Professor Katharine Willis from the School of Art, Design and Architecture is developing creative technologies as toolkits to enable more meaningful citizen participation in smart city projects as part of the AHRC funded Whose Smart City? network.
The project develops out of the 2 year research project with international partners which studied how and why cities and people are shaping technologies to suit their needs and the role of civic inclusiveness in this process. The research works with international partners in city of Chennai, India, Belo Horizonte, Brazil and in London and Plymouth, UK.
Creative output and process
This project creates a creative, digital ‘Toolkit’ for communities and people to enable them to participate in smart city projects. It makes complex technological developments accessible to a non-expert audience so they can use these for societal benefit and make cities more sustainable. The Toolkit was trialled through an event called ‘Hack the City’ at the Digital Design Weekend at the Victoria and Albert museum in September 2017
The main objective is to enable communities and individuals who will be impacted by smart city projects to get involved and create their own projects, rather than relying on expertise of technical specialists and government organisations.
The project includes a mix of creative demos and videos, together with explanations of how to make simple smart devices and interactions, and was developed with tech startup OnePolygon. The project works with the emerging technologies of IoT (Internet of Things), artificial intelligence and augmented reality in exciting new creative ways.