Data & Design Technology

This theme explores new tools, methods, and technologies for project design. It also deals with the use and understanding of mass data, whether through the identification of data sources or their use via artificial intelligence algorithms.

News
News

Artificial Intelligence and creation

6 March 2024

AI at the heart of PCA-STREAM research! A look back at the five lectures in the AI AND CREATION series at the Stream Innovation Center. Image © June Balthazard & Pierre Pauze, Mass, 2020. Sculpture & 2-channel video, Courtesy of the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Work initially commissioned by Hermès Horloger.

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Article
Article

Exploring methodologies to understand the living city

Theoretical experiments around the concept of the “metabolic-city” place living organisms at the heart of a new paradigm, encouraging a systemic approach. In urban and architectural practice, what tools are available to measure metabolism? Pauline Detavernier, Doctor in Architecture and Research and Development Project Manager at PCA-STREAM, examines existing measures of the life cycle and urban metabolism to outline a methodology.

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Podcast

“ What science fiction does to the city. ”

Podcast

“ What science fiction does to the city. ”


"It will be upon a time", said science fiction to the city

Space is one of the great imaginary worlds of science fiction. By often depicting dystopian cities, authors sketch the contours of a desirable urbanity. Using science fiction as a field of investigation, Pierre-Antoine Marti, a PhD candidate in history at EHESS (School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences), uses representations of the future as a dataset for prospective reflection on the interplay between science fiction and innovation.

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Vidéo
Vidéo

EYES ON THE STREET 01

We have never collected so much data in cities. The public space is thus subjected to a real “dataification”. But how can we explain this massive capture? What is it about? And what does it tell us about our time? An inaugural lecture by Olivier Aïm, lecturer at Sorbonne University and author of Les Théories de la Surveillance, followed by an afterwork co-organized with Yourban, The Swarm Initative and The Good AI.

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Vidéo
Vidéo

AI facing complex urban environments

Hubert Beroche is the founder of the Urban AI think tank, dedicated to the field of urban artificial intelligence. He is the curator of the Eyes on the street lecture series, run together in partnership with the SCAI (Sorbonne Center for Artifical Intelligence), and explains here how urban AI can help us understand the city.

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Vidéo

Stephane Lemoine

Vidéo

Flows in images

Stéphane Lemoine is an architect and urban planner. He recently published the book Mix Urbains, which questions the nature of urban travel. By analyzing flows at eight intersections around the world, he studies speeds, rhythms, interactions and trajectories to determine what makes these urban squares special.

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Vidéo
Vidéo

Measuring the Urban Metabolism

Claire Doussard is an urban planner and researcher in the field of urban development. She focuses on measuring urban metabolisms and comparing various types of urban fabric in order to define the most environmentally friendly forms and ways of operating. Reviews and perspectives that face a great difficulty: data collection!

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Article

An argument for Data unions

Emerging Leaders

Article

An argument for Data unions

These days we are generating a lot of data simply by carrying our phones around and consenting cookies on websites. While some of the data collected can be accessed by researchers for social good, other data is being used to provide targeted advertisements. Companies buy and sell our data, what is currently lacking is a mechanism for individuals to get a grasp of where their personal data is being used and for what purpose. An article by Saulė Gabrielė, Nadia Leonova and Lukas Utzig, Urban AI’s Emerging Leaders. Discover the extended version, Who owns your data ? 

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Vidéo

Caroline Goulard

Vidéo

Talking Data

Caroline Goulard is a data journalist and co-founder of Dataveyes. She turns collected data into digital experiences to make it more understandable for everyone. Thanks to new ways of visualization, it is now possible to understand a population’s needs and to develop services that anticipate new uses.

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Article
Article

Technologies and metabolic city

The notion of urban metabolism can be viewed in several ways. From a quantitative perspective, by considering flows; from a political ecology perspective, by considering social factors; and from an urban design perspective, by considering the sum of intertwined environmental and social ecosystems beyond administrative borders. In each of these approaches, urban technologies and the availability of data provide exciting prospects. To read the extended version : Do cities metabolize?

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Podcast

“ We are witnessing the emergence of a homo qualitus ”

Podcast

“ We are witnessing the emergence of a homo qualitus ”


The difficult measure of well-being

University professor and PhD in Economics Lise Bourdeau Lepage has developed tools for measuring well-being that can be used to conduct territorial diagnoses. She shares this methodology in a guide for elected officials, with a view to helping public policies place humans and their well-being at the heart of planning and development. READ THE TRANSCRIPT

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Vidéo
Vidéo

The invisible labor of Data and Men

Jérôme Denis is a research professor at the Center for the Sociology of Innovation at Mines ParisTech. He examines the invisible work required by data processing (including in urban contexts), as well as on an approach to maintenance grounded in care. The focus afforded to material fragility, far from stabilizing the condition of objects, becomes inextricably involved in their future.

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Article

Demystifying and Repoliticizing Urban Data

Jérôme Denis & David Pontille

Article

Demystifying and Repoliticizing Urban Data

In the face of the promises of the prophets of artificial intelligence and the marketing of those major economic players promoting the smart city as a solution to urban ills, Jérôme Denis and David Pontille remind us of the irreducible materiality and fragility of cities. Demystifying what they perceive as a form of “neopositivism” of data, they point out that data doesn’t exist per se, and in fact must be generated and then maintained at a significant cost. As a result, data is never neutral and takes on a fundamentally political dimension. Understanding this framework leads them to promote a paradigm of maintenance and fragility, instead of the more common one of sustainability and resilience, when approaching urban realities.

