Assistant Professorship for Participatory Technology Design

Infrastructures and Participation

We have long moved from an age of machines to one shaped by complex infrastructural assemblages articulating persons, data and things in new ways. The professorship for Participatory Technology Design focuses on current transformations of urban infrastructures paying special attention at the ensuing participatory and democratic challenges.

We study infrastructures as sites of sociotechnical controversy laden with political capacities. If politics involves making collectively binding decisions, then infrastructures are thoroughly political. They do not just enable specific collectives and ways of live to emerge, but they might also impede or block the existence of others. Hence citizen participation can no longer be imagined as a simple ‘knowledge loop’ between experts and lay people. Infrastructural projects involve variegated forms of expertise throughout the spectrum of the life, technical and social sciences, as well as new forms of citizen, activist and users’ expertise. We explore the multiple ways in which heterogeneous forms of expert knowledge and valuation are brought together, negotiated and valued, as well as the reshaping of participation as collaboration with and between heterogeneous publics.

Current Projects

  • Smarter Together. Smart and Inclusive Solutions for a Better Life in Urban Districts. Researcher: Prof. Dr. Ignacio Farías. Partners: Public-Private Consortium Lyon-Munich-Vienna.
  • Accessibility Values: Disability Rights Movements, Policy Regulations & Smart Devices in Designing Urban Democracy in Europe. Researcher. Dr. Tomás S. Criado.
  • How Planners Plan: Knowledge, Devices and Imaginaries in Planning Cycling Infrastructures. Researcher: Pim Peters. Partners: Planungsverband, Planungsreferat.
  • The city by proxy: A study of digital urbanism at the public interface. Researcher: Laurie Waller.
  • Post-Neoliberal Cosmopolitics: Articulating Earthly Forces and Urban Processes in Chile. Researcher: Prof. Dr. Ignacio Farías.
  • Logics of Creative Engagement in Cultural Production. Researcher: Prof. Dr. Ignacio Farías.