February 12, 2019 - Norman Foster Foundation - Digital X Workshop 2019
e-flux Architecture
February 12, 2019
February 12, 2019

Norman Foster Foundation

Images from the first edition of the Norman Foster Foundation Digital X Workshop, 2018. © Norman Foster Foundation.

Digital X Workshop 2019
February 18–22, 2019

Public Debates: Amber Case, W. Daniel Hillis, Mary Lou Jepsen, David Moinina Sengeh, Nicholas Negroponte and Ben Vickers.

Norman Foster Foundation
Monte Esquinza 48 28010 Madrid, Spain

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The second edition of the Norman Foster Foundation Digital X Workshop will take place on February 18-22, 2019, in association with e-flux Architecture.

"All things digital are simultaneously local and global, large and small, inside and outside of any given boundary," states workshop mentor Nicholas Negroponte. "The digital world brings together previously separate worlds, like those of discovery, invention and expression. It does that because it has become the DNA of each. The natural world and the artificial world are becoming interchangeable. Change will happen very rapidly. Fasten your seatbelts."

With that concept as a background, the workshop is designed to pose key questions and come up with some considered conclusions. Can you build a city without infrastructure: no roads, no sewers, no water or power? Why bother? The answer is to renovate informal settlements without bulldozing them, which is something that could impact two or three billion people. Call it a new autonomy, that of a house or a small community, taking some pages from outer space and bringing them back to earth.

The Academic Body spans a wide range of practitioners from the fields of design and innovation, including Amber Case, Co-founder of CyborgCamp, Cambridge, MA, United States; W. Daniel Hillis, Co-founder of Thinking Machines Corporation and of Applied Invention, Cambridge, MA, United States; Mary Lou Jepsen, Founder of Openwater, San Francisco, CA, United States; Hasier Larrea, Founder and CEO of Ori Inc., Cambridge, MA, United States; David Moinina Sengeh, Chief Innovation Officer at the Government of Sierra Leone, Freetown, Sierra Leone and Ben Vickers, Chief Technology Officer at the Serpentine Gallery, London, United Kingdom.

After reviewing applications submitted by hundreds of candidates from around the world, the selection committee awarded ten scholarships to students from the following universities and institutions: American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; American University in Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Ashesi University, Berekuso, Ghana; Cambridge University, Cambridge, United Kingdom; Cape Town University, Cape Town, South Africa; Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands; George Washington University, Washington, DC, United States; Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL, United States; Polytechnic University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain and the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

These ten students will be asked to park reality at the door. Inviting them to bring their most advanced thinking, craziest ideas, whether they relate to architecture or not, to apply them, their derivatives or simply their point of view to the needs of the world’s poorest people, especially the increasing number who live in informal settlements.

The Digital X Workshop will include seminars, lectures, one-to-one tutoring and architectural tours to learn more about the context of Madrid culminating in a five-day workshop led by it's mentor, Nicholas Negroponte, co-founder and former director of MIT Media Lab.

e-flux Architecture will join this year’s edition of the Digital X workshop as its editorial partner. Editors Nikolaus Hirsch and Nick Axel will conduct a series of interviews during the duration of the workshop, the result of this joint initiative will be unveiled in Spring 2019. 

Public Debates

Date and time: Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 12:30-2:20pm

Venue address: Fundación Francisco Giner de los Ríos
Paseo del General Martínez Campos 14, 28010, Madrid, Spain

With the participation of Amber Case, W. Daniel Hillis, Mary Lou Jepsen, David Moinina Sengeh, Nicholas Negroponte and Ben Vickers.

Tim Stonor, Managing Director of Space Syntax, London, United Kingdom, and part of the Advisory Board of the Norman Foster Foundation, will chair the debates.

If you are interested in attending the public debates above, please register via Eventbrite.

Norman Foster Foundation
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