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A talk on Architectural Democracy at Coimbra's University

A talk on "Architectural Democracy: How to use architecture and digital procedures to improve the political process" was held last December 22nd, at 2.30pm, in the amphitheater A5.1 of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering of the University of Coimbra. The Speakers were Pedro Aibéo and Hugo Pires.

The talk, Pedro Aibéo. ThermalPhoto by Nelson Brito.

“Architectural Democracy” deals with the relationships between architecture, technology and politics and its repercussions for citizenship, architectural practice and policy making. It is concerned with ways of using technology to turn buildings into open source interfaces, to improve the public understanding of the built environment for the everyday life of citizens, and with it, the quality of architecture and political participation.

After the talk, Hugo Pires, Gabriel Falcao and Pedro Aibéo (left to right). Photo by Nelson Brito.

Prof Gabriel Falcao invited us for the talk.

Prof Falcao himself is involved in this research through his and his team ground breaking work on GPU acceleration sponsored by Google. As so usually noticed, the technically inclined audience raised many questions of social and political nature along with the technical ones. This shows a deep interest on the purpose of technology and a need for more awareness of these.

On this note, I recall that we are still very much the same beings as for thousands of years ago, yet our technology advances have been immense, exponential, which took place only throughout the last couple of hundred of years. Our brains, which still holds much of its reptilian side (territoriality, dominance, aggression...) has not evolved as fast as technology has been. The challenge, for us and others, will be on how to use technology to meet this development.

The research on "Architectural Democracy is sponsored by the Kone Foundation and based at Aalto University of Helsinki.

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