The DATAstudio programme concluded with a digital publication featuring essays by Dan Hill, Anab Jain, Sukanya Krishnamurthy, Klaas Kuitenbrouwer, Ekim Tan and Linda Vlassenrood (ed.) that situate the work of DATAstudio in a broader context.
The introductory essay looks at the development of the DATAstudio’s programme. What worked and what didn’t in this unique partnership between a cultural institution and a municipality as they dealt with this highly abstract issue? Which tools were ultimately developed and deployed? The piece ends with seven specific recommendations. In a second essay, Linda Vlassenrood describes the findings of the research conducted for the data panorama in the Embassy of Data exhibition. The panorama presented a never-before-visualised picture of Eindhoven’s efforts to become a smart city. Is the smart city a fait accompli now, or is it still largely an aspiration? The piece concludes with a number of observations and the identification of two urgent design tasks: increasing data transparency in public space and improving data legibility for citizens. In an essay on the closing conference on 24 October, Een stad zo slim als haar bewoners (A City as Smart as Its Citizens), Klaas Kuitenbrouwer of Het Nieuwe Instituut expands on these two design tasks, which were areas of focus at the symposium.
Next, Anab Jain of Superflux describes in detail how the MapLab educational project came about and evolved. In MapLab, children between the ages of seven and ten attach pictures and drawings representing their experiences of the area around their school to an online map. Today, MapLab is a repeatable formula that can be used at other schools in Eindhoven and elsewhere. Dan Hill of Arup Digital Studio writes about the Cloud Atlas workshop, held in late 2016 to devise ways of incorporating local people’s housing needs into the forthcoming transformation of the borough of Woensel-Noord. The workshop has not, as yet, led to further action. Nevertheless, the essay makes clear the necessity of finding new forms of urban development for technology-driven cities. Government and the design disciplines must counterbalance the noninclusive urban visions of commercial platform companies like Uber and Airbnb.
Ekim Tan of Play the City writes about developing the serious game Woenseltopia, which was made for residents of Woenselse Heide and De Tempel but can be played by anyone. It brings together quantitative and qualitative data in a unique way, as players come up with ways to improve their neighbourhood on the basis of personal insights and available data. In 2016–17, Sukanya Krishnamurthy and her architecture students at Eindhoven University of Technology looked at the state of the smart society in Eindhoven. Finally, her essay reports on their findings with respect to the sense of community and the role of technology in people’s lives, mainly in Woensel-Noord.