Smart Cites, Smart things…and Smart Citizens: designing the city as platform

Speaker : Dr. Beth Coleman & Howard Goldkrand
University of Waterloo, Ontario Canada
Date: 11/06/2014
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Location: LINCS Meeting Room 40


This paper asks how can we better design urban environments, leveraging networked technologies to facilitate rich engagement by its inhabitants. It discussed the recent history of Smart City design as a top-down application, the emergence of Civic Hackers, and the effect of ubiquitous computing on Information Communication Technologies.

Dr. Beth Coleman, director City as Platform Lab (Games Institute), and Co-director Critical Media Lab at the University of Waterloo, Ontario Canada. <> She is a Faculty Fellow at Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University. Coleman works with new technology and art to create transmedia forms of engagement. Her research addresses issues of network society, subjectivity, and the contemporary city, as well as philosophy of technology, critical race studies, and media design. She is the co-founder of SoundLab Cultural Alchemy, an internationally acclaimed multimedia performance platform. As an artist, she has a history of international exhibition including venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, and Musée d’Art moderne Paris. She has worked with research consortiums that involve academic, industry and arts collaborators. She is a founding member of the Microsoft Research Fellow Social Media Collective and an expert consultant for the European Union Digital Futures Initiative. Her work has been presented as part of the TEDx East conference, on National Public Radio, and reviewed in The Guardian (UK) and Washington Post newspapers.She works internationally with collaborators in Africa, Europe, and Asia. Her book Hello Avatar is published by the MIT Press and was recently translated into Turkish.

Howard Goldkrand is an artist and innovations director who works on transmedia design, immersive engagement, and networked media strategy across industries. He is Head of Innvation Design for the global digital media creative agency SapientNitro ( In his recent work history, Goldkrand  has been executive producer of a future of storytelling project for Condé Nast’s Ideactive. He was Innovations Director and Cultural Engineer at Modernista! where he lead the team for the Alternate Reality Game for the Dexter TV show (Showtime) for which he won a Webby award, best marketing piece at ComicCon, and nominated for an Emmy Award. He also led the work on TOMS with the launch of their eyewear product and continues to do innovation work for the company. From the perspective of strategy, creative, media, production and innovations, he has worked with clients that include GM, TIAA-CREF, Palm, Napster, Food Should Taste Good, Product(RED),TOMS, Nickelodeon, HTC, NIKE, Starbucks, SCION, Samsung. He continues to work with Neverstop, a group out of Seattle founded by Alex Calderwood of Ace Hotel fame. As an artist, he began an experimental studio practice at Wesleyan University, creating conceptual work that spanned sculpture and performance. He is the codirector of SoundLab Cultural Alchemy, an experimental electronic music and art platform. He has had a long international art career exhibiting at venues such as PS 1 MOMA, Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas, Recollets, Paris, Art Museum of Vancouver, Castil de Rivoli, Turin Italy, and the WAAG Society Amsterdam. Goldkrand speaks internationally at workshops, panels, and conferences on art and culture.