Materiality in its Contemporary forms
Architecture & Digital Technology: Today’s Bridging Technologies from Materials to Cities


The integration of bridging technologies into city planning and construction is reshaping the very notion of what constitutes a space. Connectivity is now an integral part of our city spaces, a trend that is driving the emergence of a new conception of urban ergonomics and new needs for services. To face these challenges, city planners and architects will need to find novel approaches and develop new, industrial-scale techniques for building tomorrow’s urban equipment and infrastructures.
In parallel, acceptance of new materials and the unique potential they offer is on the rise. Today’s instrumented, functionalized materials are opening the door to innovative, communicating objects. When these materials and objects are interconnected, they have the power to create new user experiences and drive new services useful not only to city dwellers, but to all of our cities’ industrial, economic, and political stakeholders.


This burgeoning landscape is characterized by integration and interactivity. Connected everyday objects will create an uninterrupted flow of information that will blur the current distinctions of scale that separate city planning, architecture, and street fixtures and furniture—and eliminate the boundaries between designer, promoter, and user.


The very concept of what constitutes a physical object is changing. From now on, physical objects will be inextricably linked to our digital world. The ways in which we think and feel about the world of “things” is also changing, and the balance of power between our cities’ stakeholders is shifting.

This conference aims to provide insights into these new approaches to designing our environment—both physical and sensory—from technological, economic, and user-centered perspectives.
The day will be organized around three subtopics: digital, interactive architecture; the connected city and smart infrastructure; and communicating objects and functionalized materials.