Report workshop “Critical Making of Frictional Urban Interfaces”

On March 6 and 7 2018, I co-organized the workshop “Critical Making of Frictional Urban Interfaces”, as part of the course Urban Interfaces that I teach together with Nanna Verhoeff. The workshop was a collaboration between Utrecht University’s Media & Culture Studies department (research group [urban interfaces] + the research master program Media, Arts & Performance), and Creative Coding Utrecht, artists Ruben van de Ven ( & Cristina Cochior (, in partnership with Het Nieuwe Instituut (, and HKU ( ABOUT […] Read More

Playtest of urban game Redesire, 20 November 2017 in Utrecht

Together with visiting PhD scholar Delaram Ashtari I organized a small playtest session of urban game Redesire on 20 November 2017 in Utrecht. The game was commissioned by Tessa Peters & Rolf van Boxmeer and designed by We Are Muesli. It is part of a longer-running art/architecture project called Rezone, in which I have collaborated in the past. See announcement below:   Invitation playtesting session Redesire: playing urban redevelopment Monday Nov 20 2017, 11:00-13:00 – location Muntstraat 2a, room 1.11, Utrecht University Participation and co-creation with various stakeholders […] Read More

Talk at Data (For) Culture conference in Katowice, 2 Dec. 2017

On December 2 2017 I will give a talk at the Data (For) Culture conference in Katowice. The event is organized by Medialab Katowice. About the event: During the conference, experts from Poland and abroad will discuss a number of topics, including: (a) how to combine traditional methods of cultural research with the analysis of large data sets from the web, primarily from social media; (b) how cultural events (official and grassroots) impact on the city’s development; (c) how social media form a networked public […] Read More

Video available of talk “A Walk in the smart city” (Een wandeling in de slimme stad) Betweterfestival 29 Sept. 2017

Recently I gave a talk (in Dutch) for the Betweterfestival in Tivoli/Vredenburg Utrecht about the increasingly dominant role of data in the ‘smart city’. The talk was called “A Walk in the smart city” (Een wandeling in de slimme stad). The talk was in Dutch. The video of the talk (copyright UU Studium Generale) can be watched here >>   Or via Youtube here:

[urban interfaces] graduate seminar series 2017-2018

Together with Nanna Verhoeff, Sigrid Merx, and Hira Sheikh, I am organizing this seminar series about Urban Friction. It is part of the research group [urban interfaces] I co-founded with Nanna & Sigrid.   Urban processes have been impacted by frictions all throughout history. The remarkable pace and dynamics of the current phase of global urbanization in the age of mediatization, datafication, and pervasive connectivity suggest a new age where insular, political boundaries have come to shift radically. Perhaps to […] Read More

Moderation conference “A City as Smart as its Citizens”, 24 Oct. 2017, Dutch Design Week/World Design Event

On 24 Oct. 2017, I was the moderator of the conference “A City as Smart as its Citizens”, organized by Het Nieuwe Instituut. The event took place as part of the Dutch Design Week/World Design Event in the former Philips NatLab in Eindhoven. Keynote speakers were Maya Indira Ganesh (Tactical Technology Collective), Usman Haque (Umbrellium), and Drew Hemment (FutureEverything). Also very cool, my first all-female expert panel, on the topic of smart cities and data no less! How do we go beyond the “smart city” […] Read More

Tabita Rezaire Lecture and Screening, 5 Oct. 2017

Together with colleagues Koen Leurs and Domitilla Olivieri I organized a Lecture and Screening with media artist Tabita Rezaire, on Oct. 5 2017 in Parnassos Utrecht. Tabita Rezaire PCI: Lecture and Screening In this PCI screening, we have the great honour and privilege to have with us the artist Tabita Rezaire, who will introduce, show and discuss her video work for an hour, followed by a 30 minute Q&A session. We end with drinks. The session is titled Decolonial trinity: technologies of the spiritual, […] Read More

Video of talk about data in the smart city, Betweterfestival 29 September 2017

For the Betweterfestival on 29 September 2017, I gave a talk about the increasingly dominant role of data in the ‘smart city’. The talk was called “A Walk in the smart city” (Een wandeling in de slimme stad). The talk was in Dutch. See video registration below: Een wandeling in de slimme stad Stel je voor: Je bent vandaag precies op tijd opgestaan dankzij de slimme wekker op je smartphone die in je agenda heeft gezien waar en hoe laat je […] Read More

