spur.org/events/2017-09-12/intelligent-infrastructure
+ TF Tierney moderator / University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
+ Antwi Akom / San Francisco State University
+ Ben Feldman / Mia Lehrer + Associates
+ Gerry Tierney / Perkins + Will
When we think of smart cities, the hypermodern cities of Shenzen or Songdo usually come to mind. But when we look to the future, it is clear that all cities – from Brooklyn to Berkeley – will also be smart. What does a new paradigm mean for our future cities? Tierney will be addressing that question at University of California Berkeley BCNM "Commons Conversations" on Monday September 11th. Looking forward to seeing you there! #intelligent infrastructure
Wireless infrastructure allows cities previously unimagined levels of adaptability, with mobile telephony serving to organize people, practices and policy. What does this new paradigm mean for architects and planners? Find out at SPUR's [San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Assoc] panel discussion and reception on September 12 at 6:00pm in San Francisco. A book signing will follow the discussion.
For more information: http://www.spur.org/about/our-mission-and-history
On May 4, 2017, I was honored at a reception by Dean Harleman of the College of Fine & Applied Arts at the University of Illinois. The Faculty Excellence in Research Award recognizes a sustained record of research and creative work, as demonstrated though publications, exhibitions, successful grant applications, and invited lectures.
The "Collaborative for the Critical Study of Technology" at UIUC (of which I am a founding member) fosters experiments in theory and interdisciplinarity. Last week, CCST hosted a lecture by Lawrence Liang (Yale University/Ambedkar University) and Nishant Shah (Leuphana University) titled "The Post-Digital U-turn." It featured some of Lawrence's work with pad.ma - the wonderfully visual, accessible, and voluminous film archive and data base.
Susan Koshy directs CCST -- a humanities based research group that investigates how technological applications link up with other social developments in culture, politics, ethics, and public policy. https://criticism.english.illinois.edu/
Last Thursday I lectured at the Erlanger House and the place was packed, one of the best evenings of the series hosted by PhD candidates in Architecture and Landscape Architecture. My lecture topic was "The Researcher as a Creative Agent of Change" and I discussed Design Theory & Methologies from 1940-present time including First Gen thinking, Berkeley's 2nd Gen rebuttal and then closing with issues related to telepistemologies with reference to work currently being completed by artist and roboticist Ken Goldberg.
Work from my graduate level design studio is featured in an exhibition, "Megastructures: Explorations in Parametric Design" in the West Gallery at Temple Buell Hall UIUC from March 26 - April 8th. It features projects by: Ann Erskine, MohonaMurad, David O’Donoghue, Vincent Lee, Lena Reiff, Chaoran Wang.
Jason Farman included my chapter "Reappropriating Social Media" in Foundations of Mobile Media Studies: Essential Texts on the Formation of a Field (Routledge 2017). This carefully curated collection serves as the central text to anyone eager to understand the rise of mobile technology, its impact on our relationships, and how these media have transformed the ways we understand the world around us.
Representing over seven years of research, University of Virginia Press published "Intelligent Infrastructure: Zipcars, Invisible Networks and Urban Transformation."
"The collected essays carry forward a set of ideas both inspired and articulated by William Mitchell on how a post-carbon landscape could reshape urban transportation practices." - Nik Luka, PhD, McGill University
The book argues that knowledge of both the visible and invisible components--information, energy, sustainability, transportation, housing, and social practices--are critical to understanding today's urban environment. The dynamic and diverse cast of contributors includes Mitchell Schwarzer, Frederic Stout, Anthony Townsend, Carlo Ratti of the MIT SENSEable City Lab, Mitchell Joachim of Terreform ONE, and many other innovators who are changing the urban landscape.
The March issue of The Architectural Review [AR] features my invited keynote essay “Public Space Rewired” (London: vol. CCXLI, no. 1438: Shared Space/Women in Architecture 2017). The AR is the leading authority on contemporary architecture, a position it has held unrivaled since 1896 with a global readership of over 60,000 subscribers and over 140,000 unique social media readers each month.