An exhibition critically exploring the evolving relationship between ubiquitous computing, architecture, and urban space

Curated by Mark Shepard and organized by the Architectural League of New York

As computing leaves the desktop and spills out onto the sidewalks, streets, and public spaces of the world around us, we increasingly find information processing capacity embedded within and distributed throughout the material fabric of everday urban space. Artifacts and systems we interact with on a daily basis collect, store, and process information about us, or are activated by our movements and transactions. Ubiquitous computing evangelists herald a coming age of urban infrastructure capable of sensing and responding to the events and activities transpiring around them. Imbued with the capacity to remember, correlate and anticipate, this near-future “sentient” city is envisioned as being capable of reflexively monitoring its environment and our behavior within it, becoming an active agent in the organization of everyday life in urban public space.

Toward the Sentient City explores alternate trajectories for the design and inhabitation of this near-future urban environment. Organized around five newly commissioned projects distributed throughout the city, the exhibition features:

Too Smart City
JooYoun Paek, David Jimison

Amphibious Architecture
Living Architecture Lab (David Benjamin and Soo-in Yang), xdesign Environmental Health Clinic (Natalie Jeremijenko)

Natural Fuse
Usman Haque, Nitipak Samsen, Ai Hasegawa, Cesar Harada, Barbara Jasinowicz

Trash Track
SENSEable City Laboratory, MIT

Anthony Townsend (Institute for the Future), Georgia Borden, Amanda Kross, Jung Hoon Kim, Antonina Simeti (DEGW), Dana Spiegel (NYC wireless), Laura Forlano (Parsons The New School for Design), Tony Bacigalupo (New Work City), Sean Savage (PariSoMa), Elysse Preposi (Sarah Lawrence College)

For more information, visit or (beginning September 18) the Sentient City Hub:

The Urban Center
457 Madison Avenue
New York City
Monday–Saturday (Closed Thursday), 11 a.m.– 5 p.m.

Toward the Sentient City was made possible by the J. Clawson Mills Fund of the Architectural League and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. Additional support has been provided by the Department of Architecture, School of Architecture and Planning and the Department of Media Study, College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Buffalo.

League programs are also supported by the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.


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