Adam Greenfield is one of the thought leaders I follow closely on urban technology topics. Adam and his network (including but going beyond the Urbanscale consulting practice) are far ahead of most people when it comes to understanding and exploring the future of technology in cities.
In this post I'm capturing information about this small event conducted in November 2010 in collaboration with Do Projects (in the context of the Drumbeat Festival) because it inspires me. I've also found documentation about two more of these done in spring of 2011 (Bristol and London). On March 11, there will be another one taking place in Cologne, Germany in collaboration with Bottled City.
City WalkShop experiences are "Collective, on-the-field discovery around city spots intensive in data or information, analyzing openness and sharing the process online."
I discovered the concept of WalkShops when I was exploring Marc Pous' web page. Marc just founded the Internet of Things Munich meetup group a few weeks ago and, in addition to being eager to meet other IoT group founders (disclosure: I founded IoT Zurich meetup in October 2011), I learned that he is a native of Barcelona (where the IoT-Barcelona group meets).
I got acquainted with Marc's activities and came across the Barcelona WalkShop done with Adam.
What we’re looking for are appearances of the networked digital in the physical, and vice versa: apertures through which the things that happen in the real world drive the “network weather”, and contexts in which that weather affects what people see, confront and are able to do.
Here's a summary of Systems/Layers process:
Systems/Layers is a half-day “walkshop” organized by Citilab and Do projects held in two parts. The first portion of the activity is dedicated to a slow and considered walk through a reasonably dense and built-up section of the city at hand. This portion of the day will take around 90 minutes, after which we gather in a convenient “command post” to map, review and discuss the things we’ve encountered.
I'd love to participate or organize another of these WalkShops in Barcelona in 2012, going to the same places and, as one of the outcomes of the process, to compare how the city has evolved. Could we do it as a special IoT-Barcelona meeting or in the framework of Mobile World Capital?
I also envisage getting WalkShops going in other cities. Maybe, as spring is nearing and people are outside more, this could be a side project for members of other IoT Meetup Groups?