Clancy Wilmott & Emma Fraser Publish Ruins of the Smart City

02 Jul, 2020

Clancy Wilmott & Emma Fraser Publish Ruins of the Smart City

Clancy Wilmott & Emma Fraser have published "Ruins of the smart city: a visual intervention" in the journal of Visual Communication! This amazing article considers an alternative vision of how the city could be by looking at wilderness, play, and compost in the city today.

From the abstract:

The visual imaginary of the future city is increasingly dichotomized between visions of hyper-technological digital urbanism and the city in a state of ruin, without people, overtaken by nature. These alternating imaginaries key into concerns over urban futures, as questions of sustainability and rising inequality come to bear on urban life. Such binary imaginaries produce volumes of visual material, lauding and critiquing philosophies of newness, endless progress and the city without decline. This article uses an inventive visual methodology to ask how these imaginaries become situated in the everyday ecologies of living. This methodology focuses on several so-called ‘brownfield’ sites in Salford, UK, and the ‘smart’ Oxford Road Corridor in neighbouring Manchester, to playfully and visually map the entanglement of digital urban ecologies through the themes of wilderness, play and compost. These three themes relate to the pleasure of urban wilderness described by Rose Macaulay, reflecting on London’s wild ruins after the Second World War; the playful contrast between smart urbanism and urban wastelands, understood through interdisciplinary visual methods; and Haraway’s notion of compost as the fertile ground of collaboration that marks a material–semiotic entanglement between place, people and nature. The authors investigate how these frameworks reflect the diversity of urban ecology (animals, plants and humans) and might provide an alternative vision of how the city could be, a vision built from how the city currently is.

You can read the article here!