UCL Urban Laboratory


Shaping the digital city: visualising the city with data and light

27 April 2016, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

Shaping the digital city: visualising the city with data and light

Event Information

Open to



G02, The Bartlett School of Architecture, 140 Hampstead Road, London NW1 2BX

LIVINGMAPS present the first in a series of events in collaboration with UCL Urban Laboratory, beginning with a lecture by Professor Gillian Rose (The Open University).

Digital technologies of various kinds are now the means through which many cities are made visible. This talk will work through some of the implications of that digitisation for the cultural politics of representation, especially but by no means only in the Global North. What and who is being made visible in these digitally mediated cities, and how? What forms of urban materiality, spatiality and sociality are pictured? And how should that picturing be theorised? Using a range of examples from current efforts to show us 'smart cities', the talk will examine the shape of the urban futures that they offer.

Gillian Rose is Professor of Cultural Geography at The Open University and a Fellow of the British Academy. Her current research interests focus on contemporary digital visual culture, urban spatialities and visual research methodologies. Her most recent funded research (with Monica Degen) examined how architects work with digital visualising technologies in designing urban redevelopment projects, and she is extending this work into the digital mediation of urban spaces more broadly, particularly in the context of 'smart cities'. She is the author of Feminism and Geography (Polity, 1993) and Doing Family Photography: The Domestic, The Public and The Politics of Sentiment (Ashgate, 2010). The fourth edition of her bestselling Visual Methodologies (Sage) will be published in 2016.

Discussant for the evening is Dr Tim Edensor, who teaches cultural geography at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is the author of Tourists at the Taj (1986), National Identity, Popular Culture and Everyday Life (2002) and Industrial Ruins: Space, Aesthetics and Materiality (2005), as well as the editor of Geographies of Rhythm (2010) and co-editor of Spaces of Vernacular Creativity (2009) and Urban Theory Beyond the West: A World of Cities (2011). Minnesota University Press will publish his forthcoming book, Light and Dark, in 2016.