Increasingly the world around us is becoming ‘smart.’ From smart meters to smart production, from smart surfaces to smart grids, from smart phones to smart citizens. ‘Smart’ has become the catch-all term to indicate the advent of a charged technological shift that has been propelled by the promise of safer, more convenient and more efficient forms of living. Most architects, designers, planners and politicians seem to agree that the smart transition of cities and buildings is in full swing and inevitable. However, beyond comfort, safety and efficiency, how can ‘smart design and technologies’ assist to address current and future challenges of architecture and urbanism?

Architecture and the Smart City provides an architectural perspective on the emergence of the smart city and offers a wide collection of resources for developing a better understanding of how smart architecture, smart cities and smart systems in the built environment are discussed, designed and materialized. It brings together a range of international thinkers and practitioners to discuss smart systems through four thematic sections: ‘Histories and Futures’, ‘Agency and Control’, ‘Materialities and Spaces’ and ‘Networks and Nodes’. Combined, these four thematic sections provide different perspectives into some of the most pressing issues with smart systems in the built environment.

The book tackles questions related to the future of architecture and urbanism, lessons learned from global case studies and challenges related to interdisciplinary research, and critically examines what the future of buildings and cities will look like.

chapter Chapter 1|14 pages


1Our brave new world

part 1|2 pages

Histories and futures

chapter Chapter 2|12 pages

Frictionless futures

17The vision of smartness and the occlusion of alternatives

chapter Chapter 3|14 pages

Is the city becoming computable?

chapter Chapter 4|13 pages

The answer is “smart” – but what was the question?

About some properties of utopian conceptualization

chapter Chapter 5|12 pages

The trouble with capitalist utopia

A totalizing scheme of subsumption and planetary urbanization

chapter Chapter 6|17 pages

The metaphor of the city as a thinking machine

A complicated relationship and its backstory

part II|2 pages

Agency and control

chapter Chapter 7|15 pages


86Is Alexa our new chief happiness officer? IoT and the logics of soft-production

chapter Chapter 8|12 pages

Soft sibylations

GPS navigation as urban speculation

chapter Chapter 9|13 pages

Intelligence and armament

chapter Chapter 11|16 pages

Scenarios of interactive citizenship

part III|2 pages

Materialities and spaces

chapter Chapter 12|8 pages

The IdIoT in the smart home

chapter Chapter 14|11 pages

Politics of sensing and listening

chapter Chapter 15|13 pages

Recoupling soft and hard

Engaging data as an immaterial practice

chapter Chapter 16|11 pages

Moving in the metropolis

Smart city solutions and the urban everyday experience

part IV|2 pages

Networks and nodes

chapter Chapter 17|11 pages

Standing out in a crowd

Big data to produce new forms of publicness

chapter Chapter 18|13 pages

Operationalizing smartness

From social bridges to an urbanism of aspirations, affordances and capabilities

chapter Chapter 19|10 pages

New sensorial vehicles

Navigating critical understandings of autonomous futures