Media Architecture Biennale 2020

Start date
End date
Amsterdam · Utrecht

The Media Architecture Biennale is a series of international events exploring urban interaction design and the role of media in urban spaces: from urban screens and interactive installations in public space, to smart cities & citizens applications and the theme of playful cities. The Biennale focuses on media artists and designers from across a range of disciplines (interaction design, urban design, public spaces, architecture and digital design), as well as on researchers and parties from business and governments involved in the development of public spaces. 

Theme: #Futures Implied

As we design and adapt new technologies, in turn these technologies shape our cities. What future scenarios are implied in today’s urban technologies? And how can we shape our technologies to respond to their surroundings, contributing to cities that are both socially and ecologically sustainable?

Originally, media architecture was most concerned with the integration of displays and interactive installations into architectural structures, such as media facades and urban screens. Over the years, the discipline has grown much broader, as new technologies such as digital platforms and smart city technologies have increasingly made their way into the experience, management and design of cities.

None of these technologies brought into the city are neutral enablers, mere decorative structures or just simple market places connecting demand and supply in fields as diverse as energy and transport to commerce and leisure. They are built upon numerous spoken and unspoken assumptions about urban life, each with their own implications for both social relations as well as their effect on the natural ecosystem.It is time therefore for the discipline of media architecture to address the implied futures of new technologies.

MAB20 calls for media architectures that move beyond the mere spectacular; as well as beyond the design of individualized services comforting human customers. MAB20 calls for media architectures and urban interaction that dare to take on a more-than-human approach: aiming at the well-being of the natural ecosystem as a whole; For urban media art and design that bring implicit and explicit bias within technology and culture to light, and provide the means for ongoing discussion, debate, and societal change; For digital platforms that strengthen citizen’s digital rights in democratic societies.