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Article
Article

From Weak AI to Organic Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence has taken center stage in the prospective narratives of the city, yet Bruno Maisonnier emphasizes the need to differentiate “weak” AI, which is less about intellect than computing power, from the perspective of an “organic” AI, developed following the model of the brain and social insects, and which would be capable of carrying out highly complex tasks with low data and energy needs, of self-learning, and making rational arguments. In spite of the risks inherent in implementing any new technology before its use is regulated, AI heralds real progress for our societies, in particular, through optimizing the efficiency of genetic engineering.

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Vidéo
Vidéo

Towards an organic Artificial Intelligence

What we are currently calling AI has, in fact, very little to do with intelligence, although it does indeed make use of tremendous memory capabilities and computing power. The leading figure of French robotics, Bruno Maisonnier, is engaged in the challenge of developing an AI operating like a brain, using very little energy and data, while also being capable of justifying decisions. Would this be an AI with self-learning capabilities?

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Article

Building Consensus on AI-driven Urban Design

Though AI is revolutionizing the practice of architecture, it follows the increasing digitalization that has been unfolding since the 1980s. Kent Larson was one of its pioneers. Alongside the City Science research group at MIT, he explores how data can help imagine production processes and innovative forms of urban governance stemming from an evidence-based approach and favoring consensus-building through modeling. He views this holistic approach to the complexity of urban reality as the only one that could bring about genuine change, though it raises the issue of the quality and control of data. He also calls for community databases offering an alternative to surveillance capitalism.

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Article

AI in Architecture

Stanislas Chaillou

Article

AI in Architecture

Artificial intelligence sparks as much enthusiasm as fear in its applications in the built and urban environment. Architect and data scientist Stanislas Chaillou puts this innovation into perspective by replacing in its technological timeline and demystifying the way it operates, which is in fact based on statistical learning. AI brings three major contributions to architects: assistance (for tedious chores), options (in the iterative design process), and the connection to context (by taking better account of local data). AI thus carries less of a risk of standardization than an opportunity to develop a style, to adapt to multiple contexts, and to vastly increase the capabilities of architects.

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Article

Representing Data

Refik Anadol

Article

Representing Data

While the Anthropocene confronts us with our indissociable connection with Earth, for Refik Anadol we are living in an hybrid reality born out of the ubiquity of technological systems. He is engaged in the quest for a universal language to express this new era where the real and virtual worlds are intertwined, experimenting through prospective forms of representation which materialize data sets.

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Article

Representing the Invisible City

The trend towards smart cities reintroduces a functionalist vision of the city, generating ever-increasing amounts of data. But how can the parts of urbanity that cannot be reduced to quantified data to be optimized be considered? Larissa Fassler seeks to make visible what forms the urban experience through sensitive mapping that reveals an overlooked city.

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Vidéo
Vidéo

AI doesn’t replace architects but supports them

Researcher and data scientist Stanislas Chaillou investigates how AI can enable architects to support and enhance their practice. A small sampler of a new book published by Éditions du Moniteur in March 2021.

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Article
Article

The "Living" City or the Text-City

Reintegrating biodiversity into urban space raises profound questions about its natural ontological dimension. Specializing in narratives, philosopher Pierre Musso explores the history and confrontation of representations of the city as a machine or an organism, a game of metaphors that runs throughout Western thought. Seen as a giant automaton associated with industrialization, its assimilation into the living would be distinctly at variance with the onslaught of industry. The city is alive because it is creative and criss-crossed by flows of humans and materials, and also because of its vulnerability, exposed like every life-form to death by technical asphyxiation, overpopulation, or dispersion. Reliant on its networks, it is fundamentally reticular, from both practical and symbolic points of view. The success of the idea of the city also forms a counterpoint to the idea of the automatic city, the smart-city, guided by algorithms, data, and artificial intelligence. The city is thus primarily textual in nature, a medium for our imaginations, fears, and projections.

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Article

Beyond the Smart City

Carlos Moreno

Article

Beyond the Smart City

While the first real experiences of smart cities, dead on arrival for the most part, have been bottomless money pits, Carlos Moreno, a researcher in the fields of complex systems, robotics, and artificial intelligence, contrasts this notion with a new vision of the “living city.” While he is aware of the importance of digital tools in the design and evolution of the urban fabric, he nevertheless criticizes the techno-centric and universalist dimension of the smart city, which erases the place of the living and its interactions, literally generating dead cities. The living city seeks to understand the other and the way that it interacts with its socio-territorial-urban environment. Technological but first and foremost human, the living city advocates relationships and exchange to bring forth new ideas and practices. It is a creative ecosystem not dictated by the vertical nature of technology or of architecture, but based on metabolic exchanges and citizens’ re-appropriation based on a DIY approach.

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Article

Sensors "Visceralization"

Joseph Paradiso

Article

Sensors "Visceralization"

Urban responses to environmental issues are split between advocates of a return to/of nature and those who promote the technological solutions of the smart city, based on sensors and data. Joseph Paradiso, Director of the Responsive Environments Group at MIT, studies the interactions between individuals and computing technology. He explains how portable electronic sensors known as wearables allow access to a set of data that modify our experience of space and profoundly impacts the built environment. Electronic interfaces autonomously determine our needs, permitting the optimization of comfort and energy consumption. He sees a world of information becoming established in the real world, articulating wearables in real time with the general digital infrastructure. Carrying this virtual bubble along with us will even cause the notion itself of the individual to be modified. The roles of the virtual and the real also seem destined to change in his opinion, accompanying a “visceralization” of sensors and the digital, source of an increase in power of our sensorial capacities.

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stream voices

Eager to share more generously the results of its collaborations and research, PCA-STREAM publishes STREAM VOICES, its online magazine!

Discover Stream Voices