UrbanIxD Summer School

UrbanIxD Summer School Brief: Seams and Boundaries in the Hybrid City


Explosive innovation and adoption of computing, mobile devices, and rich sources of data are changing the cities in which we live, work, and play. It’s about us, and how computing in the context of our cities is changing how we live. It is envisaged that the urban spaces of the future will be saturated with both visible and hidden media that gather and transmit information. How we as physical beings connect with, interpret and shape the increase of data residing in our environment will be a significant challenge.


The concept of “Big Data” has become intimately linked with the vision of the “Smart City”. The Smart City might be the campaign, but it will be over Big Data that the battle for the city will be fought.

So where does this Big Data reside and who gets to see it, let alone make sense of it and use it?

The Hybrid City is an environment that comprises both the tangible and the virtual. It is a place where data resides at the boundaries of the physical and the digital.

This landscape is made more complex as these seams ebb and flow with time and place. The experience of data might only be fleeting and transient.

What are the products and services that citizens of the near future will use to create and consume data in the Hybrid City?

What will the toolkits of these “data hunters” contain, and how will they explore the space between and beyond buildings as they seek to understand the urban environment through interaction rather than delineation?

Their mission is to identify the seams, and reveal the data, as only once this is uncovered can we really know of its existence and meaning.


The goal of the Summer School is the production of fictional concepts that explore the active role of citizens as designers, users and inhabitants in the emerging socio-technical situations that might characterise the Hybrid City of the near-future.

At the conclusion of the School you will have produced an output that is ready for exhibiting to the public. Your display should be understandable to visitors, but does not have to be a fully working prototype.