SCI-Arc Research Team in Dialogue as Part of Chicago Architecture Biennial
Tonight, November 30, the Chicago Architecture Biennial resumes its virtual program series, InDialogue, featuring this evening’s discussion taking place online at 6:00pm, entitled Data at the Crossroads, which asks, “Can technology and data support empowerment?” The panelists reflect on algorithmic decision making in design and planning and how human experiences translate into data.
Including researchers from SCI-Arc, the Institute for Housing Studies, and Automated Architecture Labs the talk will feature projects that deploy machine learning and data analysis in relation to land use and dwelling types, aid policymakers’ ability to foresee displacement, and develop new materials for low-income housing. Panelists for this program include: critic, editor, and curator Mimi Zeiger (M.Arch ’00); designer, algorithmic consultant, and SCI-Arc faculty M. Casey Rehm; SCI-Arc Senior Research Associate Masha Hupalo; Executive Director of the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University Geoff Smith; and Systems Designer at Automated Architecture Ivo Tedbury.
The series, presents a new conversation every Tuesday, bringing together cultural leadership from around the world to highlight a diverse perspective and further engagement with topics related to ‘The Available City.’ This year, the Chicago Biennial is partnering with organizations including the Association of Architecture Organizations, Chicago Architecture Center, Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), Exhibit Columbus, Graham Foundation, and Art Institute of Chicago, among others.
“It is essential for architecture and urban design students to recognize mapped quantitative data as rationalized abstractions of lived experiences and understand how power does not reside only within technology and knowledge is not produced independently from its creators,” shares Hupalo or tonight’s dialogue. “In our COVID-19 and Displacement project together with Case Miller and SCI-Arc students we are developing new explanatory frameworks to increase understanding of displacement pressures and commodification of housing and generate more thoughtful responses to urban growth and continuity.”
SCI-Arc R*Search has been exploring ways to leverage technological advances to create new justice-oriented and inclusive practices addressing issues of affordable and available housing. As real-estate developers, governments, urban planners, and tech companies rush to build so-called smart cities of unprecedented intelligence, it is essential to discuss how to utilize algorithmic decision making without reducing the complexity of human experiences transformed into data.
Tonight’s Data at the Crossroads panel can be livestreamed on the Chicago Architecture Biennial website by registering on the event website.