The Urban Improvise: Improvisation-Based Design for Hybrid Cities

The Urban Improvise: Improvisation-Based Design for Hybrid Cities

by Kristian Kloeckl


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A book for architects, designers, planners, and urbanites that explores how cities can embrace improvisation to improve urban life

The built environment in today’s hybrid cities is changing radically. The pervasiveness of networked mobile and embedded devices has transformed a predominantly stable background for human activity into spaces that have a more fluid behavior. Based on their capability to sense, compute, and act in real time, urban spaces have the potential to go beyond planned behaviors and, instead, change and adapt dynamically.
These interactions resemble improvisation in the performing arts, and this book offers a new improvisation-based framework for thinking about future cities. Kristian Kloeckl moves beyond the smart city concept by unlocking performativity, and specifically improvisation, as a new design approach and explores how city lights, buses, plazas, and other urban environments are capable of behavior beyond scripts. Drawing on research of digital cities and design theory, he makes improvisation useful and applicable to the condition of today’s technology-imbued cities and proposes a new future for responsive urban design.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300243048
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 01/07/2020
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.88(d)

About the Author

Kristian Kloeckl is associate professor at Northeastern University’s School of Architecture and Department of Art + Design. He was previously a research scientist at MIT’s Senseable City Lab where he established the lab’s research unit in Singapore.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

1 Introduction 1

2 When the City Begins to Talk 22

3 Interface, Interact, Improvact 57

4 Improvisation as System 79

5 An Improvisation-Based Model for Urban Interaction Design 105

6 Experimentation with Uncertainty and the Unpredictable 143

7 Improvisation as Technique and Practice for Design 170

8 Epilogue: Toward the Urban Improvise 188

Notes 193

Index 211

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