Masterclass with Janet Murray, 29 Sept. 2017

On Sept. 29 2017 I co-organized a Masterclass with Janet Murray:In a masterclass with the renowned scholar and interaction designer Janet Murray we shall explore how interactive narratives can help to create engaging experiences, and support people’s critical and problem-solving capacities. During the masterclass, students will work on creating a concept and very rough prototype for such an intertactive narrative, under the guidance of Janet Murray and UU staff. The masterclass is part of a collaboration between Utrecht University’s Media […] Read More

Moderation session at Netherlands Film Festival (NFF), 27/28 Sept. 2017

As the leader of expertise center Co.Laborations at our department of Media & Culture Studies, I’m setting up and coordinating collaborations with a variety of professional partners, like the Netherlands Film Festival (NFF). Co.Laborations is the Media and Culture Studies department Expertise Centre, based at Utrecht University. Co.Laborations aims to foster partnerships between academia and practitioners in the fields of media and culture. With these partnerships we aim to share our knowledge and expertise to a wider circle of professionals and audiences, and in turn learn from professionals in […] Read More

Workshop “The Right to the Smart City”, 5-6 Sept 2017, Maynooth University

On 5 and 6 Sept 2017 I was invited to give a talk at the workshop The Right to the Smart City: Citizenship, Civic Participation, Urban Commons and Co-Creation, at Maynooth, as part of Rob Kitchin’s The Programmable City project.   Below the video report of the session I was in (session 2: Urban Commons): Here’s the full program of the 2 days: Introduction: Rob Kitchin, The Right to the Smart City. Session 1: Citizenship and the Smart City Katharine Willis (Plymouth, […] Read More

Report on the Games for Cities conference 20 – 21 April 2017

The Mobile City, HvA, UU, and Play the City together organized the two-day International City-Gaming Conference Games for Cities on 20 – 21 April 2017 at Het Nieuwe Instituut. I moderated the event. The Games for Cities programme hosted the first international conference on city-games, with leading ‘city-game’ design experts from around the world together with urbanists and decision makers, exploring the role for play and games in citymaking strategies. City-games are increasingly prevalent in the daily work of policy-makers, regulators, urban designers, smart city […] Read More

Workshop with Eric Gordon “Researching Civic Media: Empowering Citizens or Progressive Fallacy?”, 19 April 2017

The Mobile City, HvA, UU, and Play the City co-organized this workshop session with Eric Gordon, Founding director of Engagement Lab at Emerson College & faculty associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. Eric Gordon co-edited the book Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press (2016). Goal of the workshop Through the discussion of a number of texts and accounts of their own experiences, researchers will discuss the concept of civic media as well as appropriate […] Read More

New publication “The Hackable City: Citymaking in a Platform Society”

For the journal Architectural Design, we wrote a contribution for the Special Issue: 4D Hyperlocal: A Cultural Toolkit for the Open-Source City. Abstract Can computer hacking have positive parallels in the shaping of the built environment? The Hackable City research project was set up with this question in mind, to investigate the potential of digital platforms to open up the citymaking process. Its cofounders Martijn de Waal, Michiel de Lange and Matthijs Bouw here outline the tendencies that their studies of collaborative […] Read More

Moderation and co-organizing expert meeting “Imaging [Urban] Data Visualization” 27 Feb. 2017

Date: 27 February 2017 Time: 15:00 – 19:00 Location: Parnassos Bar, Kruisstraat 201, Utrecht Url: Imaging [Urban] Data Visualization An expert meeting organized by Datafied Society and [urban interfaces], in collaboration with SETUP MediaLab and MCW Expertise Centre. The goal of this meeting is to facilitate a dialogue between academics and practitioners about the possibilities for innovative, critical and experimental forms of “bringing  back” data to (urban) publics. Or, in other words, we will discuss how creative and critical […] Read More

Conference talk “Hacking Buiksloterham: How Self-Builders Are Making Their City” at Mediations, RCA London

I presented our work at the TRADERS Closing Conference ‘MEDIATIONS – Art & Design Agency and Participation in Public Space’. The paper is included in the proceedings of the event (ca. 19 MB pdf). Here’s the short version with only our chapter (865 KB pdf): de Lange, Michiel, and Martijn de Waal. 2016. Hacking Buiksloterham How self-builders are making their city. MEDIATIONS_S.

Essay (in Dutch) “Stories about smart cities: how citizen can identify with their city”

Recently I wrote an essay at the invitation of the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK). In the essay (Dutch), I argue that the lack of appealing narratives about smart cities is one of the reasons why citizen engagement is still such a big unresolved question. I discuss two emerging alternative narratives that indeed do put people in a central role as agents: the hackable city and the playful city. The essay is included in the booklet “Essay Estafette, reflecties […] Read More