Imagine a city without buildings —a city designed around experiences.
City of Experiences was a two-month exhibit at Toronto's Design Exchange, which showcased works by students and faculty from the School of Design at George Brown College. Curated in collaboration with the Department of Unusual Certainties and Ahmet Kokulu, the show is a part of the larger City of Experiences project, the goal of which is to continue questioning how cities are constructed and who they are constructed for.
The following was the curatorial statement for the exhibit:
As we move through the 21st century, the experience of life in the contemporary city has surpassed classic urban development models. We are living in the 50/50 (some might say 80/20), a fluid presence between the virtual and physical worlds. One of the major issues we face is how to adapt and interpret ideologies, structures, and systems in this new way of living, to modify the definition of cities to encompass the experiences of the invisible cities that extend beyond physical infrastructure. As the digital landscape evolves, humans have more opportunities to intersect with physical and digital realms as they navigate the city and its experiences, creating a series of micro-interactions that occur across and throughout urban spaces.
The underlying goal for the City of Experiences project is to continue questioning how cities are constructed and who they are constructed for. The popular discussion around the smart city and tech-utopias is not new, although maybe the technology used to drive them is. What is needed now, is to stop waiting for the acceleration of technology to determine how we will live. Instead, we should be active in creating the necessary platforms for society to imagine what experiences they want in their lives, and how these experiences can drive new methods for design. The City of Experiences is a project that –through different experiments and engagements– will continue to explore this hypothesis.