Do Janne ‘Architect in Residence’ at Arcam

6 February, 2019

Do Janne Vermeulen is ‘Architect in Residence’ at the Amsterdam Architecture Center (Arcam) in the months April to June. In that period she focuses on Smart Cities and the role of the designer.

Every three months the Amsterdam Architecture Center appoints an Architect in Residence (AiR). The AiR is an independent designer who encourages discussion about urban developments in a free role within the Amsterdam Architecture Center, for example with debates, moderations and columns. The AiR provides solicited and unsolicited advice to the city and its residents.

Do Janne explains why she is doing research on Smart Cities – improving cities with Big Data – during her role as Architect in Residence.

“Our cities are becoming smarter every day: we find our way with navigation systems, we get information about traffic jams in real time and we find each other and our stuff through all kinds of apps. What does this mean for the future of architecture and urban planning? How do we use data now and in the near future in our designs and experience of the city?

Currently Team V is working on the Atlas building in Eindhoven with a smart light infrastructure. And only recently I was in Toronto where I there was a real buzz about SideWalkLabs, who want to develop a super-smart district. It made me think:

A lot of data is collected and used in a smart city. Big Data. What can we do with so much data? And what is the downside? What about privacy, for example? These are big, almost philosophical issues that we can discuss endlessly. We – designers, architects, urban planners – bring in another perspective: what is the effect of big data on the public realm? How can we act, react and initiate design-wise in an environment in which the digital world plays an increasingly important role?

In my three months as Architect in Residence, I will explore this topic with a wide range of experts. How do we use Big Data and ‘the internet of things’ to make cities and buildings better? Can we use it to design better and more sustainable public spaces, mobility concepts and public buildings? Our cities are becoming more and more Smart, what I want to research is: how do we as designers optimally respond to that.”

Photographs: Maarten Nauw

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