The city protagonist of the territory TIC | Marc Chalamanch

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Fotografía Marc Chalamanch, Istambul, 2009
Photography Marc Chalamanch, Istambul, 2009

Entered the 21st century there has vanished the city of the technologies of the information that were prophesying, a few decades ago, the futurólogos disguised as gurus. Neither it has come near to the totalitarian tecnópolis denounced by the nostalgic ones of “any last time always is better”. It turns out interesting to revise the bold Messianic predictions that the novels of science fiction were drawing on the technological future that was coming with the appearance of the new technologies of the transport and the communication. Stories on cities transformed into one dispersed territorios where all the persons would work from his houses and would be related exclusively by means of the computer. The time has verified like erroneous these visions on the technological impact on our lives and his simplistic, linear consequences, of technological reason – effect that they would have. A few visions based on the logics of the inevitabilidad or of the pure technological salvation on the company.

Equally it is possible to say that the ideas have been overcome on how the means of expression and communications based on the screens would suppose the uprooting and the loss of the physical spaces of our cities. In contraposition many things that it does little seemed to be impossible and purely visionary now already they are realizable with the new technologies. For not saying all those tools that we could manage to imagine that they would be integrating today our lives. The present is undoing the visions of future that we can manage to have to overcome them as the least predictable side. While all this transformation goes on to a speed that turns the future in non-existent and the present in an unforseeable object of study that falls apart us between the hands before managing to understand it.

The humanity has continued finding in the city – with the Technologies of the information and the communication (TIC) included – his better scene of development and of expression. It is possible to affirm that the city, any more that, he is never in center of the evolution of the company and it is the territory where his changes materialize. It is the company of the information and the communication the one that has turned into the engine of transformation of the city to adapt it to a new paradigm informacional, as the industrial city it did with his own urban form. This way, the city continues being the best scene for the communication, in spite of the fact that the forms and the means are transforming it.

The city of the age of the mobile widespread technology is integrating in the urban environment all kinds of public meshes and private roads formed by technological systems. One is turning the cities into places of flow of massive information, of networks, of conduits and of infinities of exchanges of ephemeral information that have the intention, or this way they sell, of promoting the cordial conviviality, the safety and the well-being. The addition of dynamic and sensitive information located in the city helps to transform it. But an information about the space is applied without a knowledge of which they are the needs of the citizens, in such a way that little they will be able to improve the urban life of his inhabitants if there is no a clear vision of which they are these new uses. Bearing in mind that these new uses are in state transformation, they are unpredictable and are born for a rapid continuity. But an information about the space is applied without a knowledge of which they are the needs of the citizens, in such a way that little they will be able to improve the urban life of his inhabitants if there is no a clear vision of which they are these new uses. Bearing in mind that these new uses are in state transformation, they are unpredictable and are born for a rapid continuity. At the same time the speed in which they evolve the new technologies reveals of that the difficulty of transformation does not meet in an understanding a possible future but in almost inability to understand the present. It is necessary to understand the change that supposes the technologies for the citizen in his way of communicating, of moving or of working, and the effort that it is necessary to manage to balance the technical, economic and political aspects in the negotiation for his implementation in the urban environment. Looking for this balance and breaking them to prioris the technology it can go beyond the vigilance, of ciborgs, of consumers of teen culture or of terrorists, in the construction of the urban space.

It is in the city where the citizens have found in the TIC one more element of revitalización of the public spaces adding new physical and digital spaces to his relational environment. A few public spaces that turn into catalysts for the public participation, rejuvenating the physical spaces and the public experience in the physical and digital area. The TIC are new tools that can serve to strengthen the links between the citizens, to promote the feedback of the public space, to generate new emergencies and to activate complex systems capable of approaching to understand better each of the needs and opportunities that the city generates. But it is not possible to forget that the line that marks the control on the digital world and the physical world comes delimited by who it controls the information about the community; a control always based on managerial and ideological interests of those who possess the technology, they apply it, distribute it, interpret it and up to of whom they thought it or designed it. Technologies and spaces that are used as tools of vigilance and of control perceived as dangerous by the distrust that on them is demonstrated. A few technologies that are capable of turning the spaces into announcements that can manage to become personal according to the behavior or the preferences of a few citizens turned into mere consumers. Definitively it is a city constructed on our potential of productivity and of our capacity of destruction, of our technological prowesses and of our social miseries, of our dreams and of our nightmares. The city informacional that is a product for good and for evil of our circumstances.

