Augmented City


In short: We are studying Augmented and Virtual Reality technology implementations in smart cities around the globe. We are interested in the process of software development and in the space-shaping potential of the software. 

Longer description: Our cities enter a new Digital Era. They have become a forefront of transformation and testing field for new technologies. Smart home, that regulate even most complicated parameters of its dweller micro-envioronment, smart drug applicator that make sure we will get our medications in time, driverless car that will drive us safely and in time without a single intervention - those are no longer things from the visions of the future but a very close reality. Even now many of our everyday actions can be linked to computer code. Software algorithms serve our space, entangling it with a network of invisible connections. Those connections are important not only because they control single device but because they enact whole systems of control.

Code and software actively influence space and social behavior in our increasingly smart cities. But to what extent? And how? In our project we want to critically investigate the process of location-based augmented reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) software development and implementation in the cultural and geographical context and to asses the role of algorithmic power in the urban space.

During the project we will try to answer the following research questions:

  1. What are the mechanisms of algorithmic production of space and how they are used and implemented in smart cities?
  2. How space and place is understood within the software developers’ community?
  3. How is the algorithmic mediation of space by augmented reality software influenced by biases of its creators?
  4. How do the limitations of technology shape how location based services are used in everyday life?
  5. To what extent is the code abstraction of space influenced by geographical and cultural differences between developers?

The project is funded by the National Science Center, Poland under the grant agreement UMO-2019/33/B/HS4/00057