Dr. Orit Halpern
Associate Professor, Concordia University
Date: Friday, September 28, 2018 Time: 12:00PM – 2:00PM Venue: 728 BL, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto
Abstract: In 1943, in the midst of the war, the famous architect Richard Neutra was commissioned by the government of Puerto Rico to build hospitals and schools. In response, he produced a number of prototypes and processes investigating different ways to ventilate and climate control buildings in the sub-tropical environment of the island. His prime concern was to improve social condition with limited capital outlay through attention to the management of climate. Neutra famously labeled his work in Puerto Rico a “Planetary Test”. Neutra’s “planetary test” has now become a global infrastructure of “smart” test-bed zones and infrastructures, a global network of computational infrastructures, that colonize space and life and manage the future through constant swapping, deriving ,and testing that allow high risk design practices such as real-estate construction in climate change threatened spaces, the design of unsustainable energy infrastructures, and constantly volatile and insecure internet networks. This talk will trace several case study histories of “planetary tests” examining the relationship between smart cities and design, the emergence of ecology and resilience planning, and derivative pricing instruments and the reinsurance industry, focusing on their histories post 1970’s, that arguably define and produce our contemporary networks, smart cities, and computational infrastructures.
Speaker: Dr. Orit Halpern is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University. Her work bridges the histories of science, computing, and cybernetics with design and art practice. She is also a co-director of the Speculative Life Research Cluster, alaboratory situated at the intersection of the environmental sciences, architecture and design, and computational media.
for more: http://www.orithalpern.net
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