The Internet of Things - From Countryside to Country-side

May Thorpe's picture
Call for Publications
June 29, 2022
United States
Subject Fields: 
Architecture and Architectural History, Urban Design and Planning, Urban History / Studies

The Internet of Things - From Countryside to Country-side


This call seeks papers responding to themes found in the keynote talk from Professor Chris Speed, University of Edinburgh.

The public (virtual and in-person) talk is part of the conference, Cultures, Communities and Design, University of Calgary.


Keynote: The Internet of Things - From Countryside to Country-side
Over twenty years ago, the Internet of Things was coined to describe the instrumentation of all things, from the natural to the manufactured, allowing distributed sensing and control. Today the Architecture Media Politics and Society conference recovers the term countryside to explore the parallels and mutual influences across urban-rural relationships. As data feeds (social, environmental, and economic) continue to surface through new internet platforms, our entanglement with the countryside becomes more complex. Chris will explore how a series of recent projects reframe countryside as country-side through an agential realist framework's intra-actions (Barad). Agential realism is an onto-epistemology concerned with immanent, material knowledge. Material knowledge is entwined with the world's continuous differential becoming inseparable from observational and measuring apparatuses such as data feeds from people, devices, and the land. Fraught with the problems that all 'cartesian machines' bring with them, Chris introduces prototypes, including a coffee machine with its own wallet that needs your help buying the most ethical coffee beans, to a hairdryer that chooses the right time for you to blow dry your hair according to the needs of the environment, and an app that places you into smart contracts with earthquakes – anywhere in the world.


Biography: Prof. Chris Speed, FRSE

Chris Speed is Chair of Design Informatics at the University of Edinburgh where he collaborates with a wide variety of partners to explore how design provides methods to adapt, and create products and services within a networked society. Chris directs the Institute for Design Informatics that is home to a combination of researchers working across the fields of interaction design, temporal design, anthropology, software engineering and digital architecture, as well as the PhD, MA/MFA and MSc and Advanced MSc programmes. Chris has been involved in 39 research projects since joining the University of Edinburgh, leading on 18 worth a total of £9.9mil and Co-Investigator on 21 projects worth in excess of £55mil. Chris is Director of the £6mil (£5.5Mil AHRC & £0.5Mil SFC) Creative Informatics R&D Partnership, one of the nine AHRC funded Creative Industries Clusters in the UK, and is Co-I to the Next Stage Digital Economy Centre DECaDE led by Surrey with the Digital Catapult. Chris was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2020



UCL Press



Contact Info: 

May Thorpe, Lorraine Gess