Ways of Knowing Cities

Edited by Laura Kurgan and Dare Brawley

Columbia Books on Architecture and the City

Ways of Knowing Cities

Pub Date: December 2019

ISBN: 9781941332580

256 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $28.00£22.00

Ways of Knowing Cities

Edited by Laura Kurgan and Dare Brawley

Columbia Books on Architecture and the City

Technology mediates how we know and experience cities, and the nature of this mediation has always been deeply political. Today, the production and deployment of data is at the forefront of projects to grasp and reshape urban life. Ways of Knowing Cities considers the role of technology in generating, materializing, and contesting urban epistemologies—tracing an arc from ubiquitous sites of “smart” urbanism, to discrete struggles over infrastructural governance, to forgotten histories of segregation now naturalized in urban algorithms, to exceptional territories of border policing. Bringing together architects, urbanists, artists, and scholars of critical migration studies, media theory, geography, anthropology, and literature, the essays stage a deeply interdisciplinary conversation, interrogating the ways in which certain ways of knowing are predicated on the erasure of others. In this opening, the book engages the information systems that structure urban space and social life in it, historically and in the present moment, to imagine alternative practices and generate new critical perspectives on spatial research.

Ways of Knowing Cities includes texts by Eve Blau, Simone Browne, Maribel Casas-Cortes, Wendy Chun, Sebastian Cobarrubias, Beth Coleman, V. Mitch McEwen, Orit Halpern, Charles Heller, Shannon Mattern, Leah Meisterlin, Tinashe Mushakavanhu, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Dietmar Offenhuber, Lorenzo Pezzani, Anita Say Chan, and Matthew W. Wilson.

About the Author

Laura Kurgan is associate professor of architecture at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, where she directs the Center for Spatial Research and the Visual Studies curriculum. She is the author of Close Up at a Distance: Mapping, Technology, and Politics (Zone Books, 2013). Her work explores the ethics and politics of digital mapping and its technologies; the art, science and visualization of big and small data; and the design of environments for public engagement with maps and data. In 2009, Kurgan was awarded a United States Artists Rockefeller Fellowship.

Dare Brawley is a researcher and designer. She is assistant director of the Center for Spatial Research at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University. Her work focuses on the interactions of technology, urban governance, and spatial politics using methods from critical urban studies and geographic information systems. Her work has been exhibited and published by the Venice Architecture Biennale, Storefront for Art and Architecture, The Architectural League, and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.