19-22 April 2016, Amsterdam, all day @HvA and Hermitage: Design & The City Conference 2016

From 19 to 22 April the Design & the City Conference will take place in Amsterdam. The conference explores citizen-centered design approaches for the smart city.

Central theme is the role of design(ers) to create opportunities and practices for citizens, (social) entrepreneurs and policy makers towards more livable, sustainable and sociable urban futures. The program consists of labs, workshops and a conference day. The Hackable City will speak about the research and findings.

>> Read Dan Hill’s report on the day (The Social and the Democratic, in Social Democratic European Cities) here


Dan Hill structures his critique using The Hackable City dynamic

Dan Hill structures his critique using The Hackable City dynamic

Foto 21-04-16 17 32 16

Next step is to focus on the right side of the diagram


Design & The City is organized by the University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) and the Knowledge Mile: an applied research ecosystem in the heart of Amsterdam. The event takes place in 2016: the year of the Dutch EU Presidency, during which a declaration on the European Urban Agenda will be defined.

Design & The City Team
Martijn de Waal – Overall Programme Coordinator
Kim Hagenaar – Conference Producer
Gabriele Ferri – Coordinator Workshops & Lab of Labs
Paul van de Water – Press Relations & Communication
Twan Eikelenboom – Editor in Chief Website and Newspaper
Maarten Terpstra – Community Manager Knowledge Mile
Jennifer Veldman – Production Assistent


Design & The City is a four-day event that brings together international experts, researchers, designers, educators and policy makers to explore citizen-centered design approaches for the smart city.

During our workshops, a round table conference and a session on living lab methodologies, the role of designers will be addressed as initiators, innovators, campaigners, connectors, organisers, critics and imagineers of alternative urban futures. In addition, we’ll discuss concrete design strategies that can contribute to more liveable, sustainable and sociable urban communities.

In the last few years, the rise of digital and mobile media has changed everyday life in our cities. From finding a restaurant or place to stay to campaigning for or against a new urban development with fellow citizens to the monitoring of traffic and crowds by city officials during large events; as a current add wants it, in our contemporary cities there’s an app for that. Or a website, an online service, a dashboard or other digital media platform.

More recently the rise of sensors and (big) data has provided us with yet another new range of opportunities and promises for the future of our cities. The network society, heralded by scholars and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs alike, is slowly turning into a platform society: a society in which personal, social and political relations are organised through the interfaces and algorithms of digital media platforms.

Rather than changing our cities merely quantitatively (GPS-navigation may get us there 5% faster, CO2 emissions may go down by 12%), this has a qualitative impact on our urban societies. New modes of social organisation, of economic production and political decision-making have started to appear. Relations between and roles of citizens, designers and policy makers have started to shift.

These developments raise as many challenges as they provide new opportunities for the design of liveable, sustainable and sociable cities. Privacy, power and processes of in- and exclusion are important issues of concern. How can we design our cities and their technologies from a perspective of the public interest?

Design & The City address these issues through three subthemes. The first is designing for the changing role of citizens. How can citizens meaningfully be engaged in the process of city making? Second we will discuss design strategies for new modes of social and economic organisation: What new social processes and business models do we need for the future of city making? And third we will look at the role of the professional in the process of city making, and the new design methodologies, approaches and roles they have taken on towards the creation of a sociable smart city.

More information on the Design & The City website