Robotic City

What can be automated in a city?

The Robotic City speculates on how technology and automation will change urban environments, from the scale of products and rooms, to architecture and the city of the future.

In the Robotic City we can foresee an integration of multiple functions and products into the architecture and infrastructure of the city. In a smaller scale this is already happening in so called ubiquitous computing, an integration of information processing into everyday objects, activities and spaces. When we extrapolate this phenomena further into future what kind of merging of urbanism, architecture and product design can we imagine? What kinds of new relationships will there be between people, objects and spaces? To what extent will our bodies function as interfaces to the environment? When everything is automated and transparent, where is excitement and danger? When computers pass the ‘Turing test’ (test to determine if a machine is capable of demonstrating intelligence), what happens to human-machine relationship?

Many futurists suggest that there will be even stronger relationship between virtual and physical environments. This is already resulting in merging of spaces and functions. Home becomes office, supermarket and meeting place all at the same time. How far will this merging go?

This project lead to a series of studio’s and four graduation projects: Automated Transport by Edoardo Felici, Skyports by Ahmet Kofahli, Trans4m by Khalid Ghobashi and Foodweb London by Maarten Haspels. The research continued in other projects: The Transformer, Food City and 4 Minute City.