Christian Nold

Sensing the Smart City

This talk presents a snapshot of a long term ethnography of participatory environmental sensing technologies. The ethnographic approach highlights the complex practices of technological sensing and not just the goals of the technology. Through this research, the Internet of Things emerges as never finished and in a continuous process of being re-designed and re-used by a broad range of stakeholders. Through this journey of being implemented in different contexts, the projects that form around the technology paradoxically gain authority through an ambiguity of what is being sensed.

Christian Nold is an designer and academic researcher from London. He invents participatory technologies for local areas and grassroots groups, which respond to socio-technical issues. In the last decade he has set up large scale mapping projects with thousands of people across the world and written the books Mobile Vulgus (2001), Emotional Cartography (2009), Internet of People for a Post Oil World (2011) and Autopsy of an Island Currency (2014). He is currently carrying out an ethnography of participatory sensing technologies in the Extreme Citizen Science Group at UCL.

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