Book Talk: "Intelligent Infrastructure: Zipcars, Invisible Networks, And Urban Transformation"

Lecture | September 11 | 12:30-2 p.m. | 340 Moffitt Undergraduate Library

 Thérèse Tierney, Founding Director of URL: Urban Research Lab at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

 Berkeley Center for New Media

When we think of smart cities, the hypermodern cities of Shenzen or Songdo usually come to mind. But when we look at the future, it is clear that all cities – from Brooklyn to Berkeley – will also be smart.
New or old, smart cities are sustained by intelligent infrastructure, an assemblage of software, wireless communication technologies, and environmental sensors. These allow for previously unimagined levels of adaptability, with mobile telephony serving to organize people, practices, and policy. What does a network paradigm mean for our future cities? What are the intended and unintended consequences? We stand at a critical urban moment when a materialist perspective requires knowledge of both the visible and invisible components-- information, energy, sustainability, transportation, and social practices -- in addition to a critique of power and inequality. While intelligent infrastructure has the potential to bring new decision-making models for resource sharing and land use, there are also serious concerns regarding data collection, privacy and control, all of which are currently inviting public participation and debate.

About Thérèse Tierney

Tierney is the founding director of URL: Urban Research Lab at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. URL Lab focuses on the design implications of network technologies on cities, people, and infrastructure. Recent URL research includes smart cities and the Internet of Things, transit oriented development, and big data analysis for urban resilience. In 2013, Tierney was a US Delegate to Smart & Digital Cities in France; she was selected for the quality of her research in the application of new technologies to build the next generation of cities.
Tierney serves on the editorial board of The Bartlett’s ARENA Journal of Architectural Research, University College London. Her publications include Intelligent Infrastructure: Zipcars, Invisible Networks and Urban Transformation (University of Virginia Press 2017); The Public Space of Social Media: Connected Cultures of Network Society(Routledge UK 2013), which was a finalist for the Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Award; and co-editor with Anthony Burke Network Practice: New Strategies for Architecture + Design (Princeton 2007). Tierney holds a PhD in Architecture with a Designated Emphasis in New Media from the University of California Berkeley, a BArch from California College of the Arts. During 2006, she was a predoctoral researcher at the MIT media lab.

Please RSVP to attend:

Websites/ links

UIUC Architecture:
Professional Site:
Intelligent Infrastructure:
Twitter: @tierneytoo