Ubicomp and fun palaces

It’s always hard to start writing when school starts. I slacked last year, I’m slacking this year. But since today, I leave town, I must publish.

My first week of school, I had to turn in a 20 page chunk of my thesis on Cedric Price. If I owe you email and haven’t written, that’s why. It’s going to get blown to bits and greatly reorganized–instead of focusing on modes of mobility in architecture of the 60s and early 70s, I will focus instead on architecture as telecommunication. Need to work on this idea but it came up in my last thesis discussion with my advisor. We’ll see how this works.

In an hour, I start heading to JFK. Then, I fly to Orange County for my first Ubicomp. Tomorrow and Monday, I’ll be taking part in the Exurban Noir workshop. Says the website:

The Exurban workshop seeks to include a wide range of risk-taking urban practitioners that will undertake a two-day active exploration of exurban noir. Whether we like it or not, as urban designers and researchers we are contributing in unknown but significant ways in choosing our future technological urban lifestyles. Are we making it better or worse? For whom? And when? With Orange County, the ultimate in exopolis, as a backdrop, we will collectively undertake this challenge of understanding the relationship between future technology comforts and social discontent.

I’m very much looking forward to taking part in this workshop organized by ken anderson, Anthony Burke, Eric Paulos and Amanda Williams. (Double props to Amanda for making this affordable and for finding me a place to stay, otherwise I would not be attending.) For my part, I proposed an O.C. Fun Palace, a variable kit of parts for leisure ala Cedric Price, but on the vast greyfields of Orange County and its dead mall space. It’s a neat way to bundle up several things I’m working on. Position papers are here.

On the September 27, I’m speaking at nycWireless about my research in India on urban mobile phone sharing.

The next day, I’m off to San! Francisco! for Andrew and Jessica’s wedding. Andrew and I met when I was 15, flirted when I was 17, dated when I was 19, stopped talking when I was 20, became friends again at 23, and have been close ever since. On either side of the Napa wedding, I’ll be in San Francisco, from the 28th-29th, and the 1st to the 4th. I cannot tell you how much I miss the Bay Area. I’ve been there for two days since I moved away. I may also be giving a talk there on my India research… we’ll see how this sorts out.

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