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international competition for new technology in/as public space

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Changing notions on public space

Information and communication technology have fundamentally changed our relationship with public space. These days we are not at all surprised to see someone on the street seemingly talking to himself. Wherever we are, we can get information on whatever subject we like: the weather, traffic jams or historical details concerning an old building we happen to walk past. More than ever we see public space is the spot to meet the other, where we have to come to terms with other standards of conduct, other ideas and priorities, where 'social coherence' could come into being.


Technology has not only changed the way we use public space, it also has brought about its virtual expansion. Through technological innovations like the Internet, text messaging, mobile communication, intranet and gps we can freely share information and develop a community life on the web. One can meet people, assume a meaningful identity and exchange thoughts. In the privacy of one's own room the world has become infinitely larger and more noisy than the world out on the street. Some of the idealistic concepts of what public space should be are being realized in virtual public space.


Occupying space

Within a few years time the whole city will be jam-packed with cables providing fast connections everywhere. It is up to artists, designers and architects to find an answer to the question how current technology can breathe new life into the urban environment and into public domain. The emerging virtual space and urban space increasingly are being privatized and are becoming more and more exclusory. Now is the time to occupy space for public use through the development of meaningful ideas. Public space is by no means dead. It just has to be looked for at different places.

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