Digital ×

When Cedric Price declared “technology is the answer, but what was the question?” he could not have understood the extent to which such a logic would underpin the economic and industrial logics of disruption that have since become increasingly determining of social life and urban experience. Indeed, his statement was made over ten years before Shenzhen, what is today the metropolitan heart of the world’s trillion-dollar consumer electronics manufacturing infrastructure, even became a city. Price not only subordinated the question of form to that of function, as Louis Sullivan did at the cusp of modernity more than half a century prior. Rather, he opened up the very idea of function to that of engineering and design, and in so doing destabilized the relevance and legitimacy of all extant forms.

Price's declaration was made on the cusp of the digital revolution. Issues facing the future of urban settlement are vast, and the solutions that might be provided today are of a definitively different nature and performance than those that were possible during Price’s time. According to Nicholas Negroponte, all things digital are simultaneously local and global, large and small, inside and outside of any given boundary. The digital world is not crisp, but rather porous and diffuse. It brings together previously separate worlds, like those of discovery, invention, and expression. It has even become the DNA of each. The natural world and the artificial world are becoming the same. Change will happen very rapidly.

Editors
e-flux Architecture
Norman Foster Foundation

Digital × is a collaboration between e-flux Architecture and the Norman Foster Foundation within the context of its 2019 educational program.

1–8
Danny Hillis
10,000 Years
Ben Vickers
Rules and Rhythms
Hasier Larrea
Exponential Rooms
Mary Lou Jepsen
Telepathic Infrastructures
Amber Case
Calm Space
David Moinina Sengeh
Data Graft
Nicholas Negroponte
Terms and Conditions
e-flux Architecture and Norman Foster Foundation
Editorial
Contributors
Amber Case

Amber Case studies the interaction between humans and computers and how our relationship with information is changing the way cultures think, act, and understand their worlds. Case is the author of Calm Technology, Design for the Next Generation of Devices, and with Aaron Day, Designing with Sound: Principles and Patterns for Mixed Environments.

Danny Hillis

Danny Hillis is an American inventor, entrepreneur, scientist, writer, and visionary who is particularly known for his work in computer science. He is best known as the founder of Thinking Machines, the pioneering parallel supercomputer manufacturer. More recently, Hillis cofounded Applied Minds, the technology R&D think-tank.

Mary Lou Jepsen

Mary Lou Jepsen is a technical executive and inventor in the fields of display, imaging, and computer hardware. She is the founder of OpenWater, a startup working on fMRI-type imaging of the body using holographic, infrared techniques. She was the co-founder and first Chief Technology Officer of One Laptop per Child (OLPC).

Hasier Larrea

Hasier Larrea is an engineer, designer, and entrepreneur, He founded Ori Inc. in 2015, where he leads a team in designing and building a collection of robotic interiors that enable transformations of any room on demand. Before Ori, Hasier led the Architectural Robotics research area at the MIT Media Lab.

Nicholas Negroponte

Nicholas Negroponte is the Co-Founder (with Jerome B. Wiesner) of the MIT Media Lab, which he directed for its first twenty years. He gave the first TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talk in 1984, and founded the non-profit One Laptop Per Child in 2005.

David Moinina Sengeh

David Moinina Sengeh is Chief Innovation Officer at the Government of Sierra-Leone, heading the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Ben Vickers

Ben Vickers is a curator, writer, explorer, network analyst, technologist and luddite. He is currently Chief Technology Officer and Curator of Digital at the Serpentine Galleries in London, co-founder of Ignota Books, and an initiator of the open-source monastic order unMonastery.

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