In any case, the specially complex relation is opened between the public digital space and the public physical space. A relation that promotes the appearance of new social situations, and with it they emerge new spatial practices, which influence and change the spatial organization to urban scale and to human scale. The new technologies allow the creation of spaces capable of being re-formed and reorganized on the basis of the changeable needs of the persons, doing a hybrid use of the public physical space and of foxglove, from which there arises a really public space placed between the material thing and the immaterial thing. A transformation that supports the vision of which a better city needs from the overlapping of different activities in the same space to turn into a public space capable of absorbing the plurality of a space of the diversity.

We are surrounded with a lot of information inherent in the own materiality of the architecture and in the city, and in consequence to the urban space that relates them, the public space. But also, we contribute another a lot of information with our personal perception of the space from our experience, sensibility, interest and knowledge. Always the information has the aptitude to provide to the city additional strata of meaning, memory and perception; equally that the constructed space has to have the aptitude to associate the information that we find his espacialidad interesting thanks to the new technologies.

The city adds new relational strata that make her more human and less material, paradoxically the new technologies participants of the city do to the persons and his actions and provide to him the aptitude to be able to transform it. An information that the citizens have to be able to use when and since they want, finding the one that they need and not other one, or up to doing that disappears if it is not demanded, preserving the citizen of the right not to have to support the noise informacional not requested. The information is turning into an experience to be lived as long as the citizen chooses to be attentive to her. An indispensable choice if we bear in mind that our lives have been invaded of screens, of electronic radiations, of white noise that invades our public and private space. We live submitted to the bombardment of sounds and of enormous video images. When we look at screens already we are inside her. We are poisoned by the illusion of the light and the sound, and suspended in the space of immediate present, without future. We us think that we are mere spectators of this city of the image when actually we are his actors. An experience continues in our life, which can be both public and deprived, like in the public space, in the private one opened the public or in the private one, in any case in the relational space. It is an experience that exceeds the space and the physical constructed form incorporating the mass media, the digital information and the technologies of the information and the communication that we are capable of interacting.

We live chasing an obsolete future. Imagining cities of fiction. Maybe we have to assume that there is no any future that to reach, that to want to live in the future leads us to having present. Ours day after day it does almost impossibly to find the time to understand the present, while it pushes us to a future that we think that we are going to lose. We live in a time of change of paradigm, of such a rapid and unforseeable change that overcomes our own capacity of transformation. We see as the past in which they educated us already it has eliminated while the new paradigm still it does not exist. We have lost the certainty of a present to which to be taken and the aptitude to define between all a future. It is in this learning and in the comprehension of the constant changes of the company of which we form a part, where we have to make ourselves deal as architects and town planners, and contribute our perspective of a future so uncertain as fascinating, and so unreal as palpable. Let’s incorporate the inexhaustible capacity that has the information to generate the necessary knowledge to understand the changes in which we are immersed.

Let’s take advantage of the opportunity to be, surely, the first generation of the history that has the ” intoxicating uncertainty ” to see to spend the future ahead while this one it turns into his own past.

Marc Chalamanch · Architect
Barcelona. april 2014


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Marc Chalamanch

Es co-fundador del estudio de arquitectura y urbanismo ARCHIKUBIK Arquitecto y Urbanista licenciado por la ETSA de Barcelona, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Máster universitario «Sociedad de la Información y el Conocimiento» en la UOC (Universidad Abierta de Catalunya).

Su investigación académica, apoyada en su experiencia profesional, va dirigida al análisis de la transformación de la ciudad con sus actores, problemáticas y retos en la Sociedad Red.

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