The Great British [Un]Smart City
An Alternative Smart-ish City Vision for London
'In a world of YouTube, FaceBook, and LOLcats, something about Songdo just doesn’t feel authentic, fully reflective of our everyday digital existence.'
~ Anthony Townsend
Under the technocratic control of the corporations, the future vision of the ‘smart city’ has one overriding drive: efficiency. Wired up to control themselves, new cities such as Songdo in South Korea and Masdar in Abu Dhabi feature an autonomous, intelligent networked urbanism that will think, so you don’t have to.
Not wanting to be left in second place in the international race for ‘smart’ prowess, Boris Johnson proposes his own charming vision for London situated on the Isle of Dogs. The GBSC exploits the nostalgic view of the British rural idyll in order to assuage and pacify concerns of personal privacy, smartness and homogeneity. In turn creating a slightly dumb but unique and compelling alternative to the generic smart city.
A masterplan based on the principles of crop rotation supersedes traditional urban zoning. The rolling hills of England’s ‘green and pleasant land’ undulate through the city, creating a daring social infrastructure for all. From the farmhouse, data farmers watch over their ‘smart’ demesne. While roaming, connected animals create a friendly and familiar interface between the city and its citizens, their purpose is to gather big data; essential in the operation of every smart city.
School of Architecture
MA Architecture, 2015
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My 'practice makes perfect'.
My interests lie within the social, economic and political implications of developing buildings. If 97 per cent of the buildings in the world are not designed by architects, there is a huge grey area to be explored between the developer and the designer.
My recent dissertation, titled 'We Need To Talk About Croydon', sets out to question the hugely negative attitudes towards my home town:
Croydon’s reputation precedes it. Painted as a pantomime villain in popular culture, the town appears berated with abuse from the rear of the auditorium unable to retort. A wider conversation about its distinctive built environment questions attitudes, providing context to its current period of development.
- BA Architecture, University of Nottingham, 2012
- Ben Adams Architects