Discussions On Networked Publics Series

The Network Architecture Lab announces a series of evening panels entitled “Discussions on Networked Publics “at Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Preservation, and Planning's Studio-X Soho to investigate the changing conditions of the media, architecture, and urbanism today.

The mass audience and mass media analyzed by the Frankfurt School are long gone. As digital media and network technologies are increasingly integral with everyday life, the public is transforming. Today we inhabit multiple, overlapping and global networks such as user forums, Facebook, Flickr, blogs, and wikis. In lieu of watching TV, listening to the radio, or playing records, we text each other, upload images to social networking sites, remix videos, write on blogs and make snarky online comments. The media industry, which just a decade ago seemed well established, is in flux, facing its greatest challenge ever. If we can be certain of anything, it’s that as Karl Marx wrote, "all that is solid melts into air."

In 2008, Columbia University's Network Architecture Lab published Networked Publics, a book produced in collaboration with the University of Southern California's Annenberg Center for Communication examining how the social and cultural shifts centering around new technologies have transformed our relationships to (and definitions of) place, culture, politics, and infrastructure.

“Discussions on Networked Publics” seeks to explore the ramifications of these changes, giving particular attention to architecture and cities. In a set of five panels—culture, place, politics, infrastructure, and network society—we will explore the consequences of networked publics in detail. Our goal will be to come to an understanding of the changes in culture and society and how architects, designers, historians, and critics might work through this milieu. Discussions will be recorded for playback on the Internet and eventually edited and transcribed into a pamphlet to be made available at the conclusion of the series.


Discussions on Networked Publics Series 

Panel 1. Culture 9 February 2010



Michael Kubo, Michael Meredith, Will Prince, Enrique Ramirez, David Reinfurt, and Mimi Zeiger 

Panel 2. Place 25 March

featuring: Amanda McDonald Crowley, Douglas Gauthier, Christina Ray, Mark Shepard, Robert Sumrell, and Tim Ventimiglia 

Panel 3. Politics 13 April

featuring: Stephen Graham, Deborah Natsios, Enrique Ramirez 

Panel 4. Infrastructure 4 May

featuring: David Benjamin, Frank Pasquale, Molly Wright Steenson, Mason White