OBSERVATIONS – Call for Submissions

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Observations

Concepts of security are radically changing with the spread of the network society. Global trends such as smart cities and gated communities, as well as new technologies such as CCTV (closed-circuit television), Facefinder, ID cards with RFID chips, Google Streetview or GPS (Global Positioning System) can enhance a sense of security while simultaneously provoking insecurity.

Whereas in the medieval city physical structures such as perimeter walls and fortified towers were thought to provide security through the observation of the inner and outer space, the present-day use of digital information and communications technologies seems freed from physical and spatial constraints, spanning long distances and permeating material structures and boundaries. In the modern era, in-formation has become the key to security, and observation has been increasingly replaced by surveillance – the act of observation conducted in order to gain information.

The etymology of the word ‘secure’ suggests a broad reading of the term. Secure derives from the Latin securus (se „free from“ and cura „care“) and means free from care and fear, or tranquil, but can also mean carefree and negligent, carrying a slightly negative connotation. These ambiguous meanings of the term reflect its varying use in the context of today’s digital environments.

How can architecture and urban design thinking contribute to a critical discourse on security? How do physical and spatial attributes as well as strategies of social innovation relate to the rise and spread of digital technologies? How are perceptions of security being shaped in the urban space? In which ways and to what limits can the contemporary city provide security, and what is the role of architects and planners?

The third issue of MOINOPOLIS aims to approach new strategies of spatial articulation in the realm of security. We are interested in positions, polemics and observations on the securitization of urban space. Submissions that critically engage with the topic may take the form of speculative papers and essays, experimental projects, insights, images, interviews or manifestos.



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