The Poiesis FellowsThe fellows come from different academic and professional fields - and bring in a fascinating variety of experiences from their non-Poiesis life. Three examples:
- Cassim Shepard edits Urban Omnibus,
- Neerea Calvillo's focus is on data visualization, one of her recent projects was on showing the microscopic and invisible agents of Madrid´s air,
- and Naresh Fernandez has recently finished his book on Bombay's Jazz Age.
- For their Poiesis research the fellows are organized in three different groups. At the symposium, First up was the Infrapolitics group, which had just returned from Songdo, South Korea.
In brief, the Infrapolitics group examines how infrastructures of information, measurement, and probability impact contemporary urban forms and life. Particular emphasis is on the political and social visions which these information technologies represent and enable or constrain. They started off with a focused on Google, and their research included trips to Google in Downtown Manhattan. To explore the impact of information infrastructure on political imaginaries and the role it plays on a city's design, the group currently studies Songdo, a "smart city" in South Korea.
- This is how Songdo is represented on the official website.
- But what is it actually? A testing ground for new technologies? An example of a smart community? Or an experimental prototype?
The Infrapolitics group calls it testbed urbanism.
Infrastructures of Citizenship
- Second up, was the Infrastructures of Citizenship group. Their project interrogates "hard" and "soft" infrastructures that enable or constrain individuals to constitute themselves politically in urban areas. They have chosen Berlin and Bombay as counterpoints. Currently, their focus is on the case study of Golibar, a slum in Mumbai, that is struggling with demolition and redevelopment.
- Here is a link to an op-ed of Michael McQuarrie on the topic and to an article of Naresh Fernandez on the broader topic of Mumbai's future.